Tournament Series Recap
Jimmy Miller and Mark Stillwell Win 2019 Alabama Bass Trail Lay Lake
Chris Rutland and Coby Carden Secure Second Angler of the Year Title
by Dan O’Sullivan
June 15, 2019 – Eufaula, Ala. – Every once in a while, a lake hits a cycle and a single tournament shows exactly what the lake is capable of producing. Known as “The Big Bass Capital of the World,” Lake Eufaula lived up to its billing when the Alabama Bass Trail’s Southern Division closed out its 2019 season on Saturday.
Often, with an impressive winning weight, the field will struggle, but that wasn’t the case at Eufaula. Not only was the winning weight heavy, but the field produced 24 limits weighing in excess of 20 pounds, and it required 18.30 pounds to collect the final paycheck in 40th place.
Leading the way was the team of Jimmy Miller and Mark Stillwell, who produced a massive 29.83-pound limit to take the win, and claim the $10,000 first prize. The pair said that they burned a lot of gas and fished hard to complete the victory. “This lake is 70 miles long, and we covered most of it,” they said. “We had 52 gallons of gas today, and when we got back here, we had four gallons left; we’re tired, but feel great.”
The winning pair said that they primarily used pearl colored Big Bite Bait Company Suicide Shad swimbaits rigged on 3/8 to 5/8-ounce jigheads to catch their fish on offshore structure. “We caught a few fish on a Strike Zone Edgebuster spinnerbait, but most of the fish came on the swimbait,” they said. “This is the biggest win we’ve ever had, it feels really great to be here.”
The team of Marty Giddens and Josh Stracner produced a 26.38-pound limit to finish second for the day and earn the $5,000 runners up prize. They reported fishing midlake in six to 15 feet of water with a trio of baits to catch their limit. “We caught them on a crankbait, jig and swimbait mostly, but our biggest fish came on a 1/8-ounce Shaky Head and worm,” they said. “We lost a couple of good fish, but they wouldn’t have helped us overtake the winners; we did all we could and are happy with the results.”
Ashley Brasher and Derrick Moore finished the day in third place with 26.27 pounds, collecting $4,000 for their efforts.
The $500 Mountain Dew Big Bass award of the tournament went to the team of Jonathon White and Chris Payne. The 8.31-pound beast anchored their 20.97-pound limit, which was good for 20th place in the final standings.
The Top 10 Standings are below, for complete standings, visit: https://www.alabamabasstrail.org/tournament-series/le-results/
|Place||Anglers||Fish Weighed / Dead Fish||Weight||Penalty||Big Fish||Winnings|
|1||Jimmy Miller / Mark Stillwell||5/5||29.83||6.61||$10,000|
|3||Ashley Brasher / Derrick Moore||5/5||26.27||6.84||$4,000|
|4||Brian Jones / Barry Jones||5/1||24.82||1.00||5.68||$3,000|
|6||Mike McCullers / Steven Welcher||5/5||23.84||6.22||$1,500|
|7||Charlie Williams / Michael Smith||5/5||23.71||7.29||$1,100|
|8||Brian Adamson / Ryan Lloyd||5/5||23.58||$1,100|
|9||Cody Harrell / Ryan Schroeder||5/5||23.43||5.23||$1,100|
|10||Mark Mott / Justin Mott||5/5||23.27||$1,100|
In the Angler of the Year race, the team of Chris Rutland and Coby Carden entered the event leading the standings following their win at Lay Lake in the previous Southern Division event in May. They came into the event needing to produce an 87th place finish or above to secure the title. They reported struggling to find quality fish, but managed to scrape together enough shallow fish to produce 17.26 pounds, and finish the day in 48th place; securing their second Alabama Bass Trail Anglers of the Year title.
In doing so, they become the first team to repeat as Angler of the Year, and the pair said it is a great feeling. “We worked really hard this year because we felt like we had something to prove,” they said. “Cody having surgery last year made it tough on us, and we weren’t fishing as good as we usually do, so we ratcheted up the effort; it feels really good to have earned this against this crew; it’s a very tough field.”
The Top 10 in the Angler of the Year Standings are below, for complete, season standings, visit: https://www.alabamabasstrail.org/tournament-series/south-division-standings/
|2||Ken Walters/Jason Beasley||1030|
|3||Foster Bradley/Nick Harris||984|
|5||Rob Lee/Steve Winslett||969|
|6||Mark McCaig/Tim Hurst||944|
|7||John Pollard/Dallas Weldon||937|
|8||Myles Palmer/B.J. Barnett||920|
|8||Marty Giddens/Josh Stracner||920|
|10||Mike McCullers/Steven Welcher||901|
The sponsors of the 2019 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, Buffalo Rock, Mountain Dew, Jack’s, Fish Neely Henry Lake.com, Alabama Power Company, Lew’s Fishing, AFTCO, YETI, Power Pole, Big Bite Bait Company and E3 Apparel.
For information about Alabama Bass Trail and for complete tournament standings visit www.alabamabasstrail.org.