Quoted from an article which appeared in the
August 21, 2002 edition of The Henry County Times.

Local fishermen have success catching book sales as well as largemouth bass

Local bass fishermen turned writer, Aaron Batson and Jerry Whitlock, released their new book in February entitled "How to Catch Largemouth Bass on Lake Oconee All Year Round." The 128 page paperback is an instructional book to help fishermen catch more bass and catch larger bass in all parts of Lake Oconee. After the first six months, the book sales are ramping up - including a spot on the shelf at Barnes & Noble.

The idea for the book came when Jerry Whitlock, a fisherman since childhood, hired Aaron Batson as a guide on Lake Oconee in early 2001. Whitlock, who is a businessman and marketing specialist, saw an opportunity for the publication of how-to information about largemouth bass fishing on the lake, since nothing like it existed. Oconee is one of the best bass fishing lakes in Georgia, with its estimated 433 pounds of fish per acre - nearly double that of any other middle Georgia lake. The lake covers 19,050 acres.

Aaron Batson, 27, a Convington resident, has been fishing on Lake Oconee since it was built. He has documented his fishing trips on Oconee over the last several years. That information included where he fished, what lures he used, the water conditions and what he caught. Having won dozens of bass tournaments on the lake, Batson has the reputation as one of the most successful largemouth bass fishermen on Lake Oconee. In one tournament, his running five-fish sack weighed over 23 pounds.

When Whitlock, 48, who lives part-time on Lake Oconee, presented the idea of a book to Batson, he agreed. They began to layout the format for the book and went to work. The main section of the book is a week-by-week chronicle which Aaron Batson prepared from his notes and logs. That section instructs the reader which lures to use - including a photo of each; how to use them where to fish and what to look for to improve their results while fishing for largemouth bass. Whitlock completed the contents of the book with additional information about bass fishing in general and numerous tips.

Aaron Batson is employed by AT&T as a supervisor while Jerry Whitlock own and operates EPM, Inc., a supplier of industrial seals and gaskets located in Stockbridge. Neither have any previous experience in writing or publishing. Both are avid fishermen and spend many days each year on the water. The book layout and pre-publication work was completed by Eric Jackson, the I.T. manager at EPM.

The book will be sold through regional and national book retailers, marinas, fishing supply retailers and a web site, www.fishoconee.com.

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