Lake Guntersville Feature Story

Lake Guntersville Preview with Justin Bussey and Ben Webb

By Jason Duran 

The ABT North Division concludes the 2024 regular season with stop number five. The 225 teams are headed to the “The Big G” Lake Guntersville. The lake spans 75 miles from Guntersville Dam to Nickajack Dam. It is the largest lake in Alabama at 69,100 acres. In recent years the lake has turned out some very big bags. It has taken from 24.57 pounds to 32.02 pounds to win an ABT event. The 32.02 win was back in 2014 when the ABT held its first event. 

The Team of Justin Bussey and Ben Webb come into this event leading AOY and holding a 27-point lead. That means the two teams tied for second place Craig Grubbs Matt Ferguson or Damien Willis and Tyler Kicker would need to finish 28 places ahead of Bussey and Webb to win AOY.  While that seems like a hard accomplishment there are 225 places and when it comes to fishing nothing is a guarantee. Lake Guntersville can always throw a curve ball. 

Bussey and Web have had some great finishes this year. They have been the most consistent team, that’s how they are leading AOY. They finished 9th at their home lake Pickwick, 12th at Smith LAKE, 12TH at Wheeler, and 5th at Neely Henry. Against this field of anglers that is a really good feat. However, it is not over yet, and they have had the Goal of AOY in their sights from the start of the year. “We decided to go into every event to not play it safe and try to win every one of them. That really how we have fished all year long.”

When asked about how the lake is setting up this weekend they shared, “It is going to be one of those tournaments where teams can do whatever they want to do because it is kind of fishing that way. There will be teams that find fish up shallow. Teams can also be found punching the grass also up shallow and can even catch them there on a frog. There will also be a typical group of teams that go ledge fishing. There seem to be schools of fish out deep right now that teams can get to bite. The water temp is in the mid 80’s and that makes the options wide open for teams this weekend.”

They break the lake down from upriver down to the dam. “Anything north of Goose Pond would be considered upriver. Teams that go upriver will find stretches that are often known for punching this time of year. Teams can also get off the river and get in the backs of creeks and catch some as well. If that is their type of fishing, they should give upriver a try.  The mid-river makes up the area of Goose Pond down to Seibold. Here teams will find more of a mid-depth style of fishing. There are lots of shallow ledges and we have even seen some fish schooling in this area. The team will typically use a crankbait, swimbait, and bottom baits, and teams will even be punching the mat in this area. The main bridge down to the dam makes up the lower end of the lake.  From the Spring Creek area down to the dam, there will be lots of deeper schools of fish and there will be lots of teams sitting and waiting to get on a ledge spot, and other teams that will sit in one spot all day long and never come off their school of fish. There are shallower fish on this end as well in the Brown’s Creek where teams can fish the grass.”

The team said it was difficult to break it down to a few baits this weekend “We have had 30 rods on the deck during practice. A few key baits could be a big crankbait, swimbait, a jig head minnow for the guys using Live Scope.  The typical offshore baits will include a crankbait, a jig, and the old faithful plastic worm” They predict the weight to win this weekend to be “North of 25 pounds. There will be a lot bags over 18-19 pounds and it will take over 17 pounds to get a check. 

With this being the final event, there are lots of things at stake. The winner of this event will take home over 15,000 plus contingency. Along with the top 75 teams in AOY, they will also qualify for the ABT Championship on Lay Lake in October. The top 9 teams in AOY will qualify for the BASS Team Championship. We will also crown another team AOY for the North Division after this event.

The Current AOY Standings are:


1 Justin Bussey/Ben Webb 861

2 Craig Grubbs/Matt Ferguson 834

2 Damien Willis/Tyler Kiker 834

4 Bryan Dowdy/Kyle Lewellen 793

5 Stephen McAvoy /Josh Butts 782

6 John Kellet/Zeke Gossett 779

7 Fisher Anaya/Ryan Anaya 762

8 Alan Barrett/Tyler Caldwell 748

9 Mark Condron/Ted Paisley 747

10 Delano Green/Delano Green Jr. 744

The Pre-Tournament Briefing was held via Facebook and YouTube on  Monday, June 17, 2024, at 6:00 P.M. Blast off and Weigh in will be held June 22, 2024 Lake Guntersville State Park 1155 Lodge Drive
Guntersville, AL 35976 All 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