John Canada and Bo Hunter Win 2016 Alabama Bass Trail Mobile / Tensaw River Delta
Coby Carden and Chris Rutland Finish in Runner Up Spot for Second Consecutive Year
by Dan O’Sullivan
Mobile, Ala. April 9, 2016 – The Mobile / Tensaw River Delta presents unique challenges for the Alabama Bass Trail Southern Division field every time the tour makes its stop here. In a year where much of the state of Alabama has seen high rainfall totals and flooding, the 2016 edition of the ABT stop presented even more dramatic challenges.
With the river system being over its banks and the current moving at a pace that would make most marathon runners proud to attain, the field of 140 teams found the conditions difficult and potentially worrisome. However, as usually happens with anglers of this caliber, the field figured a way to make quality bass bite.
The pair that did it best on this warm spring day in Southern Alabama was the team of John Canada and Bo Hunter; who have become regular participants in the ABT check collection line. Despite the fact that they had little experience on the Mobile / Tensaw River Delta, the pair produced 16.66 pounds of spotted bass to take home the victory.
“I honestly don’t really know what to say right now, I’m actually a little surprised,” said Hunter on behalf of the team. “I’ve literally spent two days practicing this place, and was just hoping to catch enough to stay solid in the points; this is a nice surprise.
The pair reported running more than 60 miles to the tailrace of the Claiborne Dam intending to target spotted bass with moving baits. When they arrived, there were competitors from their event, as well as other anglers already there fishing the majority of spots they wanted to. “We decided to make a move downstream about four or five miles and try something else,” they said. “We ended up finding better quality spotted bass where current and wood met; and we caught them on a variety of 1/2-ounce jigs and chunk style trailers.”
Canada and Hunter said they use several different styles and colors of jigs, and caught as many as 25 bass getting to their winning weight. Their efforts earned them the $10,000 winner’s purse as well as the $250 Alabama Bass Trail Gear bonus for wearing ABT logo gear during the day. It also catapulted them into the lead in the Southern Division standings by a 20 point margin of Jeremy Headley and Anthony Goggins.
For the second year in a row, Coby Carden and Chris Rutland finished in the runner up position at this venue, however, while they said that they would like to get over the hump, it was better than they had expected after practice. “Finishing second here again is kind of like taking your sister to the prom two years in a row, but it’s better than we had thought it would be,” said Rutland on behalf of the team. “We fished for two days with very little to show for it down river, and decided we’d go upriver to fish for spotted bass.”
The pair went to a stretch that Rutland had caught two quality spotted bass on the only other practice day they had, and caught three on a homemade jig on a shallow hard bottomed bar, and then four other fish in heavy current with a 1-ounce Davis Bait Company spinnerbait and a SPRO Fat Papa 70 crankbait. They weigh 13.86 pounds and earned the $5,000 prize for second place. “I feel good about it,” said Rutland. “It really turned out to be a better event than it could have been; it was a good day.”
Rex Chambers and Brent Crow finished third in the event with 13.38 pounds and earned the $4,000 prize for that spot, as well as the $1,000 bonus for being the highest finishing Freedom Marine / Phoenix Boats customer in the event.
Wayne Cox and Jimmy Harrison finished the event in fourth place with 12.79 pounds. Their limit was anchored by a 5.61-pound largemouth that earned the Mountain Dew Big Bass of the tournament bonus. That $500 prize brought their total earnings to $3,500 for the event.
The top 10 in the standings are below – the complete standings can be found at: https://www.alabamabasstrail.org/tournament-series/mtrd-results/
|1||Jon Canada/Bo Hunter||16.66||$10,000|
|2||Chris Rutland/Coby Carden||13.86||4.05||$5,000|
|3||Rex Chambers/Brent Crow||13.38||$4,000|
|4||Wayne Cox/Jimmy Harrison||12.79||5.61||$3,000|
|5||Hunter Mckinley/Micah Easterling||12.29||$2,000|
|6||Scott Ashley/Taylor Ashley||11.50||$1,000|
|7||J.t. Hodges/Donald Conway||11.17||5.26||$900|
|8||Larry Bullock/Roger Caldwell||10.73||4.3||$800|
|9||Samuel Fish/Justin Hamner||10.71||$700|
|10||Jimmy Cook/Randall Sims||10.19||$600|
Next on the slate for the Southern Division is the Alabama River at Miller’s Ferry in Camden, Ala. on May 14, 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 Apparel.
For information about Alabama Bass Trail and for complete tournament standings visit www.alabamabasstrail.org.