When Mt. Juliet’s Whit Gammon was 9, a neighbor took him tournament fishing for the first time and he was immediately hooked.
Gammon wasted no time sitting a similar hook in his son, Greer, who at age nine has teamed with his dad to win two tournaments this year – including one that paid a handsome $5,000 prize.
“Greer is a good fisherman,” Whit said. “He’s also a good deer hunter. When he was six he killed an 8-point buck.”
Whit adds with a chuckle, “I don’t know if he realizes how good he’s got it.”
When Whit was a youngster he started fishing with his father.
“We were recreational fishermen, just fishing for whatever we could catch,” he says. “Our neighbor, James Pond, was a tournament fisherman and when he saw how much I enjoyed fishing, he invited me to fish a tournament with him. I was nine at the time and I’ve been tournament fishing ever since. I’m 42 now.”
In addition to the two tournaments Whit won with his son, he also finished first in four others, including a recent Cedar City Bass Anglers competition. That gave him six wins in 15 tournaments this year – an impressive batting average.
“Adjusting to changing conditions,” Whit says. “Every day is different, and you have to adjust to find the fish. I don’t get locked into anything. Sometimes I fish by the seat of my pants.”
Like all tournament anglers, Whit has a competitive nature.
“That’s a big part of it,” he says. “I like to compete against other good fishermen.
The big $5,000 payday came in the championship round of the Middle Tennessee Fishing League tournament in June on Center Hill Lake.
The Fishing League has a unique tournament format: the winner is determined by who catches the most pounds of bass. There is no limit on the number of fish weighed in – all are promptly released — but each must weigh over one pound. As each fish is caught it is photographed on a scale for weight verification, then released. The photo is texted to tournament officials, and at the end of the day total weights are compiled and the winner announced.
“We caught 31 bass over one pound the day we won the tournament,” Whit says. “It’s an interesting way to keep score.”
The Middle Tennessee Fishing League has about 40 members from around the area. Information is available on the League’s Facebook page.
The Cedar City Bass Anglers has a website on which is posted tournament results, upcoming events and other information. Club president Adam Sharp says new members and tournament participants are welcome.
Back to Whit Gammon, he and his wife, Callie, are realtors with Cumberland Real Estate in Lebanon. They have a son, Webb, age 6, with Downs Syndrome. To help combat the disorder they donate 10% of each sales commission to the Downs Syndrome Association of Middle Tennessee.
“It’s something we want to do,” Whit says. “It’s obviously a very personal cause for us.”
It’s a good deed by a good fisherman.