2016 Neely Henry Lake Tournament Feature Story

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2016 Alabama Bass Trail Neely Henry Lake Preview


Decatur, Ala. May 16, 2016 – When it comes to catching fish, Neely Henry is one of the best bodies of water in the State of Alabama.  In the inaugural year of the Alabama Bass Trail, Neely Henry produced the heaviest total weight for the season because catching limits was the norm for the vast majority of the field.

That’s not to say that quality fish aren’t taken on Neely Henry however; weights that eclipse 20 pounds are typically what it takes to win a team tournament from spring through the fall.  One angler that has spent a lifetime targeting the black bass on Neely Henry is Bill Mayo, of Southside, Ala., and he and his partner Walt Roberts of Guntersville, are a threat this week on Neely Henry.

We asked Mayo what he thought of the upcoming event this week.  “The weather that we are supposed to get through here this week are going to make it interesting,” said Mayo.  “If things were stable – as they have been for the past couple weeks – it would have been tough.  However, the rains we are expecting are likely going to make this place bust wide open.”

They said that the rains will bring increased flow from the Weiss Lake and Neely Henry dams, which will position the fish in more readily accessible areas.  “The grasses along the banks are certainly going to play a major role even more now,” he reported.  “The current and dirtier water is certainly going to position the fish tighter to cover, so they should be easier to locate.”

He expects that all manner of reaction baits will produce fish, as will some close cover tactics.  “A crankbait or spinnerbait should produce bites, as will topwaters, frogs and toads,” he said.  “But, Flippin’ presentations with jigs and plastics could also produce well.”

As for the weights he expects to see, he feels Neely Henry will produce.  “I would be surprised if 22 pounds doesn’t win the event, and it should take 17 to 18 pounds to place in the top 10,” he said.  “It’s going to take a full bag of largemouth or at least a mixed bag to do well here, a small limit of spotted bass won’t likely get the job done.”

Anglers are expected to register on Friday night at the Convention Hall in Downtown Gadsden located at 331 S. 1st Street, Gadsden, AL beginning at 5:00PM, and the takeoff and weigh-in of the fourth stop of the 2016 Alabama Bass Trail Northern Division will be held Saturday at Coosa Landing located at 3 Huff Drive, Gadsden, AL.

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, 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