2016 Alabama Bass Trail
Jeremy Headley and Anthony Goggins Win 2016 Alabama Bass Trail Lay Lake
Heavy Bags Dominate Top of the Leaderboard on Historic Coosa River Fishery
by Dan O’Sullivan
Columbiana, Ala. March 12, 2016 – While it may not have the legendary big weight reputation of Lake Guntersville, Lay Lake, the historic Coosa River bass fishery in Central Alabama showed just how good it can be despite favorable conditions taking a turn the day before the second Alabama Bass Trail Southern Division event of the 2016 season.
Warm, stable conditions had been the norm for the week leading up to the March 12, 2016 event, but as can happen, things took a turn as the final practice day wore on and into the day of the event. Despite the fact that the conditions brought fresh, dirty water into the system, and the need to open the floodgates on the dams to deal with runoff, the team of Jeremy Headley and Anthony Goggins managed to bring a 25.29-pound limit of Lay lake largemouth to the scales and take home the trophy.
Headley and Goggins banked on the fact that they had located numbers of large females that had moved into lower lake spawning areas, and the fact that they knew how to adjust to the falling water levels. “We focused on the areas that we knew held big spawning females shallow, and adjusted to where we thought they may have moved to with the conditions,” said the team. “We found them with moving baits in practice, and once the pressure hit, and the water started falling, we started looking in the grass beds just outside those areas; it took us a little while, but we connected with them again.”
While they did not have a keeper in the livewell by midmorning, they rotated through creeks and pockets on the lower end of the lake until they started getting bites. “I was throwing a crankbait in the front of the boat and would get a movement or a missed strike and Anthony would flip a black and blue Beaver behind me,” said Headley. “Most of the fish we weighed today came on the Beaver, but the crankbait helped us locate which grassbeds held active fish.”
The pair earned $10,000 for their efforts and the win allowed them to climb to second place in the Southern Division Angler of the Year standings.
The team of John Canada and Bo Hunter used a dual strategy to finish second in the event. The pair went to the bottom of the lake to try and get a big largemouth bite or two early, then ran upriver to target heavy spotted bass as the current turned on. “We knew we had a couple hours before they turned the current on, so we down lake and tried for a couple big bites early,” said Canada. “I got a couple good ones on a black and blue swim jig early, then we ran up to the tailraces so Bo could do his magic with a swimbait; our plan worked.”
Canada and Hunter brought a mixed bag to the scales that weighed 22.82 pounds. Their performance earned them second place and a check for $5,000.
The team of Keith Youngblood and Ty Youngblood weighed 13.31 pounds for the day finishing 45th, their limit was bolstered by the Mountain Dew Big Bass of the tournament, an 8.08-pound largemouth. They earned the $500 Mt. Dew Big Bass award.
The top 10 in the standings are below – the complete standings can be found at: https://www.alabamabasstrail.org/tournament-series/ll-results/
|Place||Name||Weight||Big Fish Wgt||Winnings|
|1||Jeremy Headley/Anthony Goggins||25.29||7.58||$10,000|
|2||Jon Canada/Bo Hunter||22.82||0||$5,000|
|3||Clay Harris/Bradley Dean||21.26||8.04||$4,000|
|4||Dustin Connell/James Connell||21.18||0||$3,000|
|5||Buck Mcdonald/Larry Mcdonald||19.60||0||$2,000|
|6||Caiden Sinclair / Philip Jones||18.93||0||$1,000|
|7||Erick Sommers/Tommy Pegues||18.76||0||$900|
|8||Jeff Richey/Howard Richey||17.99||0||$800|
|9||Chad Schroeder/Charles Phillips||17.85||5.12||$700|
|10||Jeston Anderson/Robert Robinson||17.71||5.67||$600|
Next on the slate for the Southern Division is the Mobile – Tensaw River Delta on April 9, 2016.
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, E3
For information about Alabama Bass Trail and for complete tournament standings visit www.alabamabasstrail.org.