by Dan O’Sullivan
Decatur, Ala. February 16, 2016 – The 2016 season of the Alabama Bass Trail is about to get underway with the Southern Division opener on Lake Martin Saturday February, 20 out of Alexander City’s Wind Creek State Park. Along with the beginning of the season, anglers have a lot to look forward to in 2016.
With the dawning of the new season, Alabama Bass Trail has announced some new and exciting things to help further promote the series, including the fact that along with the already popular live streaming of the weigh-ins, each tournament will be produced and broadcast on Fox Sports Southeast television channel beginning in July of 2016. Additionally, two new lakes will be on the schedule for 2016, Weiss Lake near Centre, Ala. is new on the Northern Division schedule, and the aforementioned Lake Martin has been added.
With the season kickoff being this weekend, and the entire state has received a tremendous amount of rain over the past month or so, we wondered what the conditions on Lake Martin will be for the event. We sought out Myles Palmer to get his take on the conditions. Palmer, who has fished the Northern Division the past two seasons, lives on the lake and has worked as a fill-in striper guide on Lake Martin in the past
Palmer said that he would expect to see the fishery broken into two distinct types for the event. “The water level is dirty upstream from all of the rains,” he said. “But, down lake, around Kowaliga, the water is still fairly clear, so anglers should be able to fish their strengths.”
With that said, Palmer has some very distinct feelings about how the event will pan out. “I think there will be a shallow bite in dirty water for largemouth, and still a deep bite for spotted bass,” he said. “With the stained water and the warming trend that’s expected this week, I would expect the weights to be strong.”
His prediction is that two or three teams will bring in right around the 20-pound range for their limits, and that 14 to 16 pounds would end up being just in the money. “I’d expect that a few teams will get on that shallow largemouth bite and do pretty well,” he said. “Some will focus on spotted bass, and while that will produce check cashing limits, I wouldn’t anticipate anyone winning with spotted bass.”
He recommended anglers have squarebilled crankbaits, spinnerbaits, a swim jig and one for heavy cover tactics tied on. “I think one of those four, or a combination of them are going to be whatwins the event,” he said. “I think covering water and fishing every visible piece of cover in an area is going to be the best way to win.”
He also suggested that anglers be prepared for changing conditions. “All of the rains have had the lake levels fluctuating,” he said. “It could come up six inches one day, but be down a foot the next.
“If they are aware, and make the right adjustments, this could be a good event,” he said in conclusion.
The sponsors of the 2016 Alabama Bass Trail include; Bill Penney Toyota, Phoenix Bass Boats, Garmin, Academy Sports & Outdoors, Wind Creek Hospitality – Wetumpka, Wind Creek Hospitality – Montgomery, Alabama Tourism Department, SCA Performance, Mt. Dew, Boat US, T-H Marine Supplies, AllState, TVA, Alabama Power, Fish Neely Henry Lake.com, Lew’s Fishing, Frogg Toggs, Crossed Industries, Alabama Foundation Specialist, Costa, YETI, Leer, Costa Del Mar and E3.
For information about Alabama Bass Trail and for complete tournament standings visit www.alabamabasstrail.org.