East 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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Cades Cove

See the Beauty of the Smoky Mountains at Wilderness Wildlife Week

According to the National Park Service, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited national park in the entire United States with 10 million...Read on

Bob Latendresse fishes for largemouth bass in the harbor where Johnsonville Fossil Plant discharges warm water into the Tennessee River.

Top Tips for Winter Warm Water Angling in Tennessee

Thermal pollution is the solution for wintertime fishing. So cozy up to a TVA power plant and cast in the warm water discharge. This byproduct...Read on

Roan Mountain State Park

Hike a Tennessee State Park and Start 2014 Off on the Right Foot

What do black-eyed peas, collard greens seasoned with hog jowl, champagne toasts and lists of personal goals have in common? They’re all some of our...Read on

Land Between the Lakes Planetarium

Celebrate the 2013 Winter Solstice in Tennessee

Your winter coats are probably already in heavy rotation as temperatures dip into the teens but guess what, it’s not even really winter yet. Winter...Read on

Tennessee Winter

Hike Tennessee to Stay Active This Winter

It’s already feeling like January. Our thermometer read 22 degrees this morning and the leaves on our rhododendrons are curled up tighter than a good...Read on

Lighting of Pilot Knob

Find Holiday Inspiration at a Tennessee State Park

It gets dark way too early these days but the upside is being able to see the star-filled night skies so much more clearly now...Read on

Natchez Trace Parkway

Start a Thanksgiving Tradition at a Tennessee State Park

What’s on your plate for Thanksgiving 2013? Spending a special day with my wife, Cathy, plus a few hours of good fishing and a couple...Read on