Cherry Pumps Newman Derby

(Editor’s note: Bassmaster Elite Series angler Hank Cherry wrote the following piece about the Ryan Newman Foundation tournament that’ll be held on his home lake in December.) As posted on

The term “Dog Days” usually refers to the hottest time of the summer, typically the months of July and August. In Mooresville, N.C., on Lake Norman, you’ll also find the Dog Days in December. In this case I’m not talking about the weather, so you better bring a jacket.

I’m referring to the bass tournament held by the Ryan Newman Foundation each year. The Foundation educates people about spaying/neutering their pets and encourages the adoption of pets from shelters. The event is attended by bass fishing professionals and race car drivers alike.

NASCAR driver Ryan Newman is as passionate about the outdoors and pets as I am and I look forward to representing my sponsors at this event and supporting Ryan’s mission.

Lake Norman is my home lake and several big tournaments are held here each year. Although it’s not known for really big bass, there are some 7- and 8 -pounders in here, but fish in the 5-pound range are much more common. There are more than 500 miles of shoreline and it is heavily populated, so there are lots of docks and riprap to fish.

With fall quickly approaching, the water temperature is dropping and the fishing should be good. If the water gets down to about 55 degrees in December, the fishing will be really good. I expect most anglers will be targeting largemouth and spotted bass in 5 feet or less. I’ll have a Death Shimmer spinnerbait and an E.R. Lures flipping jig tied on, for sure. I also expect the umbrella rig to be a factor this time of year. It is one bait that can really help fill out a limit when the fishing is a little slow.

For me, dock fishing is what I’m looking forward to at this tournament. I’ll search the lake trying to figure out how far back in the pockets the fish are holding and then I’ll run a pattern fishing all the docks in those areas around the lake. Finding docks that have added man-made structure like brush piles really increases my odds of catching quality tournament fish. There are so many fish in the lake and so many docks to fish that I don’t think there’s a bad one.

I would really like to encourage people to come out and support this event on Dec.14. Not only will you get to spend some quality time fishing with family and friends, but you will be supporting a great organization. To register for this tournament, click here. If you would like to learn more about the Ryan Newman Foundation, click here. I hope to see you there.

If you’re not able to make it in December or if you’re up for a second challenge, please join me at the Jim Ledbetter Memorial Tournament, March 8, 2014. This will be the 28th annual event for anglers to get together and raise money for cancer research.

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