Alabama River -Millers Ferry Preview with Gage and Wes King
By Jason Duran
The Alabama Bass Trail 100 makes the second of three stops at the Alabama River – Millers Ferry. 100 of the best teams in bass fishing will fish this event for a total purse of $100,000 paid out. Teams fished the first event in this series at Lake Wedowee where it took over 20-pounds to win. This event sets up well for a 100 boat field. Millers Ferry is a 17,200-acre reservoir on the Alabama River. There is an abundant population of largemouth and spotted bass for teams to target in hopes of bringing the largest bag to the scale to take home the trophy and $25,000 for first place.
The father-son team of Gage and Wes King have anxiously awaited this event since the day the schedule was announced. “This tournament here is why we signed up for the ABT 100.” They spent the last weekend practicing for this event and have had some recent success on the lake. They “have fished four tournaments out of Bridgeport this year- two in March and two in April. We have finished second, third, sixth, and third. We just haven't won one yet but hope our time is coming this weekend.”
They feel the “fish are in a post spawn pattern, so we will see a lot of guys fishing shallow. They will be swimming jigs and flipping. There will be teams fishing the ledges down the river, and that could play a factor if the fish have moved out deep. The key for the spotted bass will be the current; there will be some teams that make the run up towards the dam to fish in the current. Teams will be targeting structure including ledges, grass and wood. The water temps have been between 75-77 degrees. We have been catching lots of numbers of fish just haven’t caught any size.”
Gage and Wes suggest “teams making the first trip to Millers Ferry should pay close attention to their mapping. The creeks are full of stumps that provide for good fishing, but teams need to be careful navigating. There can also be some floating debris in the river that teams will need to pay attention to when running. They will find it easy to catch numbers of fish and should have a great time fishing in this event. Teams should find an area and fish their strength to be successful in this event.”
The key this weekend will be getting on the spot early or being in the proper rotation for a spot to fish. Though it is only a 100-boat field, the river will make it fish small and teams will need to work hard to fish their best spots and be productive on those spots. Gage shared, “teams may still find a shad spawn early and could find a limit quick. Teams that get a bad rotation will find it hard to be productive, especially if they are fishing behind someone that is catching fish well.”
The key baits this weekend will be “spinner baits, crank baits, flipping soft plastic and jigs around the grass. Fishing the current will be a major factor, and when they turn on the current will be key. Lately, they have not turned the current on until around 1:00, and that could affect some of the teams planning to fish the current.” They expect a winning bag to be around 17-18 pounds, and most likely, that will be a bag of all largemouth from there the weights will fall. We should see teams with lots of mixed bags of spots and largemouth.
Pre-Tournament Briefing was held via Facebook Live and YouTube on Tuesday, May 30, 2023, at 6:00 P.M. The Launch & Weigh-In will be held June 3, 2023 Bridgeport Landing 2871 JC Martin Blvd Camden, AL. Launch will be at safe daylight. All friends and family are welcome to attend this event, bring lawn chairs and see some of the best bass teams in the country cross the stage. Everyone can watch the live weigh-in and over 4 hours of on-the-water live coverage on the ABT Facebook page, YouTube and the ABT website.
The sponsors of the 2023 Alabama Bass Trail 100 include; Phoenix Bass Boats, Bill Penney Automotive Group, Banjio Sunglasses, Garmin, America’s First Federal Credit Union, Sweet Home Alabama, Alabama Tourism Department, T-H Marine Supplies, Big Bite Bait Company, Black Rifle Coffee Company, Anheuser - Busch, Inc., fishalabama.org, Freedom Tackle Corp, Halo Fishing, NetBait, and Scum Frog