Buster, Jason and Michael Drennon are a trio of bass-busting brothers, and when they team up in a tournament the fish don’t have a chance.
“We fish a lot of circuits and we’ve done pretty good over the years,” Buster says modestly. “We’re all pretty competitive.”
For 36 years Buster and Jason, along with brother-in-law Doug Raines, have operated D&A Automotive in Lebanon. Michael gave up his partnership in the business to work for the Wilson County bus garage.
Buster says he and his kid brothers learned to fish “about as soon as we could walk,” going with their dad and grandfather on trips to Old Hickory Lake and Center Hill.
“When we were little, our dad would take us to Cedar Grove on Old Hickory and drop us off with our fishing tackle,” Buster says. “He’d come back four or five hours later, blow the horn, and we’d pile in the car and go home. Back then it was safe to go off and leave kids alone like that.”
Like most young anglers, the Drennon brothers broke in on bluegill but quickly graduated to bass.
Over the years that’s become their specialty, fishing 30-40 bass tournaments a year.
Buster says the late Kenneth Reese got him hooked on tournament fishing in 1991 on Center Hill Lake.
“I enjoyed it that first time out, and I’ve been at it ever since,” he says.
Buster and his brothers frequently fish together. He and Michael recently teamed to win a Cedar City Bass Anglers tournament on Old Hickory.
Naturally, being brothers, there is a friendly rivalry when it comes to who can boat the biggest bass. Buster’s personal best is a 9.1-pounder. Jason and Michael are tied with 7.8-pounders.
When Buster and Michael aren’t fishing for bass they are fishers of men. Buster is minister of the Town Creek Missionary Baptist Church in Lebanon, and Michael is pastor of a Baptist Church in Bethpage.
“I tell people I work for a living and preach for the Lord,” Buster says.
An example of putting faith before fishing: Buster and a partner were in contention for a USA Championship on Kentucky Lake one year going into the final day. That final round was originally scheduled for Saturday but had to be postponed until Sunday.
“We loaded up our boat and headed home,” Buster says. “I hated to leave with us in the running for the championship, but I don’t fish on Sundays.”
On a personal note, I fished with Buster and Jason one morning on Kentucky Lake during a Jim Duckworth writers’ conference. When pairing me with the Drennons, Jim told me I’d never meet two nicer guys, and he was right.
We laughed, joked, told stories and caught bass all morning. Our casting was briefly interrupted when Buster’s plug got snagged on a log back in a cove, and when he started to retrieve it we discovered a big water moccasin coiled on the log. Buster left his lure on the log.
“I don’t mess with snakes,” he says with a laugh, recalling that bygone encounter.
I suggested that if it happened again, maybe he could talk one of his brothers into retrieving his lure for him – isn’t that what kid brothers are for?
“That’s a good idea,” Buster says, again with a laugh. “I’ll ask them next time.”
Larry Woody is The Democrat’s outdoors writer. Email him at [email protected]