2018 Alabama Bass Trail Alabama River Preview
with John Pollard and Dallas Weldon and Chad Smith and Gentry Gordy
by Dan O’Sullivan
June 22, 2018 – Decatur, Ala. – This week marks the culmination of the Alabama Bass Trail’s Southern Division schedule for 2018. In past years, there was a little drama at the top of the leaderboard, but it was primarily to see which team would claim the overall ABT Anglers of the Year title.
This year is a totally different story.
Two teams sit atop of the Southern Division leaderboard tied for the AOY lead. John Pollard and Dallas Weldon share that position with Gentry Gordy and Chad Smith with 813 points for the season. Only one competition day remains to see who will claim the coveted Anglers of the Year prize, and which teams will punch their tickets to the ABT Championship, as well as the Bassmaster Team Championship.
The teams present an air of confident, but with so many variables in the possibilities at Cooter’s Pond, there is some slight hesitation to their predictions of grandeur. While the teams have strategies in their minds, not knowing whether Alabama Power will run water, or the conditions in general will mean big weights; or a grind.
Smith and Gordy have a broad perspective. “Our plan is going to be to start shallow,” they said. “We’ll hit the areas that the sun gets up on first and then move with the shade as the morning progresses; we will probably end up offshore as the day continues.”
Pollard and Weldon think the shallow water bite will be the best option for the event, but they are not 100-percent sure what they are going to do. “We are scratching our heads a little bit until we see the conditions,” they reported. “They’ve (Alabama Power) been running water early, and turning it off midmorning, so we’ll just have to wait and see what happens as the day goes on.”
Both teams said that they expect the Flippin’ bite to play a role, but individually they added spinnerbaits, swim jigs and deeper crankbaits to the mix. They both concur that the winning weight will eclipse the 17-pound mark with a mixed bag of largemouth and spotted bass, but Smith and Gordy said long periods of running water could push the total to closer to 20 pounds.
With so many variables to consider, one thing is certain, by tomorrow evening, the ABT Southern Division AOY title will be settled, and someone will be holding the bragging rights for the next year.
The final event of the 2018 Alabama Bass Trail Southern Division season takes place at the Alabama River at Cooter’s pond happens June 23 out of Prattville, Ala. The mandatory pre-tournament registration and angler information meeting happens on Friday June 22 at Doster Memorial Community Center located at 424 South Northington Street in Prattville, AL, with registration happening from 5:00 P.M. – 6:30 P.M. and the pre-tournament meeting beginning at 6:30 P.M. Takeoff and weigh-in will occur at Cooter’s Pond, 1844 Cooter’s Pond Road in Prattville, AL.
The sponsors of the 2018 Alabama Bass Trail include; Phoenix Bass Boats, Bill Penney Toyota, Garmin, Academy Sports & Outdoors, America’s First Federal Credit Union, Wind Creek Hospitality – Wetumpka, Wind Creek Hospitality – Montgomery, Alabama Tourism Department, T-H Marine Supplies, Wedowee Marine, Buffalo Rock, Jack’s, Fish Neely Henry Lake.com, Alabama Power Company, Trapper Tackle, Lew’s Fishing, AFTCO, YETI, and E3 Apparel.
For information about Alabama Bass Trail and for complete tournament standings visit www.alabamabasstrail.org