Middle 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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The young men of Company 3464 of the Civilian Conservation Corps, or CCC, excavated 3,550 cubic yards of dirt and poured 8,000 tons of concrete between 1935 and 1940 to build the 319-foot span of Cumberland Mountain State Park’s best known landmark.

Golf, Food, Cabins, and More at Cumberland Mountain State Park

Days began getting shorter last month and nights turned crisp last week. Autumn is a splendid time to visit Cumberland Mountain State Park. I drove...Read on

Standing Stone Lake is a special pleasure to paddle on, picnic beside or hike along when its still water perfectly reflects the forested slopes and clouds lazily drifting across a bluebird sky.

Standing Stone State Park Stands Alone in Beauty

What could be more soul satisfying than a crisp fall day and a few relaxing hours in native hardwood forests filled with brilliant yellow, orange...Read on

If you enjoy forest settings with glorious fall foliage, abundant wildlife, hiking trails, camping, fishing and Tennessee history, you’ll find a visit to David Crockett State Park on the outskirts of Lawrenceburg is a trip well worth making.

David Crockett State Park Is The King of Great Fall Events

One of my favorite past times at the ripe old age of five or six was running around in the wilds of my small town...Read on

The wild beautiful places at South Cumberland State Park are part of Tennessee’s Cumberland Plateau, a broad ridge 40-55 miles wide and 1,000 feet high that extends from Kentucky to Georgia.

Back to Nature at South Cumberland

What a view! After a short walk, I’m standing on a platform overlooking a 60-foot cascade at magnificent Foster Falls. This is one of 10...Read on

Brown’s Creek Lake  Anglers pursue bluegill, catfish, crappie, largemouth, rock and hybrid bass on Maples Creek Lake and Brown's Creek Lake, both managed by Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.

Unwind at Natchez Trace State Park

The sky was blue and sunshine sparkled on the calm water at Brown’s Creek Lake at Natchez Trace State Park during my most recent visit....Read on

Swing copy

Much to Do at Mousetail Landing

Rocking lazily in my anchored john boat waiting for an equally lazy catfish to sniff out my nightcrawler from among the rocks at the mouth...Read on


No Shortage of Fun at Long Hunter State Park

Long Hunter State Park on the shores of J. Percy Priest Lake east of Nashville is the place to relieve the doldrums of summer’s dog...Read on