Lake Eufaula Recap Story

By Jason Duran

Tomlin and Foster win ABT Lake Eufaula with 22.97

The South Division of The Alabama Bass Trail made stop number five at Lake Eufaula, “The Big Bass Capital.” There were lots of factors at stake in this event as 225 teams competed for $15,000 for the first place prize.  The Angler of the Year race was tight with only 4 points separating first and second place. Teams were also hoping to finish in the top 75 in AOY to make the ABT Championship. The TOP 9 Teams will go to the BASS team Championship. The team of Jason “Blake” Tomlin and Justin Foster caught 22.97 and took home the win on Lake Eufaula. 

New Champions on the ABT, Tomlin and Foster have had a very successful season on the ABT. They finished in 2nd place in the previous event on the Alabama River and 4th place at Logan Martin. Three top-five finishes are hard to do against the strong competition of the ABT. These finishes also place them in 5th place in the AOY. They have worked hard this year, and it paid off in this event. They started the morning by catching fish on a frog in a creek they located some fish in during practice. “The first Creek we started in, we missed one or two and they broke one off and we were having a rough start to the morning. We ended up catching a five-pounder on a frog and a couple of other small ones. Then we made a move and pulled up on our second spot, and it went down really quick. We caught a 3 pounder, fished a little bit longer, and then caught a 6.20 and right after that caught a 6.07. We caught all these fish within 50 yards all within 20 minutes. The key for us was punching the grass as far back and as deep as we could. We would use a 2 oz weight, throw the bait straight up into the air, and feed it line to make it punch through the grass. When you see it, you would say this will never work, and then when it works you are really surprised. Even while we were doing it, we would say this won’t work. Then we caught another one so we kept fishing around, and they just kept coming. We went from our first spot and only had 11-pounds, and on our second spot we upgraded to almost 23 pounds just 20 minutes later. The key was using a 2 oz weight on 80 lb. braid with 2 bobber stoppers and an Owner hook with a BIG Bite Baits BFE in Hematoma.” They caught 22.97 pounds of Lake Eufaula bass for the Win and $15,000. With this finish, they qualified for the ABT Championship and BASS Team Championship. 

The Second-place team of Dustin Wood and Anthony Goggins caught 22.36 pounds and won $7,500.  Dustin served as the Alternate for this event. CJ Knight had a family commitment that kept him from fishing this event.  The ABT allows for an alternate for one event when the alternate is named before the start of the season.  Before this event, CJ and Anthony had solid finishes. They finished in 8th at Lake Jordan and Lake Martin, 16th at the AL River, and 32nd at Logan Martin. These finishes had them at the top of the AOY leaderboard going into this event with just 4 points to spare. They were leading over the Current AOY Champions from last year, Rob Lee and Steve Winslett, who continue to be very tough competition on the ABT.  Anthony spent a few weeks practicing for this event. His son had a high school event here last week, and they both worked hard to locate fish to prepare for both events for the last three weeks. “We started out this morning on a spot and caught about 12-pounds fishing using Strike King 10XD crankbaits. This was a spot that we knew we could catch a limit on. We could have just fished there and sealed up the AOY, but we made the move to another area that was better in the afternoon. It is just a hard spot on a point. I am not sure why; maybe it’s the wind or something, but they just set up better in the afternoon.  We fished it using a Carolina rig. We caught a 5-pounder and 4-pounder that culled out a couple of fish that helped us upgrade to the 22.36.” With the 2nd place finish, it helped the team hold on to the AOY lead. Anthony said, “It is really a big deal to get this AOY. CJ and I have been really close the last couple of years. We were neck and neck with Steve and Rob last year, and fell up short. But this year we had a really good start to the year. We just wanted a shot to win coming into Lake Eufaula. It is still just a shock that we won AOY.” When asked about a key moment in the year that helped them win, Anthony shared, “Last year at the Championship was key for us. Finishing second to Terry Tucker, that just lit a fire under us. He is like a hero of mine. I hate it about his health issues, and I have been praying for him. But that was a win we wanted a long time, so we put in a lot of extra work this year to get this AOY.”

The third-place team was Noah and Cole Godwin. These two brothers are one of the most successful teams on the ABT. In recent years, they won two events in the same year. They have had many top 5. In each event, they are a team to watch and expect to do well.  In this event, they caught 20.62 pounds and collected a $6,000 payday. In practice, they “did a lot of idling around looking for schools of fish. We located about 11 schools, and we were able to get on the third one today that we tried stopping on. We didn’t catch anything there, so we made a move to our fourth spot. There we caught about 14 pounds in the first 10 minutes and continued to upgrade till about 11 o’clock. We never had a big bite but just solid fish.” They describe this spot as “a little hump that falls off to the creek channel. We found it yesterday and fished it a little bit, caught two quickly, and left. We were surprised to see that nobody else found the spot. The key baits were crankbaits and worms. We spent as much time here as we could to find fish. We were boat 74, so we knew we needed something off the beaten path to be successful and we found that.” This finish placed them in 3rd place in the AOY Standings and qualified them to the BASS Team Championship and the ABT Championship. 

The top 9 in AOY are below these teams qualified for the BASS Team Championship:


1 CJ Knight/Anthony Goggins 1064

2 Rob Lee/Steve Winslett 1027

3 Noah Godwin/Cole Godwin 1016

4 John Pollard/Tim Watkins 1010

5 Jason Tomlin/Justin Foster 1006

6 Tyler Malone/Cade Law 992

7 Brian Adamson/Ryan Lloyd 991

8 John Frank/Mark Womack 989

9 Jeff Jennings/Mitchell Jennings 984

The top ten standings are below for a complete list of standings please visit:

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