Alabama River - Cooter's Pond

Feature Story

Alabama River Preview with Brian Adamson and Ryan Lloyd

By Jason Duran

It is time for stop number four of The Alabama Bass Trail South Division. This event will be held at the Alabama River and launch site will be Cooter’s Pond. Teams will be fishing for a guaranteed first place prize of $15,000. Fishing along the Alabama river can be very competitive. River conditions and water levels often are the key factors in this event. Brian Adamson and Ryan Lloyd were the 2023 winners with 16.99 pounds. We caught up with them this week to give a preview of what to expect for this event.

Adamson and Lloyd credit last year’s win to getting two bites later in the day. They made some crucial adjustments that led them to their winning weight.  One of those bites was a 5.15 pound kicker. Those fish made a huge difference to the weight they brought to the scales. They spent a good portion of that event fishing around wood and fishing areas nobody else would.

They have spent some time practicing for this event this week and shared that the fishing is tough currently.  This event will be Largemouth vs Spotted bass. The teams upriver will mainly be targeting spotted bass and catch them fishing main river wood using a shaky head and a spook. The largemouth fishermen will be fishing grass and shallow wood.

The biggest factor in this event is what the river does and how high or low the water gets. In years past when the ABT has been there, we have seen the water levels at flood stage in the morning and by the afternoon the lake levels are way down. This river can change overnight. It has been said that teams won’t know what to do till they see the water level at the ramp the morning of the event. Currently, the lake level is predicted to be stable and normal which would probably be a first for an ABT event here. The team shared, “River flow and river level will be the key. The river will determine if the spotted bass bite. Spotted bass need the current.  The river height will determine if the largemouth bite. A full pool would really help the large mouth. For the last couple days, it has been going up and down and hopefully it will stabilize. The team that makes the adjustment with the water changes will be successful. The water can change hour by hour, and teams need to pay attention to that.”

The next big factor will be “who gets the big bite. The team that gets the one big bite will win this event. It will separate them from 15 to 18 pounds. Currently, there is still a little shad spawn going on but it is not everywhere on the lake. Most of the lake is post-spawn.  With this lake being so tough, it benefits a lot of teams because they have to fish by the seat of their pants and can easily find the junk fish along the river by just going fishing.” Teams that are coming here for the first time “will find a target-rich environment. The backwaters have a lot of grass to fish, and the river has a lot of wood that teams can just go fish their strength and be successful.”

They shared a little of their key baits for this weekend. “Teams looking to target largemouth  bass should use a swim jig, frog, and some type of flipping bait. For those teams looking to catch spotted bass, they should have a spook, a shaky head, and a spinner bait tied on.  Their weight predictions are a little above last year's winning weight. They predict it to take around 17  to 18.5 pounds to win and around 13 pounds to be top 10.”

The team is currently sitting in 6th place in AOY. They have a goal to win Angler of the Year, and they feel they are sitting in a good place to do just that.  This is the point in the season where teams really pay attention to the leaderboard with only two events left.

The current AOY top 10 is:

PLACE                   ANGLERS                                               POINTS

1               Mark McCaig/Tim Hurst                             648

2               Tyler Malone/Cade Law                              631

3               CJ Knight/Anthony Goggins                     630

3               Jeff Jennings/Mitchell Jennings            630

5               Lucas Lindsay/Brendon Holt                 627

6               Brian Adamson/Ryan Lloyd                     623

7               Rob Lee/Steve Winslett                               615

8               Noah Godwin/Cole Godwin                    585

9               Terry Tucker/Jeremy Green                       581

10            Eric Farnum/Cameron Gibbons          580

Blast Off & Weigh In is May 11, 2024 at Cooter’s Pond, 1844 Cooter’s Pond Road, Prattville, AL 36067. Pre-Tournament Briefing was held via Facebook and YouTube on Monday, May 6, 2024, at 6:00 P.M. There is a replay available. Friends and family are welcome to attend this event, bring lawn chairs, and see some of the best bass teams in the country cross the stage. Everyone can watch the live weigh-in and over 4 hours of on-the-water live coverage on the ABT Facebook page, YouTube, and the ABT website.

The 2024 Alabama Bass Trail Sponsors Include: Phoenix Boats, AMFirst, Landers - McLarty Chevrolet, McGraw - Webb Chevrolet, Rapala, VMC, Crush City, Buffalo Rock, Academy Sports & Outdoors, Jack's, Garmin, Alabama State Parks, Halo Fishing, Snag proof, NetBait, Bait Fuel, TH Marine Supplies, Power-Pole, Pro Guide Batteries, American Trailer Rental, Yamaha, Anheuser-Busch, Big Bite Baits and