Boat docks were the key for Brannon Hurst and Mike Freeman winning Logan Martin Lake
By Jason Duran
The Alabama Bass Trail is back and Covid-19 has made for an interesting time in our country. Stay at home orders, quarantines and social distancing are now all common practice in every home. The lack of social interaction has taken its toll on many people. The Alabama Bass Trail worked closely with the state of Alabama to make things as safe as possible in this new way of life. The ABT team worked hard to adjust everything including: no pre-tournament meeting, required face coverings, limited contact during boat check, a trailered weigh-in for social distancing of anglers and staff, and no crowds at weigh-ins. These adjustments allowed for the Alabama Bass Trail to be back in action and still keep everyone as safe as possible. At the close of scales on Saturday from Lake Logan Martin, Brannon Hurst and Mike Freeman took home the win with 17.64 pounds.
The team of Hurst and Freeman made about a five minute run to fish boat docks in between 1 – 10 feet of water. They were pitching a homemade white Jig on boat docks when they discovered this pattern late in the day while fishing a tournament last weekend, and they were able to build on that pattern this week. Like many other anglers, they were expecting a shad spawn to be a factor in this event, and though they weren’t really targeting the shad spawn, they did catch a fish off one dock that was possibly a shad spawn fish.
The keys for them were “trying to flip as many boat dock piers as they could in a day and skipping the jig as far back into the shade of the dock as they could where the bass were.” They also said “you have to have a lot of places now because there are so many people fishing.” They targeted areas from Stemley Bridge to the dam.
Part of their success came from their ability to “fish well together as a team. For example, they both don’t fish the jig the same way; one might fish it deep and slower while the other will fish a little faster and higher up in the water column.” The team has been fishing together for over 25 years, and for the past four years, they have fished the ABT South Division.
The Dock and Jig pattern produced a mixed bag of spots and largemouth weighing in at 17.64 pounds while fishing docks from 1 foot to 10 feet. They have both fished Logan Martin their whole lives and agree that winning here was “unbelievable and incredible.” Mike said, “it is hard to win against this level of competition, and it really feels awesome.”
Their homemade jig set up was paired with Lew’s Reel, Fitzgerald Rod and 20 lb Seaguar fluorocarbon line. They Claimed the Garmin and Wedowee Marine bonuses which added to their $10,000 pay day.
The first-year team of Rickey Dunn and Trent Davis came in second place. Rickey is Trent’s father in-law, and they have been fishing together for about 10 years. This year they decided to fish the ABT and had a really good day at the second stop. They made a run up to Choccolocco Creek throwing topwater and spinnerbaits and targeting seawall and shallow points in the sun. Like many other anglers, the first thirty minutes of their day was productive. Their second spot was up around Broken Arrow Creek, and from there, they ran small cuts that seemed to produce fish at every stop. Later in the day they worked their way back down river to their final stop on a boat dock where Rickey caught one in practice the previous week. On this dock they both caught a keeper. Trent caught one over four pounds that was possibly the one Rickey caught in practice and released. That four pounder helped them move up enough to secure second place with 15.84.
The third place team of Todd Murphy and Kopeland Rosser caught a limit within five casts. They made a run upriver towards the I-20 bridge to a spot that Kopeland found in practice. It was a real flurry for about thirty minutes with about 15-20 fish catches with them sometimes doubled up. Todd described this spot as a flat and “can’t really explain why these spotted bass were stacked up there.” That flurry of fish catches lasted about 30 minutes, but they left that spot with a limit of spotted bass- two of them weighing over three pounds. From there they went to another spot and caught two largemouth in back-to-back casts. When the wind picked up later in the morning, they said it helped their fish set up on the cover better.
The baits that were productive for them were a Spook in bone color, black and blue swim Jig, swimbait and a drop shot. They said they stuck to the basics and just went fishing.
Overall, anglers were really excited to see the ABT family back out on the water. Next week the North Division gets back in action on Weiss Lake.
For a full list of results, including the top ten standings, visit the link below.
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.
The sponsors of the 2020 Alabama Bass Trail include: Phoenix Bass Boats, Bill Penney Toyota, Garmin, Academy Sports & Outdoors, America’s First Federal Credit Union, Sweet Home Alabama, Alabama Tourism Department, Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association, T-H Marine Supplies, Wedowee Marine, Strike King, Buffalo Rock, Mountain Dew, Jack’s, Fish Neely Henry Lake.com, Alabama Power Company, Lew’s Fishing, Berkley, YETI, Power Pole, Big Bite Bait Company, E3 Apparel and Hydrowave.
For information about Alabama Bass Trail and for complete tournament standings visit www.alabamabasstrail.org