GADSDEN, Ala. — For Jimmy Mason and Lance Walker have been looking forward to fishing at Neely Henry Lake since the Alabama Bass Trail Tournament Series was announced.
“We’re excited about going to Neely Henry. It’s an awesome lake,” Mason said.
The Alabama Bass Trail Tournament Series North Division makes a stop on Neely Henry in Gadsden April 5.
Mason, of Rogersville, Ala., and Walker of Counce, Tenn., who have a reputation for catching big smallmouth and largemouth bass from Tennessee River lakes, savor every opportunity to fish at Coosa River lakes.
“We love fishing at Neely Henry The Coosa River strain spotted bass are amazing fish,” Mason said. “They are big and strong and fun to catch. There’s also plenty of big largemouth in the Coosa River lakes. The Neely Henry tournament is going to be great.”
Mason also like Neely Henry because it provides opportunities to catch big fish in Mason and Walker will be looking for another strong finish at the tournament. With a sixth place finish at the season opener on Lake Guntersville and fifth place at Pickwick Lake, Mason and Walker are second in North Division points for the season. Jamie Smith and Michael Rains, second at Guntersville and Pickwick, are leading the North Division points race. Michael Stevens Jr. and Paul Arnold are third.
Mason likes the opportunity to target spotted bass, largemouth or both at Neely Henry.
“We will fish for spots and largemouth in practice and then decide which one to focus on or to go for both during the tournament,” Mason said. “I really like going to lakes where we have multiple options for the species of bass that we can catch.”
At the Pickwick Lake event, Mason and Walker brought five smallmouth bass, weighing 21.74 pounds, to the scales. Other anglers caught only largemouth bass or a combination largemouth and smallmouth along with a few spotted bass.
“The Coosa River spots fight hard like the Tennessee River smallmouth,” Mason said. “They really pull when you hook them. About the only difference is one jumps and the other dives. The smallmouth are known for their acrobatics, especially when they get close to the boat. The Coosa River spots do the opposite and like to try to go deep into the shadow of the boat when you try to land them. You have to really be careful to keep them from breaking you off right at the boat.”
Mason expects it will take around 22 pounds to win at Neely Henry.
“Depending on the weather, I think we could see several bags over 20 pounds weighed in,” he said.
Launch and weigh-in for the Neely Henry tournament at at Coosa Landing, 200 Lake Circle, Gadsden.