Finishing 4th in the North Division qualified Adam Bain and Kris Colley for the Bassmaster Team Championship on Lake Hartwell at Green Pond Landing out of Anderson, SC on December 11-14. They are the focus of this week’s Alabama Bass Trail Bassmaster Team Championship profile.
Adam and Kris grew up only a few towns apart, so they soon learned of each other because back then there weren’t many guys their age showing up for Saturday tournaments. Even though they took notice of each other, they didn’t fish together. The team got their start fishing together about 10 years ago after once again meeting over dinner with some friends. The discussion that night turned to how each needed a new partner to fish with. Both come from fishing families having always found a partner within their family. At the time Adam’s grandfather and fishing partner was having some health issues and Kris was fishing with his uncle. After dinner they decided to give it a shot by teaming up and expanding a little bit.
Before the ABT they fished in any and every tournament they could. Kris lived on Neely Henry and Adam was living on Logan Martin, so anything on the Coosa River (especially those two lakes) was where they began working together. There was a time they thought if they didn’t fish a tournament on Saturday that the sun may not come up on Sunday. This season was spent fishing together all the time.
When the ABT started, it was a natural move for them to just sign up and put their skills to the test. They had experienced much success locally and were ready to make that move. “Our time together had really grown more into a friendship rather than a partnership.” The first year in the ABT was a learning for opportunity for them. “The ABT causes you to get out of your comfort zone to fish and learn new lakes.” Adam remembers the first event at Guntersville and said he spent about three days practicing without getting a bite. Kris was able to catch a big one during the event, but Adam never even got a bite during that event. “We have a love/hate relationship with that place, and mine tends to be more of a hate,” recalled Adam.
The hate relationship with Guntersville was soon overcome when they moved on to fish Pickwick. For Adam this was a unique event, and he candidly says looking back it was funny. He had a previous engagement that Saturday evening in Auburn with his now wife, and he knew there was no way he could stand her up for this event. His plan was to fish until noon and then head down to Auburn. Thinking he was keeping her in the loop, he called Kay to tell her he was going to cut out about noon, but she quickly said, “Oh no! You’re not.” With that news he decided he would go up and practice to help get ready for the weekend stating that “back then the rules weren’t really clear on all that- even him leaving wasn’t clear.” He jokingly said he and Kay argued about whether or not he could leave at noon right up to the meeting. Needless to say, he didn’t win that argument, so he headed down to Auburn with plenty of time to spare. Fortunately, the story does not end there… Kris went out solo not having much knowledge of Pickwick and caught 25.11lbs to win! Adam teases, “it’s kind of like karma for Kay not letting him fish.” To make it even sweeter, the ABT still cut him a check for his half of the winning even though he was in a tux in Auburn. He and Kay still have a great relationship, and he’s thankful for all she does for the ABT.
The win on Pickwick was not their only win on the ABT. Last year they won the ABT Championship on Neely Henry and were awarded the Phoenix Boat. The year before they fished second in the ABT championship. “The ABT tournaments are so tough- not only do you have to be on the fish, you need to have the day of your life to actually win one.”
As a team they have a little experience fishing the BASS Team Championship having previously qualified through another trail. This year they are thankful for their 4th place AOY in the ABT and are looking forward to Hartwell. With no experience on Hartwell they have just begun talking and preparing for the event. They have spent time fishing other lakes in the area, and as time draws closer, the plan is to reach out to some friends and see what info they can put together to get them started. The shallow dirty water Coosa River type fishing is one of their strengths, but they aren’t sure that pattern will play well over there. Like many other teams they too feel it’s going to set up like Smith Lake. Of course, the weather will play a factor with it probably being cold, but with the quick temperature changes we have in the south who knows- it could even be warm. The plan is to find a section of the lake the they feel holds big fish, concentrate on that area and do their best. Their goal is to always win every event they fish and the BASS Team Championship will be no different for these former ABT Champs.
Smith Lake 64th
Wheeler Lake 43rd
Weiss Lake 14th
Pickwick Lake 7th
Neely Henry Lake 6th
Won the ABT Championship at Neely Henry
Pickwick- Kris Won fishing by himself
Fished North Division in 2014, 2015, 2018, 2019
Fished South Division 2016, 2017