Lewis Smith Lake

Recap Story

By Jason Duran

The second stop of the Alabama Bass Trail North Division recently took place at Lewis Smith Lake. A total of 225 teams participated in the competition, vying for the top prize of $15,000. The event witnessed a new champion being crowned with over 20 pounds of Largemouth being caught at Smith Lake. It was an exciting day when two teams caught over 20 pounds, demonstrating the exceptional quality of Smith Lake. Teams were successful in catching fish all over the lake, including the backs of pockets, the middle of creeks, and even out deep on the main lake. It proved to be an excellent weekend for catching quality fish at Smith Lake.

On Saturday, during the weigh-in at Smith Lake, Craig Grubbs and Matt Ferguson were the third team to cross the stage with a weight of 20.26 pounds. Smith Lake is renowned for its spotted bass fishery, where teams usually focus on locating spotted bass, mixed in with a couple of big largemouths, to win the competition. During their practice sessions, Grubbs and Ferguson only caught one largemouth in four days. They spent a lot of time looking and targeting fish out deep, but most of their solid fish were located up shallow. They found a bunch of spotted bass and felt good about their practice, believing they could do well and catch around 16 pounds of spots. On the tournament day, they started by fishing shallow and targeting spotted bass in the same areas they found them in practice. They spent the day in Ryan Creek, fishing up to 12-13 feet of water, which was the first deep water before the spawning flats. Due to recent rains, the water warmed up and became muddy which caused the spotted bass to move out deeper and the largemouth to move in. They did not catch a single spotted bass, but caught all largemouths, including a 7.01-pound kicker for big fish, that earned them an additional $1,000. They fished their areas using a Megabass Jerkbait and a Rapala DT 10, with the big fish caught on a Jerkbait. In the end, their total winnings exceeded $20,000.

Steve Jacques and Jordan Wiggins are experienced fishermen who have been fishing on the lake for a long time. Jordan, who grew up fishing here, has always done well. The duo caught 20.03 pounds of fish, which would usually be enough to win. However, when the scales closed, they found themselves in second place, with only one team ahead of them. They received a check for $7500 as a result and a extra $2,500 Phoenix Pay Day Bonus. During practice, they realized that the lake was fishing tough. As a result, they made some adjustments and went shallow, exploring areas with 2 feet or less of water. Last week, they were fishing in about 4 feet of water, but the rain caused them to move even shallower. They know that the fish are ready to spawn at any time now. They used a chatterbait, a buzzbait, and a worm to catch fish. They also realized that they had to slow down a little and use the worm more. Steve caught the three biggest fish they weighed in on a worm. According to Steve, "Any day you catch 20 pounds of fish at Smith Lake is a good day."

Wesley Sams and Craig Daniel caught 18.10 pounds of fish during their fishing trip. They started the morning by fishing in a spot where they had previously found some bedding fish. Wesley mentioned that Craig is known as the best largemouth bed fisherman on Smith Lake. He also said that when you are fishing behind someone like Craig, it's important to have the net ready and to pitch around while hoping for some luck. The two of them got off to a great start that morning, which Wesley admitted was not normal. Craig then shared that on their third cast, he used a white fluke and twitched it a few times, when a 2.70-pound spot blew up on it. He finally got the hook set and the fish in the boat. Wesley was fishing behind him and also got a bite. He caught a 4.70-pound fish followed by a 3.70-pound fish. They caught fish everywhere they went all day long, but they couldn't find the large mouth they were looking for. Their efforts earned them a $6,000 payday for finishing in third place.

The top ten standings are below for a complete list of standings please visit: https://www.alabamabasstrail.org/lewis-smith-lake/results/

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 https://www.youtube.com/@alabamabasstrailtv