Jason Smith and Chaz McMahan Perform in First ABT Campaign
by Dan O’Sullivan
September 21, 2017 – Decatur, Ala. – One thing you find out when you hang around the Alabama Bass Trail is that the circuit draws people from all of the surrounding states. It’s not uncommon to have teams from Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Mississippi, and Kentucky and more in the events. While those states are certainly well represented; Tennessee sends a fair share of the field each year because of the familiarity of the Tennessee River impoundments on the Northern Division schedule.
One of those teams who decided to fish the 2017 ABT Northern Division schedule are the longtime friends from Lawrenceburg, Tenn. Jason Smith and Chaz McMahan. The reason they chose to fish was because of what they had heard from others. “We have friends who have fished ABT since the beginning who have always told us how good the trail is, so we decided to sign up,” said Smith. “They told us it was a well-run event, and that it was a lot of fun; they were right, we love it.”
With three TVA Lakes on the schedule again in 2017, they decided this was the best year to test the waters. “We feel really comfortable on Wheeler and Pickwick, and Guntersville to a lesser degree, but we surprised ourselves with how we did in the other events,” said Smith. We struggled at Pickwick, but we did well enough the rest of the year to finish sixth in the points, and it qualified for both the ABT and Bassmaster Team Championships; we’re pleased with our year.”
With the Alabama Bass Trail Championship slated for the first weekend of October, the pair have begun visiting Logan Martin. “We’ve spent two days on the lake so far – the only two days we’ve ever been on the lake,” he said, “We’ll spend more time there over the next couple weeks, and while we’re not quite sure what to think yet, we’re excited about the tournament.”
They plan on fishing to their strengths and working together as a team, the way they’ve done it all year. “We like to fish different baits until we figure things out,” he said. “Chaz will start out with a swimbait, and I’ll pick up a football jig, and we’ll go from there. We’re really current fishermen, so we’ll do the best we can to build a program around that.
We’re really looking forward to the event; we’re just hoping that we can bring things together like we did in the season – or maybe even a little better.”
The sponsors of the 2017 Alabama Bass Trail include; Bill Penney Toyota, Phoenix Bass Boats, GP8 Oxygen Water, Garmin, Academy Sports & Outdoors, Wind Creek Hospitality – Wetumpka, Wind Creek Hospitality – Montgomery, Alabama Tourism Department, SCA Performance, T-H Marine Supplies, Wedowee Marine, AFTCO, Fish Neely Henry Lake.com, Lew’s Fishing, Crossed Industries, YETI, E3 Apparel, TVA and Alabama Power.
For information about Alabama Bass Trail and for complete tournament standings visit www.alabamabasstrail.org.