A Classic report
by Captain Mike Gerry
With the Bass Master Classic now in our rear-view mirror, I thought I would give my view as to where Guntersville Lake is in respect to its fish ability and health. There is no doubt in my mind that Guntersville is still better than most of the bass lakes in the country; however, it is not the lake it once was, and fishing is not easy for most that tackle it. The one thing I believe is very common on Guntersville is the amount of push the bass get in the period of a year due to the tournament pressure is enormous.
The Classic is just more proof that the tournaments on Guntersville scatter the fish, move them off their common spots, and change their habits almost daily. This could very well be the same on any tournament lake today, but I see Guntersville as very tournament heavy, week after week. I also believe, as I have said for many years, that doing restocking of the lake would improve its fish-ability. I believe that restocking every year would increase the lakes ability to replenish and give the lake a boost when the lake becomes tough during the heavy fishing time of year. If you go to other lakes, especially Chickamauga, the girth size of the bass is much bigger than Guntersville which adds weight to fish that we do not see on Guntersville.
These are the Florida strain bass and Guntersville has run out of this strain. Restocking could bring back some size in the girth over time. Chickamauga did this for many years and, to my knowledge, they still are, and they are benefiting in size and weight on the lake.
I also believe that Guntersville is a lake that can humble the best fisherman, as it proved during the Classic, and it can reward the guy that pulled up to the right spot, at the right time, with very little experience or knowledge. The one thing that I observed that is common to Guntersville or most bass lakes is “don’t leave.