Tournament Series Feature Story
By Jason Duran
The Alabama Bass Trail South Division heads down to the Bass Capitol of the World, Lake Eufaula. This week we catch up with the VP of Big Bite Baits Scott Montgomery. Scott is a local and understands what is going on from not only a lake perspective but also what baits are popular this time of year. “It’s probably going to be a lot different for the anglers. I would say more different this year than it has been in the past. One key difference is the lake is running about a month behind schedule, I think it is just because of the cold winter we have been having.”
When talking about some of the key factors on Lake Eufaula anglers can expect to find he shared, “There is a big factor I think is going surprise most of them when they get here and lot of them didn’t realize, that the water was down about 4 ft all last summer and into the winter while they were working on dam. By doing that, all the grass and the water willow and other stuff that was there died back because it wasn’t in the water.” So, there’s not as much vegetation for the anglers that normally come here to power fish and do really well in March. There’s not as much for them to the actual throw at. So, they’re riding around and looking and looking and going, ‘Where’s the grass?’ it is there it is just at that old shore line just under the water”
This tournament might have a little bit of a local advantage “for the guys that come over here a lot and know where some of the grass is. He will probably catch some fish out of it. The problem is you just can’t see it because the water’s up over it. So, the average guy that just shows up here once a year, he’s probably gonna be lost when it comes to that” he said.
When talking about areas of the lake that are productive this time of year he said, “the lower end of the lake, it always kicks off before the upper and the lake. For some reason, it always has on this lake, and you know, it’s got to shine a little bit a month ago or so and all the pressure’s been down there. This area has had a lot of pressure, it has had a lot of major events here, and it is there’s more people fishing down there ever has been. So, the lower end, with all the big, big tournaments here that had the pros here that actually taught people how to fish down there, has really put a lot of pressure on that south end. And so those fish are harder to catch now. Much harder they used to be.
He shared this year that the upper end might be primed and ready, “I think is the ABT might be getting it at the perfect time because, the upper and the lake has not fired all year long as anglers have watched and probably followed, some of the other tournaments it never did fire on that end. So, I think with the cold winter, everything has held it behind. So now the upper end is ready and the ABT might be getting it a perfect time where they all might storm to the bank all at one time. That’s just what I’m hoping will happen. Anglers need to pay attention it could be because, the real famous places the duck blind, the witches ditch and all those places that are always great areas have not done anything this year. So, it’s a possibility that could be really be a big factor in this tournament.”
There are a few key Big Bite Baits that will be very effective on lake Eufaula, “the best key player that has ever been on this lake is what we call a Fighting Frog. A lot of people use it for a jig trailer, a swim jig trailer or a Texas rig in tree piles. If the waters dirty Hematoma is the color and if it’s clear the color is Tilapia” He shared a couple more baits like the Kamikaze Craw, it’s very good. swim jig trailer. The colors include white, black blue or sapphire blue” And then we have, what we call the Tour Swim Sorm, which is basically a swimming worm, A lot of people catch them on it this time of year. For anglers looking to target fish on the bed he recommends, the War Mouth that Big Bite Baits makes, after all the years it still is an excellent bed fishing bait” he said.
He shared a quick weight prediction. “I think somebody might possibly catch 25 to 26 pounds but I do think it is going to be different from years past when the ABT would have 15 to 20 bags over 20 pounds. I don’t see that this year. I do see a lot of 15 to 17 pound bags, but I just don’t see a bunch over 20 this year, Unless, it really does fall at the perfect time Saturday” He does believe it is probably the warmest day we have had this year. So, we could be looking at the perfect storm.” He said “You got the new moon coming. This warming up and the fish are moving up. A lot of people think this fishery is dead, because of all this no grass and other stuff. But the bass have just hung out real deep in the river and this weekend could be the time they all just make a huge push to the bank.”
This tournament will continue to operate with social distancing guidelines. All anglers should make sure they have checked text messages and emails for the latest information and changes made to keep everyone as safe as possible during this time. There was a virtual meeting posted on the ABT Facebook Page past Monday night.
All friends and family are welcome to attend this event, bring lawn chairs and practice social distancing. Everyone can watch the live weigh-in and over 4 hours of on-the-water live coverage on the ABT Facebook page and the ABT website. The launch and weigh in will be held at Lake Point State Park 104 Lakepoint Drive Eufaula, Al 36027.
The sponsors of the 2021 Alabama Bass Trail include: Phoenix Boats, Academy Sports, Alabama Power, America’s First Federal Credit Union, Berkley, Big Bite Baits, Bill Penny Automotive, Black Rife Coffee Company, Buck N’ Bass, Anheuser – Bush, Inc., E3 Sports Apparel, Fish Neely Henry Lake.com, Garmin, Hydrowave, Jack’s, Lew’s, Mtn Dew, Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association, Power-Pole, Strike King, Sweet Home Alabama, T-H Marine, Wedowee Marine, YETI Coolers.