Flexing Mussels

Updated: April 8, 2009, 4:22 PM ET
By Mark Hicks | BASSMASTER Magazine, March 2009
You won't find a nicer guy than Tim Horton, and you can't help but admire his accomplishments. He has qualified for 10 consecutive trips to the Bassmaster Classic, and he was the 2000 Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year. However, if you spent a day in Horton's boat while he was practicing for a tournament, you'd probably catch yourself nodding off.

You see, Horton's strength is structure fishing, something he learned well as a bass guide on Pickwick, Wilson and other Tennessee River reservoirs. He finds underwater honey holes by idling around for hours with his eyes intensely focused on his LCG. Watching soaps on daytime television is more exciting than Horton's pre-­tournament outings.

Horton graphs points, humps, ledges, creek bends and other typical underwater structure. And, he always looks for the "spot on the spot" that holds bass and can quickly replenish. This could be, say, a single stump, rocks, a patch of grass or a brushpile. Horton also looks for something most fishermen overlook, something that gives him a distinct edge over his competition  mussel beds.