2017 Lake Eufaula Tournament Feature Story with Ronnie and Alton Stilwell

Decatur, Ala. March 15, 2017 – One could never say that the early season Alabama Bass Trail events have not been remarkable.  Between the up and down weather conditions, and the fact that we have yet to hit any of our traditional “big fish” lakes on the schedule, and the winning weight has been over 25 pounds at each event – remarkable.

Welcome to our first traditional “big fish” event of the season, and once again, the weather has thrown us all for a loop.  Despite the incredibly cold weather that has hit the state, the team of Ronnie Ray and Alton Stillwell say that it won’t affect the fishing much, and certainly not the outcome.

“We’d would expect the winning weights to be between 25 to 30 pounds Saturday,” said the team.  “This has happened several times in the past after the fish moved up and once they are established in the shallows, we don’t expect them to move too far; it will still be a big weight event.”

They said that they expected the fishing to largely be a shallow water affair.  “We’d expect that the winning team will be fishing in the grass with a swim jig or some other shallow reaction bait,” they said.  “But, there is a chance that some of those later transitions fish might just be moving in and some of the brushpiles in 10 feet of water could play as well.”

They did say that the only change they would see happening is the cold conditions might mean anglers need to slow down.  “We’ve seen it get colder than it has been after the fish moved up, and the adjustment we had to make is to slow down,” they reported.  “The fish were there, we just had to resort to Flippin’ in order to trigger strikes.”

Traditionally, the lower end of Lake Eufaula has produced the heaviest stringers early in the year, but they said not to count out any area this year.  “Because we’ve had a really warm winter, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the upper ends of the lake produced well,” they said.  “The whole lake really is an option, unlike it has been in recent years.”

All teams are required to be present at the pre-tournament registration and rules meeting on Friday March, 10 from 5:00PM to 7:00PM at the Lakepoint State Park Ballroom 104 Old Highway 165 Eufaula, AL  36027.  Takeoff and weigh-in will happen at Lake Point State Park 104 Old Highway 165 Eufaula, AL 36027.

The sponsors of the 2017 Alabama Bass Trail include; Bill Penney Toyota, Phoenix Bass Boats, GP8 Oxygen Water, Garmin, Academy Sports & Outdoors, Wind Creek Hospitality – Wetumpka, Wind Creek Hospitality – Montgomery, Alabama Tourism Department, SCA Performance,  T-H Marine Supplies, Wedowee Marine, AFTCO,  Fish Neely Henry, Lew’s Fishing, Crossed Industries, YETI, E3 Apparel, TVA and Alabama Power.

For information about Alabama Bass Trail and for complete tournament standings visit