Wednesday, March 20, 2013
In the Cherokee language, the word Chattanooga means “to draw fish out of water,” so it is only natural that the city is a world-class bass fishing destination.
“Few people know how good Lake Chickamauga really is for bass fishing,” said Red Bank resident and professional bass fisherman Josh Douglas, who recently started Josh Douglas Fishing Guide Service.
The Minneapolis, Minn., native spent the past seven years as a guide on Lake Minnetonka before he decided to move to the Southeast, where most bass fishing tournaments are held.
Douglas chose Chattanooga to take advantage of Chickamauga Lake and the Tennessee River as well as for the quality of life.
“I could have picked any lake in the country to be close to and that’s the one I chose,” he said. “The grass growing in Chickamauga is one of the best in the world for bass fishing.”
He’d been through Chattanooga before for fishing and had already fallen in love with the area.
“North Chattanooga reminds me a lot of uptown Minneapolis,” said Douglas. “Minneapolis is a big city, so it’s more laid-back here.”
He said he also appreciates that Chattanooga seems to be on the forefront of the “go green” movement, as well as the city’s variety of restaurants.
“You have to have a life when you’re not on the deck of the boat,” said Douglas, who spends about 300 days of the year on a boat.
He moved to Chattanooga in October, and since Tennessee has different requirements for guides than Minnesota, he said he must first obtain a federal captain’s license before leading a trip here, adding that he will likely start guiding this summer. His focus in the past has usually been on businesspeople, as Minneapolis was central to several corporations.
“It’s an excuse to get out and have a couple of cocktails and have a good time,” Douglas said of his guided trips, which are typically four to eight hours long.
What he likes most about guiding is seeing clients become full-fledged fishermen, he said. It’s even more special when he sees photos of clients teaching their children to fish, he added.