Made a morning excursion this morning with Jack Grandy (in the orange jacket) and his buddy Pat from Texas. Pat came to visit for a week and Jack REALLY wanted to get him out for a taste of the Tennessee River and Chickamauga Lake.

With 25 degree temps (colder on the water ), I sort of expected them to bow out. But au contraire' ... they were ready and willing. (Not sure I could say the same for myself )

We had a blast. Both these fine gentlemen obviously appreciate the great outdoors, especially to endure that first 7 am ride up the lake.

"Finessing" winter crappie was a first for Pat. He hasn't fished a whole lot, and rarely with artificials. But he took to it like a duck to water. The fish were not exactly voracious this morning. Perhaps they too were frozen. But the first three hours or so was a steady bite and we stuck quite a few real "quality" fish. Pat said, "This is the most fish I've every caught in my life on artificial lures!"

I don't measure, or count if we're not "keepin'." Everything we caught today was released to be caught again someday, although on numerous occasions Pat said, "I sure wish I'd brought a cooler." I'm guessing we caught about 20 quality keepers, and probably a few more 10-inch squeakers, plus several obvious "throwbacks."

The fish weren't overly aggressive however, and they were deep. You really had to present a jig to them just right... usually in 20 feet of water and deeper, especially as it got later in the morning.

It was a wonderful, albeit frigid, morning on the water. Which means life is good and gettin' better every day!

Read my book, "An Outdoor State of Mind"
"The outdoors is not just a place, it's a state of mind."