2015 Neely Henry Lake Tournament Recap

January 20, 2015

1 Rusty Strickland and Charles Hemm Fish (Large) 1 Rusty Strickland and Charles Hemm Trophies (Large) 2 Greg Tucker and Dillon Tucker Fish (Large)


Rusty Strickland and Charles Hemm Win Alabama Bass Trail Neely Henry
21.02-pound Limit Edges Greg and Dillon Tucker by Less than a Pound

Gadsden, Ala. – March 28, 2015 – There are lakes all across the state of Alabama that give just about any seasoned competitor a chance to win.  A strong angler can locate winning fish of lake like Guntersville, Pickwick and others.  Neely Henry, the Coosa River impoundment with the city of Gadsden at the heart of it is a lake that sets up better for a local to prevail.

Rather; it usually sets up better for locals.

The weather patterns leading up to the second event of the Alabama Bass Trail Northern Division at Neely Henry were warm and calm which made for talk of sight fishing and plentiful shallow water opportunities.  But, as can happen with a bass tournament, the conditions changed.  Cold fronts blew in, and the high and low temperatures dipped nearly 30 degrees the day before the event.

Many team’s patterns suffered, but one team managed to take a calculated risk that paid off.  The team of Rusty Strickland and Charles Hemm; who typically focus their fishing on Guntersville and Wheeler, found an area upriver that held groups of spawners they could target.  “We found a large backwater area up river that had laydowns on the bank, and we believe the fish were spawning there,” they said.  “We found fish upriver and downstream, but these were better and hoped they would still bite with the weather change.”

The pair reported picking up their Flippin’ rods rigged with 1/4-ounce sinkers and a pair of creature baits.  They chose black with red flake Missile Baits DBombs and Reaction Innovations Sweet Beavers.  “We had 14 to 15-pound limit at around eight o’clock this morning, and culled up several times throughout the day,” they said of their 21.02-pound winning weight. “We’ve won tournaments before, but it’s really cool to have won an Alabama Bass Trail event.”

The pair earned $10,000 for their victory, as well as another $7,000 in the Phoenix Boats First Flight contingency program.

The second place finishers Greg Tucker and Dillon Tucker are not locals either, and while they got little time to practice the lake, they stuck to their strengths and made it work.  “We went down river about 15 miles and tried to maximize our fishing time,” said the team.  “We caught fish on a white spinnerbait early, then switched to a white swim jig as the afternoon warmed the water temperature a bit.  The shoreline water willows were key to every bite we had.”  Team Tucker produced 20.22 pounds and took home $5,000 for their day’s work.

There was a tie for third place with the teams of Dalton Bobo and Lonnie O’Neal and Brian Morris and Brian Morris and Brian Jett.  Both teams weighed 19.84 pounds and each took home $3,500.

The team of Jarrid Traylor and Jon-Caleb Wright finished in 334d place with 13.96 pounds, but their bag included a 6.61-pound largemouth that proved to be the Mountain Dew Big Bass of the tournament.  The fish was worth $500.

The top 10 in the standings were as follows below.  For complete standings visit the results page at

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.  The event was presented locally by Greater Gadsden Area Tourism; visit them on the web at

Place Name Fish Weight Penalty Big Fish points Winnings
1 Rusty Strickland/Charles Hemm 5/0 21.02 0.00 0.00 225 10000
2 Greg Tucker/Dillon Tucker 5/0 20.22 0.00 0.00 224 5000
3 Dalton Bobo/Lonnie ONeal 5/0 19.84 0.00 0.00 223 3500
3 Brian Morris/Brian Jett 5/0 19.84 0.00 6.25 223 3500
5 Brock Mosley/Danny Mosley 5/0 19.42 0.00 0.00 221 2000
6 Jonathan Canada/Bo Hunter 5/0 19.41 0.00 0.00 220 1000
7 Mitch Mitchell/Jordan Green 5/0 19.31 0.00 4.47 219 900
8 Damien Willis/Mark Steward 5/0 19.07 0.00 0.00 218 800
9 Adam Bain/Kris Colley 5/0 18.20 0.00 6.12 217 700
10 Andrew Warbington /Taylor Teague 5/0 18.04 0.00 6.20 216 600