I grew up in Jackson. Ross Barnett has always be a very up and down lake.
One thing that really hurt the lake was the massive growth of hyacinth in the 80s and 90s. Then the heavy chemical spraying to kill it off really seemed to have made it worse. It may just now be recovering from the gross miss-management it had for two decades.
I wish him well. I don't know him, but he's from my old hometown of Nacogdoches.
My partner and I fished Ross Barnett in 2006. We prefished one weekend a few weeks before the tournament, then spent five days on the water the week of the tournament. At the time I thought it was one of the worst lakes I had ever fished. It only took 6 pounds to get a check in a two-day tournament and there were 46 zeroes among 127 teams. Either it has gotten better or we just didn't figure them out.