Pickwick Lake Recap Story

February 19, 2024

28.18-pounds of Pickwick Bass for Tracy and Dustin Robbins wins ABT North

By Jason Duran

The North Division of The Alabama Bass Trail began the 2024 season at Pickwick Lake. 225 teams competed for an increased payday of $15,000 for first place. This event was full of changes. Lots of recent rainfall caused the lake to rise a foot a day for the week. On tournament morning the lake was over summer pool levels. The current was very swift, and the wind blew the current in the opposite direction. The ABT teams are the best at fishing tough conditions because every time out, history shows the ABT brings tough conditions. Once again, they proved they are the best. The top ten teams each weighed in over 20 -pounds. The father and son team of Tracy and Dustin Robbins caught a solid 28.18 pounds to win a tough Pickwick day.

Tracy and Dustin Robinson shared, “We spent time in practice targeting grass. There are a couple of different types of grass on the lake. We found hydrilla and spent some time fishing it but didn’t get a lot of bites in practice. Eventually, we found some eelgrass that was scattered around shell beds in 4-5 feet of water. When we saw the scattered eelgrass we focused on that area. We noticed it also tapered off to a point just past there. When we cast in the area, we caught the fish a little deeper in 5-6 feet of water. For whatever reason today the fish pulled up a little shallower.  I think they are getting ready to spawn. The water temp is in the 53-54 degree range and they have moved up since yesterday when I found them. We started our morning with a 6 -6-pound fish and I was just varying my cast and it ended up going way shallower than I cast yesterday. On that first cast, I ended up catching that 6-pounder. From there, we moved up shallower with the fish the rest of the day. We used a Booyah one Knock in ½ oz. The key was letting it tik the top of that grass. We used a 17-pound Seaguar InvizX. Since the water has a little color to it you can get away with the heavier line and makes it a little easier to cast.” Around 9 o’clock Dustin caught the biggest fish of the event at 7.03 pounds. This added $1,000 to their $15,000 paycheck. They also added bonuses for Yamaha Power Play of $250 and a $300 Garmin bonus.

Another father and son team of Isaac and Will Duncan finished second in their first year of fishing the ABT. “This is the lake we fish a lot.” Isaac lives about an hour from the lake and said they only, “spent about a day practicing for this event. We fish the winter bass trail here on Pickwick and those events have been kicking our teeth in. I really wanted to figure out what these fish are doing. So, I took off a day of work in January on a Wednesday to try and figure out what these fish are doing. The next event, we finished second with 20.11 and we kept building on that pattern coming into this event.” Isaac continued, “We knew we needed a big bag for this event, and it was probably going to take 26-28 pounds to win, which it did. The weather didn’t cooperate with us, and I knew we were going to struggle to get the five bites. We caught two off our first spot with one being a 6-pounder and the second a 4-pound smallmouth. The current and the wind were against each other today. Forward facing sonar was key for us today. We had to fish backward from the way we normally would fish because of the conditions. Typically, we would set up facing the current. Today with the wind, it blew the boat in the opposite direction. It also made it difficult to fish against the current. We would normally fish and let the bait flow with the current. Today it went against the current. You had to be efficient with the cast and be on the nose of the fish. We kept the bait selection simple. We used a white straight tail Damiki style bait using forward facing sonar.  We also caught one on a Queen Tackle Jig in the rocks. We tried about 15 areas, and it ended up being about four areas that we could fish efficiently.”  They caught a solid bag of 25.35 pounds and collected a $7500 check.

Mitch Mitchell and Candler Mccollum finished third. “We only spent a couple of days in practice on Thursday and Friday. There wasn’t any need to spend time last weekend due to the water coming up over five feet this week. So, with everything being different, the plan was to hit some things we knew. We fished a couple of spots this morning working our way downriver. We wanted to let the boat traffic die down before we made it to our main areas. The first couple of areas were really one fish areas here and there to try and catch a couple. Those areas didn’t pan out, so we made our run down the river. Our main areas were two spots that we ended up catching fish on. These spots weren’t anything special; they were gravel bars. They were hard to fish today because of the wind blowing so hard. We fished these areas using a shad-colored unnamed swimbait. We only caught six fish today but they were good ones. The largemouth have not been biting here and they haven’t been moving up shallow. We didn’t find any of them moving up in practice. That is the one thing you worry about here this time of year (a team finding largemouth up shallow). Since we didn’t find any up shallow so we targeted smallmouth in the current.” They weighed in 24.55 pounds of Pickwick bass to collect a $6,000 paycheck. 

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