Last time on our Alabama Bass Trail Team Championship profile, we profiled the 2015 ABT Northern Division Points Champions John Welborn and Wesley Sams. In this edition, we’ll visit with the overall 2015 Alabama Bass Trail Anglers of the Year Nicholas Turner and Joe Lay.
Turner and Lay amassed 1073 points to earn their Anglers of the Year title in 2015. They did so by finishing the year with two top five, and two top 10 finishes Southern Division events; their worst finish of the year was a 33rd place at the Lake Eufaula tournament.
Lay said that their results for the year gave the team great satisfaction. “It really means something to do this well in ABT because of the level of competition we have in the field,” he said. “The notoriety and the quality payback involved really draw the best anglers in the state, and to be standing here now as Anglers of the Year means we’ve really accomplished something.”
He said that the pair works really well together in the boat. “We’re both really versatile anglers; not experts in any one thing, so we can do a lot of different things,” he said. “We can pick up different rods and try to match what the other is doing, or complement each other by doing something different when we need to; it really works well.”
As a bonus for their outstanding year, Turner and Lay will get to compete in the Bassmaster Team Championship on Lake Guntersville in December; it will be the first time for both anglers. “I qualified last year, but it was too far to easily practice and I couldn’t take the time off of work,” said the Mercedes-Benz factory parts man. “This year, I can fit my practice in around preparation for the ABT Championship and another event I’m fishing in Demopolis without affecting my vacation schedule.
“The amount of fishing pressure will be low because of deer and duck hunting season,” he said. “It’s a great lake, with tons of big fish in it. Plus that, we’re fishing for a spot in the Bassmaster Classic; I’m looking forward to being there.”
The sponsors of the 2015 Alabama Bass Trail include: Bill Penney Toyota, the Alabama Tourism Department, Phoenix Bass Boats, Inc., Garmin, Academy Sports & Outdoors, T-H Marine Supplies, Inc., Alabama Power Company, Buffalo Rock, Inc., Jet-Pep, Inc., Tennessee Valley Authority, and Frogg Toggs, Inc., HydroWaveTM, Alabama Foundation Specialist, Boat U.S., LEER, Vicious Fishing, E3 Sports, Inc., Costa Del Mar, Frogg Toggs, Inc., Power-Pole, Window World and Yeti Coolers.