Lay Lake Preview with Jordan Lee
By Jason Duran
One hundred teams will converge on Lay Lake in Columbiana, Alabama for the inaugural Alabama Bass Trail 100 on Saturday. Just 363 days ago, the announcement was made that the Alabama Bass Trail was expanding to answer the request from anglers wanting more opportunities to fish with the ABT. 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 competition against some of the best anglers in the region.
The ABT 100 provides a unique opportunity for pro anglers like Jordan Lee. Often they are excluded from the opportunity to fish team events due to their pro status. In the ABT 100, they are allowed to fish as a pro and amateur team. Jordan is excited for the opportunity to fish extra tournaments and is looking forward to seeing guys he hasn’t been able to fish with in a while...from old college partners to guys he fished with as a co angler 10 years ago. Jordan has really been waiting for this chance.
It's been about five years since Jordan has been on Lay Lake, and, like many other teams, he hasn’t been to Lay in January, especially in a tournament. Jordan expects the “spotted bass bite to be a little better than the largemouth bite mainly because of the colder weather.” He said, “the spotted bass will also probably be a little more ganged up than the largemouth.” “It's really kind of a wild card all of the time on the Coosa which one to go after; typically a largemouth bite can be a little bigger than a spotted bass bite on average.”
The field is only 100 teams, and even though Jordan feels it's going to be a totally different challenge going up against some of the best teams, he is looking forward to it. He said he has to approach this event much different than his other tournaments. Typically his other events are four or five day events with a couple of practice days. In those events “he spends practice locating fish and is able to make adjustments in the tournament from day to day.” In this event he said, “you kind of have to practice and locate the hot spots and on tournament day, you have to just go all in on that one day and go after the bigger bites. It’s a very different event.”
Jordan feels like a few key baits to catch spots during the winter will be jig and jerk baits mixing in a swimbait. He noted the last big tournament was won on a Berkley Frittside, and he will definitely have those four baits tied on. Anglers looking to target largemouth will most likely spend time fishing the bank and flipping around the grass using a swim jig.
In this event teams often weigh in a mixed bag of spots and largemouth. Jordan said his prediction to win is between 18-20 pounds settling on 18.80 as the weight to win.
Jordan put a boat in Lay Lake for the very first time in 2007 during the Bassmaster Classic. In the short time since then, he has many accomplishments to his credit including fishing on the Auburn fishing team, back to back Bassmaster Classic titles and winning the first Ever MLF Bass Pro Tour event in Kissimmee, Florida. His name is on the watch list to do well in this event.
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 Beeswax Landing located at 245 Beeswax Park Road in Columbiana, 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.