Neely Henry Lake Feature Story

Neely Henry Lake Preview with Adam Brown and Greg Diggs

By Jason Duran

The Alabama Bass Trail North Division is holding its third stop at Neely Henry Lake. Teams are competing for the top prize of $15,000. At this stage of the season, teams are starting to focus on the Angler of the Year (AOY) race. In each event, teams earn points based on their finish. With only two events remaining, teams are competing for the AOY trophy and the top spot in the Division. This event is expected to be highly competitive. The weights are usually close when the ABT visits Neely Henry.  Adam and Greg won this event in 2020 with 15.67, and they placed 2nd in 2022. They are aiming for another strong finish in this event.

Adam and Greg both live on the lake and have a good handle on what typically happens this time of year. “The pattern is usually a grass bite with a swim jig being the dominant bait. Everything this week is going to depend on how much weather we get, if the rain holds off and the lake stabilizes and fishes good. However, if we get two inches of rain days before the tournament everything will change, and the event will be really tough.” 

The weather will determine lake levels, which will also determine where teams choose to fish. The lake can be divided into a couple of areas. The lower end of the lake can be crowded, especially from mid-river down. If we get a lot of rain, the creeks will muddy up and take many of them out of play this weekend. Teams will head further south and find stable water and often better conditions. Teams wanting to fish upriver might find the water out of the banks this weekend, which could make fishing tough going north towards the dam. Last week, there were two events: in one, it took 15 pounds to win, and in another event, it took 18 pounds fishing a shad spawn bite. The shad spawn could still hold on this weekend. The middle section of the lake will probably be the most stable area for teams to fish. This will also make the lake fish a little small this weekend, adding to the competition. Teams will all be looking for that cleaner water. They will also find miles and miles of bank grass that often looks good, but they can spend hours fishing it and not find the key areas where the fish are. Teams that put in the practice to locate groups of fish will be productive in this event.

With the abundance of bank grass, teams typically don’t come to Neely Henry without a Swim Jig tied on. Teams will also be found fishing the grass with creature bait and top water frogs. Those teams that locate a shad spawn can catch fish using a chatter bait and swim bait. That lucky team that can find a few fish still spawning could be the team that will have a good kicker fish to make the difference in this event.

The AOY Leader board is posted below. The Father Son team of Fisher Anaya and Ryan Anaya made their move to the top of the leaderboard after their good finish at Wheeler Lake. There is just one event left at Lake Guntersville, a lake that the Anayas have been preparing. They need to survive this event because Justin Bussey and Ben Webb are just 11 points behind them. It’s going to be a tight race on a competitive lake this week. 


1 Fisher Anaya/Ryan Anaya 651

2 Justin Bussey/Ben Webb 640

3 Damien Willis/Tyler Kiker 633

4 Craig Grubbs/Matt Ferguson 628

5 Bryan Dowdy/Kyle Lewellen 602

6 Bret Harrell/Tyler Smart 587

7 Mark Condron/Ted Paisley 576

8 Ty Cox/Cameron Gautney 570

9 Dillon Tucker/Greg Tucker 569

10 John Kellet/Zeke Gossett 560

11 Stephen McAvoy /Josh Butts 557 

Launch & Weigh In is May 18, 2024 at Coosa Landing, 1 Huff Drive, Gadsden, AL 35903. The Pre-Tournament Briefing was streamed via Facebook and YouTube on Monday, May 13, 2024, at 6:00 P.M. There is a replay available. 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