By Jason Duran
June 4 – One hundred teams are geared up and ready for stop number two of the Alabama Bass Trail 100 Series Saturday on Lake Eufaula. Lots of eyes and attention have been placed on this lake in recent years with some big bags taking first place. Lake Eufaula has been labeled the Bass Capitol of the Word and has been host to many tournaments at all levels including the all the Pro Tours. Lake Eufaula will also host the Bassmaster Team Championship later this fall. The new ABT 100 series features a first place payout of $25,000 and a $100,000 total payout for each event. The field of just 100 teams will face expansive water for teams to fish and compete against some of the best anglers in the region. The Team of Anthony Goggins and Dustin Wood have their eyes set on that first place check of $25,000 and look forward to seeing what the lake can produce this weekend.
Dustin and Anthony are a favorite to do well in this event. Dustin won an event here last weekend with 22 pounds. However, he said he “could have easily only had 12 pounds if it was not for a couple big ones he caught that helped him have a much bigger bag.” The team shared, “with all the attention this lake gets, it’s really changed things and made it harder to have the big bags we are used too.”
Anthony said he feels the pattern is a little behind for June. “The water temps are still too low for what is normal this time of year”. He continued, “I try to track everything… all living creatures, and from what I can tell, it is all about three weeks behind. It is now June, and I have seen a few fish on bed in recent weeks and some have spawned out. There is another wave coming, and it is about time for them to head that way. This time of year you would expect the mayflies to have already hatched, but they are just now starting to hatch which brings the bluegill up to the bank and then the bass come to feed on them. We might be hitting it at just the right time and if those fish are up there and searching for something, there could be some big bass caught.”
Dustin and Anthony feel like the whole lake is in play, but areas from Lakepoint down are where they like to focus. They also don’t count out the river in this event because up there the fish aren’t moved around as much and can have a better opportunity to be less pressured.
For teams coming to Lake Eufaula for the very first time Anthony shared one advantage in this 100 boat filed is the lack of boats on the water during tournament day. He said with “a normal ABT field of 225, it is hard to move around a lot and areas get washed out easily, but in this event you can move around some and try different areas.” He also shared that normally the larger boat field would wash many areas out around Lakepoint Ramp but this time it would be fish easier. Anthony likes “to fish around the bank right there at Lakepoint like, literally right off ramp. You can stop there real quick and you may win in the first twenty minutes right there at the ramp. You can’t hit that if you’re in a boat 225 in the regular field.”
The team said this could be a shallow water event and this lake is known for throwing a Frog. “The frog bite will play especially around the grass and bluegill beds. Another pattern that teams will use will be flipping. Teams that can locate fish flipping could very well have a good success and find the right big bites to win, especially if the May flies are in the area too. The early bite also will play a major factor and this event could be over really quick in the morning. So, teams need to make a good plan to start in their most productive areas.
Teams looking to focus on deep water may have a harder time this year. “The brush pile bite seems to be a little less this year. I don’t think the locals put the brush piles out anymore like they used to, so everything that used to be there is washed off.” Teams that are able to locate fish on brush piles need to be prepared to possibly have to share some water.
This tournament will operate with social distancing guidelines. All anglers should make sure they have checked text messages and emails for the latest information and changes made to keep everyone as safe as possible during this time. There is a virtual meeting on the ABT Facebook Page Thursday night with details anglers need to pay close attention to. There will be a pre-scheduled check-in time for this event.
Tune in to the Alabama Bass Trail 100 Facebook page and the Alabama Bass Trail 100 Website (www.alabamabasstrail100.org) for live on the water coverage and live weigh in. All friends and family are welcome to attend this event; bring lawn chairs and practice social distancing. The launch and weigh-in location is Lakepoint State Park at 104 Old Highway 165 Eufaula, AL.
Download and listen to the ABT Podcast on your favorite Podcast app by searching for “Alabama Bass Trail Podcast.” The Podcast is released each week on Tuesday.
The sponsors of the 2021 Alabama Bass Trail 100 include; Phoenix Bass Boats, Bill Penney Automotive Group, Garmin, America’s First Federal Credit Union, Sweet Home Alabama, Alabama Tourism Department, T-H Marine Supplies, Wedowee Marine, Big Bite Bait Company, Black Rifle Coffee Company, Anheuser – Busch, Inc., fishalabama.org, and American Baitworks.