Tournament Series Recap
Erick Sommers and Tommy Pegues Win 2017 Alabama Bass Trail Lake Jordan Pair Bests Record 225 Boat Field is Southern Division Season Opener
by Dan O’Sullivan
February 18, 2017 – Wetumpka, Ala – For the second time in the history of the Alabama Bass Trail, Lake Jordan, the Coosa River impoundment located in Wetumpka, Ala. has served as the venue for the kickoff of the Southern Division’s season. In 2017, that kickoff event featured a record, full field of 225 boats.
With what may be the smallest fishery on the entire Alabama Bass Trail schedule, Jordan was experiencing an amount of fishing pressure the lake had likely never seen. Couple the pressure, and unseasonably warm temperatures that gave way to a cold front, and the fishing on the lake was not expected to be stellar
The team of Erick Sommers and Tommy Pegues managed to prove those assumptions wrong.
The pair of anglers from nearby Deatsville, and Montgomery, Ala. managed to produce an incredible mixed bag, 24.95-pound limit of Lake Jordan bass that earned them their first ABT victory that came with the $10,000 first prize as well as a $7,000 Phoenix Boats First Flight bonus prize.
The pair said that they had the bulk of their limit early by fishing an area upriver. “I found the spot in practice, and caught a nearly 7-pound spotted bass on it,” said Sommers. “There were more fish stacked on it, and we decided to give it a go. If they bit, we had a good shot, if not, we fall flat.” They did not fall flat, their winning margin was more than five pounds.
While they did not think it weighed that much at the time, they reported catching a 22 to 23-pound limit by 10:00 in the morning. “We used a variety lures to catch our first limit,” they said. “We used jigs, jerkbaits and a big spinnerbait to catch that limit.” They reported throwing a 3/8-ounce Pond Scum War Eagle jig with a Yamamoto Craw Trailer, a Chartreuse Shad Slender Pointer 112 Lucky Craft jerkbait and a 1-ounce spinnerbait for their first limit.
After analyzing their creel, they felt that they needed one more big bite to make sure they had a chance to win, the pair stowed their whole arsenal, and picked up a pair of Green Pumpkin Big Bite Baits Yo Momma creature baits and 1-ounce Flippin’ Weights with a Punch Skirt, and ran down lake into the pockets. At 1:45 to 2-o’clock, the move paid off when Sommers boated a 5.22-pound largemouth that culled a 4-pound spotted bass. “We felt like we had put the nail in the coffin at that point,” they said. “We can’t believe that we’ve won here against a field of anglers that the ABT fields, it’s a great feeling.”
Echoing the sentiments of the winners were the runner up team of Stan Hallman and Steve Thrash. “We are thrilled with how this turned out because we didn’t think we could produce this much weight after our practice,” said the Autaugaville and Prattville, Ala. residents. “We thought we could catch 12 or 13 pounds, so to end up here right now is an incredible feeling – we are absolutely thrilled.”
The pair used a trio of jigheads and worms to produce a 19.76-pound limit that narrowly earned them a second place finish and a $5,000 payday. They reported using a 3/16-ounce Davis Baits HBT Shaky Head and green pumpkin / red flake Big Bite Baits Cane Stick, a homemade 3/16-ounce shaky head worm as well as a 1/2-ounce head with a watermelon colored Zoom Magnum Trick Worm on the backside of main lake points.
Following the top two teams were the team of Brad Edwards and Austin Nelson, who weighed 19.75 pounds to claim the third spot and a $4,000 prize. Foster Bradley and Clint Ellis nabbed fourth place and $3,000 with 19.28pounds and the team of Thad Hull and David Talley rounded out the top five with 18.96 pounds,
The team of Kyle Welcher and Chris Haynes produced the big bass of the tournament; a 6.21-pound largemouth bass that earned them the $500 Big Bass heavyweight bonus.
The top 10 standings are below, for complete standings go to http://dev-alabama-bass-trail.pantheonsite.io/tournament-series/lj-results/
|1||Erick Sommers & Tommy Pegues||24.95||5.22||$10,000||$17,000 ABT Payout + $7,000 Phoenix First Flight|
|2||Stan Hallman & Steve Thrash||19.76||$5,000|
|3||Brad Edwards & Austin Nelson||19.75||5.65||$4,000|
|4||Foster Bradley & Clint Ellis||19.28||$3,000|
|5||Thad Hull & David Talley||18.96||$2,000|
|6||Matt Green & Justin Nunley||18.94||$1,500|
|7||Gentry Gordy & Chad Smith||18.77||5.27||$1,100|
|8||Joe Wikoff & Shawn Wikoff||18.64||$1,100|
|9||Ken Walters & Jason Beasley||18.31||$1,100|
|10||Matt Chambliss & Michael Findley||18.25||$1,100|
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.