Baltzell, Mann win on Alabama River
CAMDEN, Ala. — Winning a bass tournament is always a thrill, especially when its one of the largest in the state and on your home lake, like the one Jeremy Baltzell and Joey Mann won Saturday.
Baltzell and Mann won the Alabama Bass Trail South Division tournament on the Alabama River that was staged out of Roland Cooper State Park in Camden with a five-fish limit that weighed 20.51 pounds. Baltzell and Mann are from Camden.
“It’s always great when you win one, but this one means a little bit more,” Mann said.
Coby Carden and Chris Rutland finished second with 19.89 pounds. Ken Sessions and Greg Sessions were third with 19.24 pounds.
Baltzell and Mann won $10,000 plus $250 for being the highest placing team that wore Alabama Bass Trail apparel during the tournament. Carden and Rutland won $5,000. Sessions and Sessions won $4,000.
Baltzell said he and Mann used a variety of baits, including spinnerbaits, buzzbaits and plastic frogs. “We were junk fishing.” Mann said the best bites came on spinnerbaits.
“We caught our best fish early, then the bite slowed down. That’s when we started throwing a little bit of everything and going from spot to spot trying to catch some more big fish,” Baltzell said. Their catch was anchored by a 5.28 pounds largemouth.
Carden said the early bite was the best for he and Rutland. “We had all our best fish before 8:00, then the bite dropped off.,” Carden said. “We needed one more big fish. We caught some more fish after the bite dropped off, but were never able to cull up again.” Carden and Rutland caught their best fish on spinnerbaits.
Sessions and Sessions also used spinnerbaits to catch their keepers. “We probably caught 40 fish, but they were all about the same size. We only culled eight or nine times,” Ken Sessions said.
Josh Aaron and Derrick Roberts finished in fourth place with 18.58 pounds. Charles Phillips and Mike Norwood finished fifth with 18.45 pounds.
Gregg Giggers and Barry Landrum had the big fish for the tournament, a 6.95 pounds largemouth. Griggers said he caught the big fish on a swim jig. “She smoked it pretty good, It was a fun catch.”
Rounding out the top 10 were David Caylor and Allen Hayes with 17.90 pounds, Ben Etheredge and Patrick Currie, 17.88 pounds, Kevin Dees and Jim Smith, 17.85 pounds, Chad Schroeder and Chase Schroeder, 17.75 pounds, and Adam Waid and Brad Martin, 17.25 pounds.
The final regular season tournament for the South Division is June 7 on Lay Lake in Pell City.
The next North Division tournament is May 31 on Wheeler Lake in Decatur.