2015 Lay Lake Tournament Recap

January 20, 2015

For Immediate Release

Coby Carden and Chris Rutland Win Alabama Bass Trail Southern Division Finale at Lay Lake
Nicholas Turner and Joe Lay Claim Southern Division and Overall Angler of the Year Title

Screen Shot 2015-06-21 at 7.15.30 PMColumbiana, Ala. – June 20, 2015 – The final regular season event for the 2015 Alabama Bass Trail was held on Lay Lake at Beeswax Creek Park in Columbiana, Ala.  As with any tournament trail, each event carries significance because there is so much on the line.  However, in this final event, there was so much to be finalized that it held a certain air of importance.

With not only the results of the individual event to be determined, but also the Southern Division Angler of the Year Race, the overall Alabama Bass Trail Anglers of the Year race would be finalized, as would the teams heading to the Bassmaster Team Championship in the fall would also be named.

The immediate concern for the day was the Lay Lake tournament.  With so much in cash to be handed out, the anglers would battle it out on a Lay Lake that saw some changes in the overall conditions.  While changes often mean disaster for anglers, they meant something more to Coby Carden and Chris Rutland; who won the event with 24.64 pounds.

“We practiced for three days total and did everything in very typical Alabama summer conditions; hot, sunny and still,” said Rutland.  “We planned on spending a little time shallow early, and then heading deep as the sun came out, but the conditions allowed us to stay with our shallow pattern longer.”

When tournament morning brought overcast that lasted until nearly lunchtime, the pair hit the grassbeds.  “We spent most of our morning Flippin’ and big jig around the grass,” they reported.  “We had planned on only getting an hour or so up there, but the overcast and wind allowed us to do that a lot longer.” After catching a limit shallow, they ventured out deeper and managed to cull with a football jig, a deep crankbaits and a Shaky Head.

Carden and Rutland; who won the Lay Lake event in 2014, became the first team to win multiple Alabama Bass Trail events.  “It means a lot to win in this trail,” said Rutland.  “There are a lot of good anglers in this thing, and to be able to win here feels really good.” The pair earned $10,000 and a $7,000 contingency bonus from their boat company for the win.

The team of Wayne Cox and Jimmy Harrison were the only other team to eclipse the 20-pound mark on the day.  QTheir 20.12-pound limit was anchored by a 7.17-pound largemouth that was good enough to earn the Diet Mountain Dew Big Bass bonus of $500.  That, along with their second place finish earned them $5,500 for the day.

The team of Nicholas Turner and Joe Lay had a strong tournament at Lay Lake and were able to overcome the 24 point deficit they faced heading into the tournament in the Southern Division Anglers of the Year standings to Keith Dees and Tommy Walley.  Turner and Lay finished seventh at Lay Lake with 15.39 pounds while Dees and Walley were only able to produce four keepers.

Turner and Lay’s high finish gave them a total of 1073 points for the season, which also earns them the title of overall Alabama Bass Trail Anglers of the Year.  That title comes with a bonus of their entry fees paid for the 2016 ABT season and $5,000.

The top 10 in the standings are as follows: the complete standings can be found at and the Southern Division season standings can be found at

Place Team Fish Penalty Big Bass Total Weight Points Winnings
1 Chris Rutland/Coby Carden 5/0 24.64 0.00 6.10 225 10000
2 Wayne Cox/Jimmy Harrison 5/0 20.12 0.00 7.17 224 5000
3 John Pollard/Dallas Weldon 5/0 17.54 0.00 0.00 223 4000
4 Jonathan Ccanada/Bo Hunter 5/0 17.11 0.00 0.00 222 3000
5 David Sneed/Clint Carter 5/0 15.76 0.00 0.00 221 2000
6 Kyle Mabrey/Allen Yarborough 5/0 15.47 0.00 0.00 220 1000
7 Nicholas Turner/Joe Lay 5/0 15.39 0.00 0.00 219 900
8 Scott Montgomery/Les Bratcher 5/0 15.38 0.00 0.00 218 800
9 Shane Horton/Brandon Horton 5/0 15.30 0.00 0.00 217 700
10 Foster Bradley/Britt Lemley 5/0 15.22 0.00 0.00 216 600


As with last season, each of Alabama Bass Trail’s tournaments will feature the live streaming video, but new for the 2015 season will be a live leaderboard so that friends, families and fans can keep up with each event.  Follow along on

The sponsors of the 2015 Alabama Bass Trail included Bill Penney Toyota, the Alabama Tourism Department, Phoenix Bass Boats, Inc., Academy Sports & Outdoors,  Garmin, T-H Marine Supplies, Inc., Costa Del Mar , Boat US, LEER Truck Caps and Tonneaus, Alabama Power Company, Garmin VIRB Elite, Buffalo Rock, Inc., Jet-Pep, Inc., Tennessee Valley Authority, Power-Pole, Frogg Toggs, Inc., AFS, Window World, E3 Sports Apparel, HydroWaveTM, Vicious Fishing, Navionics, Hydrowave, and Yeti Coolers.