This will be one of the longest days of the year. Mike Kuhn is just making it longer. Sunrise is at 6:22, which means he's warming up the engine on his Triton bass boat at exactly 5:52.

"One tournament days we start half an hour before sunrise," he says, "so I do the same thing every morning to mimic the tournament."

As you might guess, Mike formed his morning routine during a 30-year career in the Navy. He makes his coffee and his side of the bed while it's still dark. The fishing part, however, is relatively new. Before he moved to Lake Oconee from the Washington D.C. area, he'd caught two bass in his life. Two. Reynolds Member Billy Gavin of the Lake Oconee Anglers Club heard about "the new guy" who wanted to learn about fishing.

"Billy took me under his wing," says Mike. "I have a picture on my wall of the bass I caught the fist day I fished from his boat."

A tradition was also born. Mike, once a mentee fishing off the back of someone else's boat, is now a mentor up at the front of his Triton, showing newer guys the nuances of the lake. He also has the distinction of catching the second-biggest bass among club members — 7 lbs. and change.

"There might be better bass lakes," says Ken Woodring, "but none are more scenic or friendly."

Easy for him to say. Ken has won two of the past three Angler of the Year Awards, determined from the cumulative weigh-ins from all tournaments. The tournaments are competitive... to a point. The winner of each gets a $20 prize.

"No one's fighting over it," says club member Jim Dees. "Most of us moved for the golf, but the camaraderie of fishing just adds to life here."

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