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East TN, Middle TN, West TN Writer

Vernon Summerlin

Hi there! I’m Vernon Summerlin. Like many, I came to Nashville to break into the music industry. After years of striving, I put songwriting aside when I sold the first two fishing articles I wrote. I was being published more than the average songwriter, and I got to fish all I wanted. Talk about being in heaven—it was like being paid to eat candy! Twenty-five years later, I’ve written/co-written 11 books, had a weekly outdoor column for Middle Tennessee newspapers, put my pen to countless fishing articles, and have been a host for three radio programs and two TV shows. I’m immersed in our state’s outdoor life and will do my best to get you outside to experience Middle Tennessee’s slice of paradise. Describe your perfect Tennessee day. Nothing floats my boat better than catching fish, or at least trying. Give me a partly cloudy day with the temperature in the mid-60s by 11 a.m. and a breeze causing a light ripple on the surface. In my “Old Man Boat” with my wife, Cathy, and Jake, the golden retriever, trolling the Cumberland River for smallmouth, walleye, striper. Where’s the first place you’d take a friend visiting Tennessee? We often take our friends for a tour of the northern end of the Natchez Trace Parkway. Each season suggests the activity we’ll include—walking the old trails, wading in a creek, picking berries, photographing waterfalls or capturing deer or turkeys on camera. If you could meet one historical Tennessean, who would it be and why? (This can be someone still living.) I would love to visit with Bill Dance and fish with him. He blazed the trail for so many anglers, inspiring some anglers to become fishing pros, some to write, some to develop outdoor TV shows. He’s always gracious, with something substantial to offer.

Stories By Vernon

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Kentucky Lake crappie

10 Hot Springtime Crappie Fishing Holes

Crappies are ubiquitous in our state’s reservoirs. They are easier to find and catch in West and Middle Tennessee because the lakes there are relatively...Read on

Stillhouse Hollow Falls

Splish Splash: Get Ready for Waterfalls Weekend in Tennessee

A dip in a clear, cold plunge pool at the base of a waterfall is a great way to beat summer heat, but I find...Read on

Harpeth trout Tennessee

It’s Prime Time for Hooking up with Tennessee’s Trout

Snow covered the banks of the Harpeth River in Franklin. Anglers, dressed for the cold, lined up for one of Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency’s stocking...Read on

Tennessee Azeleas

The First Signs of Spring Are at Tennessee’s Botanical Gardens, Garden Shows and Scenic Byways

Thanks to the polar vortices that came knocking on our doors this winter, spring seems to be running a little late. At least the days...Read on

Panther Creek State Park

The Best Guided Hikes to Take in Tennessee This February

After our unusually cold January weather, it’s a good time to dust off your favorite hiking boots, stretch your legs and get a healthy dose...Read on

Andrew Jackson Hermitage

Visit a Trio of Presidents in Tennessee on Presidents’ Day 2014

For many of us Presidents’ Day is more about a three-day weekend than our three Tennessee presidents, Andrew Jackson, James K. Polk and Andrew Johnson....Read on

The Overmountain Men that settled the area around present-day Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park were movers and shakers during the 1770s who established a majority-rule government known as the Watauga Association four years before the signing of the Declaration of Independence, negotiated a land treaty with Cherokee leaders, played an important part in the expansion of settlements west of the Alleghany Mountains and influenced the outcome of the American Revolution. Photo TN State Parks

History Happens at Tennessee State Parks

There’s something of interest for everyone on a journey into the 1770s during the Living History-Militia Muster on February 15-16, 2014 at Sycamore Shoals State...Read on