Lay Lake Feature Story

Lay Lake Preview with Noah and Cole Godwin

By Jason Duran

The Alabama Bass Trail South Division is ready for stop number two at Lay Lake. 250 teams are fishing for the $10,000 first place price.  Two-time ABT winners brothers Noah and Cole Godwin have had much success fishing the ABT with two wins in 2020 in just their second year fishing the ABT.  A couple more top five finishes, including a second-place finish in the Championship last year, makes them one of the teams to beat this weekend at Lay lake.

Noah shared, “there’s been a lot of big spots caught lately. In recent weeks there have been a lot of 16–18-pound bags of spots weighed in. I think there’s a lot of big fish that are going to the bank that are getting ready to spawn.  I talked to a guy earlier this week that said that he’s seen three 7 pounders on bed today. So, I’m thinking that you’ll see a lot of real big fish caught off bed this weekend. I think you’ll see a lot of big spots caught, but I don’t think you can win with just spots. You’ve got to catch some of those, 4 to 7 pound largemouth to win.”

When asked about what stage the largemouth are in Noah said, “I don’t know what the deal is. Honestly, the last week or two they’ve been really hard to catch for us. I do think that we’re going to see a lot of them this weekend on bed. I was down there Sunday, and I’ve seen a lot of males that had made beds. They didn’t have any females with them yet, but I’m thinking that you’ll see a lot of females up there with them by this weekend since we just had a full moon. I think that full moon is going to push some of those females up there.”

When breaking down the lake, they believe “there will be a lot of teams in the mid to upper end of the lake. They will catch good limits of spots, but we don’t think you can win with just spots. The mid-section of the lake holds the bigger fish, and they are going to pull up first because it tends to warm up a little bit quicker than the upper end. On the upper end of the lake, teams will mostly be fishing the current for spots as well. On the south end of the lake, you’ll see a lot of teams swimming a jig, flipping grass, or using a frog. There could possibly be some big fish caught doing that.  Throughout the lake you’ll see a lot of different patterns, because the fish are somewhat in a pre-spawn to spawning pattern. Teams will catch them on several different patterns because there are fish in in several different stages.”

Cole feels like this weekend could possibly be a “good bed fishing opportunity for teams. There will be many teams that will quickly catch a limit of spots that range around 16 to 17 pounds, but they will need to add that kicker fish. If they have located that kicker fish on bed, they should act quickly to catch it. Teams that are bed fishing will mainly be using soft plastic baits like a Texas rig with a little craw or a wacky rig or a drop shot. Teams that are fishing the current could possibly be using a fluke or even catch them using a top water like a spook.  Teams that can mix it up and catch spots and large mouth will be the team that can win this weekend.”

Noah and Cole feel like “it will probably take 22-24 pounds to win this event with a mixed bag of 4-pound spots and a kicker or two of big, largemouth. It will probably take 13 pounds to get a check.”

Pre-Tournament Briefing was held via Facebook Live and YouTube on Monday, March 6, 2023, at 6:30 P.M. Anglers should check text messages and emails for latest tournament updates.

The Launch & Weigh In will be held March 11, 2023, Beeswax Landing 245 Beeswax Park Road Columbiana, AL 35051. Launch will be at safe day light. 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 sponsors of the 2023 Alabama Bass Trail include: Phoenix Boats, Academy Sports, Alabama Power, America’s First Federal Credit Union, American Trailer Rental Group, BAJIO, Big Bite Baits, Bill Penney Automotive, Black Rifle Coffee Company, Anheuser – Bush, Inc., E3 Sports Apparel, Fish Neely Henry, Garmin, Jack’s, Lew’s, Mountain Dew, Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association, Power-Pole, Strike King, Sweet Home Alabama, T-H Marine,  Yamaha, YETI Coolers.