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Hanson celebrates on Lake Lanier

When you've just become the first National League rookie pitcher in history to win consecutive starts against the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox, how do you want to celebrate on your day off?

For Tommy Hanson, it was an easy decision.

His dad was in town and his pitching buddy, Kris Medlen, was also free. So the two Californians - who have split time this season with the Gwinnett and Atlanta Braves - contacted me and we all went fishing on Lake Lanier.

We met at about 6 a.m., and were fishing before the sun beams shot across the water at Mud Creek. Within minutes, Kris caught the first of nearly 20 spotted bass that we hauled into the boat over the next four hours.

Together, the guys landed plenty of spotted bass, a half-dozen stripers and one surprised white catfish. I was too busy baiting hooks, keeping the boat straight in the wind, and helping them land their fish to join in the fray.

Both Tommy and his dad are excellent anglers. The newcomer, Kris Medlen, however, landed the largest bass on a Swirleybird. It was a surprise since he had only learned to fish this year in spring training.

Despite their obvious skills on the baseball diamond, these two young men are a credit to their generation and to the Atlanta Braves. For me, it was a real pleasure to see them become quite laid-back while they enjoyed a day off catching fish in the natural beauty of Lake Lanier.

Bill Vanderford has been inducted into the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame as a Legendary Guide. He can be reached at www.fishinglanier.com.