ABT Lay Lake Preview
by Dan O’Sullivan
When it comes to bass fishing history, it’s hard to pick what might be the most historically significant lake in the state of Alabama; but Lay Lake would certainly be in that discussion. The site of too many major events to count, including four Bassmaster Classics; 1996, 2002, 2007 and 2010.
Along with that history in major tour events, it also holds rich position in the short history of the Alabama Bass Trail. In the inaugural season in 2014, Lay Lake was the site of the Southern Division finale; as it is again this year. Once again, Lay Lake holds the keys to not only a 2015 ABT Championship appearance, but also six berths into the 2015 Bassmaster Team Championship at Lake Guntersville in November, but also the 2015 Southern Division Anglers of the Year.
At current, Keith Dees and Tommy Walley have a total of 878 points, and a 24 point lead in the Angler of the Year race over Nicholas Turner and Joe Lay. In fact, the top 10 in the Angler of the Year race is separated by less than 100 points, and the top six teams who are currently in position to earn a spot in the Bassmaster Team Championships are separated by 65 points.
With so much on the line, how can we expect the event to go this Saturday? We spoke to Phoenix Boats pro staffer Greg Vinson of Wetumpka to find out his thoughts on the event. Vinson said that there would be several options for anglers to consider in their game plan.
“There are plenty of things that will produce fish during the Lay Lake ABT event,” said Vinson. “Anglers can run upriver and fish crankbaits and jigs in current, the grass bite on main lake banks can be great for guys throwing frogs or Flippin’ creature baits like a NetBait Paca Punch under a big weight, or there will be the offshore bite on ledges and creek mouths for crankbait and structure jig tossers; there is potential anywhere.”
He also said that teams would not need to limit their focus. “I think that it will take somewhere between 18 to 20 pounds to win, but they won’t have to limit themselves to get there,” he said. “Those totals can be reached by fishing for spots or largemouth or both.”
He did offer one final piece of advice to anglers struggling to find a power bite. “Don’t think that you can’t win on Lay Lake with a Shaky Head and a T-Mac worm,” said Vinson. “There are so many quality spotted bass on the lake that a finesse bite can actually be a strong one this time of the year.”
The final stop of Alabama Bass Trail Southern Division begins June 19 with mandatory event check-in being held Friday evening from 5:00 to 7:00PM at Shelby County Expo Center 86 Argo Road, Columbiana, AL and tournament takeoff and weigh-ins taking place Saturday at Beeswax Landing in Columbiana, AL.
The sponsors of the 2015 Alabama Bass Trail include: Bill Penney Toyota, the Alabama Tourism Department, Phoenix Bass Boats, Inc., Garmin, Academy Sports & Outdoors, T-H Marine Supplies, Inc., Alabama Power Company, Buffalo Rock, Inc., Jet-Pep, Inc., Tennessee Valley Authority, and Frogg Toggs, Inc., HydroWaveTM, Alabama Foundation Specialist, Boat U.S., LEER, Vicious Fishing, E3 Sports, Inc., Costa Del Mar, Frogg Toggs, Inc., Power-Pole, Window World and Yeti Coolers.