Lake Guntersville Recap Story

Fisher and Ryan Anaya 26.34 win ABT Lake Guntersville
By Jason Duran

The North Division of The Alabama Bass Trail made stop number five at Lake
Guntersville. Lake Guntersville is the lake where the ABT held its first event in 2014.
The weight in that event was 32.02 which is still the largest weight ever in any ABT one-
day event. In that event, there were 16 teams with over 20 pounds. The ABT has
returned to this lake many years, and it typically takes in well over 20 pounds and even
over 30 pounds in recent years to win this event. This year, teams were expecting the
bite to be good and hoping to reach that 30-pound mark to win. However, the father-
and-son team of Fisher and Ryan Anaya weighed in 26.34 pounds for the win. A very
tight competition day on Lake Guntersville with 22 teams weighing in over 20 pounds, it
took 17.82 just to get a check in 40 th place. The lake is fishing well, and many teams
were able to catch numbers and multiple quality 4-pound plus fish in this event. In this
event, the top three finishing teams were all father-son teams, a unique finish just on the
heels of Father’s Day weekend.

The winning team of Ryan Anaya and Fisher Anaya weighed in a total of 26.34 pounds.
During their practice, they aimed to find fish by going off the beaten path. They spent a
considerable amount of time trying to locate schools of fish that were not in the usual
spots. They referred to these elusive schools as “sneaky schools.” It took them hours to
scan the lake, but they were able to locate seven of these schools. Their game plan for
the event was to reach their preferred spot first. Fortunately, no one else had arrived
there, and the fish seemed undisturbed as they had just arrived. The team was able to
catch fish easily until around 10 o’clock when it became more challenging. They caught
approximately 40 fish from this particular school and secured a limit within the first few
minutes of the day. Although they had located a few more schools, they decided to
focus on preserving their catch and weigh in early at 12:30. The team dealt with the
challenge of fishing in an area covered with eelgrass. They had to wait for opportunities
when the eelgrass moved aside and created openings for them to cast into. By using a
bait by Rapala Crush City Customs called the Freeloader, they were able to catch the
quality bites needed. Fisher cast this bait into the holes in the eelgrass and reeled it
back slowly to the boat, while Ryan used a new bait called the Janitor, which will soon
be released at ICAST. This was a worm rigged Neko style. Fisher mentioned, “Every
event I have fished, I have caught a bass on the freeloader, and the only tournament
I’ve done badly in is Neely Henry and that’s because I couldn’t throw a Freeloader. It
has won me lots of money this year and has me sitting in 3rd place in the Toyota series and leading the BFL in points using the Crush City Freeloader.” They rigged theFreeloader on a jighead minnow and used Live Scope to help find the fish. As a result oftheir win, they received a $15,000 cash prize and a Garmin bonus of $300. Additionally,they qualified to compete in the ABT Championship and moved into 7th place in theAOY, qualifying them to fish in the BASS Team Championship as well.

Lance Walker and Cole Walker Caught 26.14, enough for second place. They spent
their whole practice from Tuesday till Friday afternoon scanning for schools of fish. They
only made four to five casts a day. Cole shared, “My first cast on Guntersville was a
10.03 pounder, and I caught an 8 pounder. My best five in practice weighed 39 pounds.
This place is remarkable. We tried our best to search for schools offshore. Being from
Pickwick, our strong suit is to find fish offshore. We were fortunate to find 6-7 schools
offshore that nobody else found, We bared down and just rotated them. Fortunately, 3 of
them paid off. We found schools that had over 200 fish that were all in the 3- 4-pound
range. The better schools had only 30-40 fish in them. There is one place that has over
40 pounds sitting on it right now in just five fish.” The key for them was to use many
different mapping software to locate the unique areas on the lake that most don’t find
when fishing during these events. To catch these fish, their key bait was a Jenko CD 25
Crankbait. This bait has a much tighter wobble, and this helps on pressured fish. They
also used a Carolina rig to fish these areas. They also came in early to protect the
resource. “It’s amazing to see the quality of fish we caught on a lake that gets all the
fishing pressure that it does.” They shared they caught over 50 fish throughout the day.
With this second-place finish, they collected a $7,500 payday, finished 10 th in the AOY,
and also qualified to fish the ABT Championship on Lay Lake in October.

Roman Calvert and Shannon Calvert caught 25.39. They had a good practice and “it got
better each day. We started out idling just trying to find schools and locate as many as
we could. On the last day of practice, we found a couple of sneaky schools that ended
up being what we needed. These were areas you can’t see on the map. You must idle
to find them. They were setting up better yesterday than they did today. Typically, we
could pull up and catch a few of them. These schools were located around ditches and
grass edges in 8-20 feet of water. We used a Rapala Dt 20 crankbait, a big worm, and a
Crush City Freeloader. We had a few backup spots that were community holes that we
tried to get on early, but it didn’t happen. We caught a bunch of fish all day long.” With
this third-place finish, they collected a $5,000 payday.
The team of Justin Bussey and Ben Webb took home the title of AOY for the North
Division. They were the most consistent team and ended up with the most points

throughout the year. They came into this event leading by 27 points over second place.
With the AOY title, they collected a $5,000 bonus and a $2,500 Garmin Bonus, and they
fish the ABT for free next year. Their worst finish this year was 17 th . This also qualifies
them for the BASS Team Championship and the ABT Championship. They also fished
one of those “sneaky schools” using a jig and a Rapala Crush City Cleanup Craw.
The Top 9 Teams in the AOY qualified for the BASS Team Championship:
1 Justin Bussey/Ben Webb 1079
2 Damien Willis/Tyler Kiker 1046
3 Craig Grubbs/Matt Ferguson 1029
4 Bryan Dowdy/Kyle Lewellen 1001
5 Fisher Anaya/Ryan Anaya 987
6 John Kellet/Zeke Gossett 978
7 Delano Green/Delano Green Jr. 964
8 Stephen McAvoy /Josh Butts 932
9 Mark McCaig/Tim Hurst 930

The top ten standings are below for a complete list of standings please visit:
Download and listen to the ABT Podcast on your favorite Podcast app by searching for
“Alabama Bass Trail Podcast.”  The Podcast is released each week on Tuesday. 
For Live coverage of this event and others visit

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