Tournament Series Feature Story
2018 Alabama Bass Trail Lake Guntersville Preview
with Hadley Coan and Scott Keeling
by Dan O’Sullivan
March 06, 2018 – Decatur, Ala. – By this point of 2018, the Northern Division of the Alabama Bass Trail was supposed to be heading into its second stop of the season at Lake Guntersville. However, with the deluge that the State of Alabama was pounded with last month postponing the scheduled season opener at Pickwick Lake, this weekend marks the Northern Division’s kickoff event of 2018.
Guntersville has twice served as the first event of the season in 2014 and 2015, but the events happened when the lake was far from its peak season. This year, with a pair of unseasonably warm weeks followed by average conditions the past couple of weeks, this week might turn out to be the collision of heavyweights that has long been expected at ABT events on the Tennessee River fishery.
Longtime Alabama Bass Trail competitors Hadley Coan and Scott Keeling echoed those thoughts said that they expect the lake to produce. “This could really end up being a big weigh tournament,” they reported. “The fishing has been pretty good on the lake with the good weather; the winning weight should be pretty big, and it could be a fairly big weight to get a check.”
Another factor they said would contribute is that the water conditions are improving. “There has been a lot of water going through the system, so the water has a stain to it, but it has been clearing,” he said. “The time of the year, the water level and stained, clearing water should mean that just about everything should work, and fish will probably be caught from the bank to 20 feet deep.”
Coan and Keeling said that typical springtime presentations should be the norm this weekend. “Swim jigs, lipless crankbaits, spinnerbaits, crankbaits and Flipping will all likely play,” they reported. “Swimbaits have become very popular the past several years, but the stained water clarity may make that bite ineffective; but “may” is the key word in that statement.
“Any way you look at it, the winning weight should push between 28 to 30 pounds, and there should be a large number of 20-pound limits weighed in,” they reported. “This should be a really fun tournament to be a part of; we’re hitting it right.”
The first event of the 2018 Alabama Bass Trail Northern Division season at Lake Guntersville happens March 10 out of Guntersville, Ala. The mandatory pre-tournament registration and angler information meeting happens on Friday March 9 at the Guntersville High School Gymnasium located at 14227 US Highway 431 in
Guntersville, AL 35976 with registration happening from 4:00 P.M. – 6:30 P.M. and the pre-tournament meeting beginning at 6:30 P.M. Takeoff and weigh-in occur at Lake Guntersville State Park at 1155 Lodge Drive in Guntersville, AL 35976.
The sponsors of the 2018 Alabama Bass Trail include; Phoenix Bass Boats, Bill Penney Toyota, Garmin, Academy Sports & Outdoors, America’s First Federal Credit Union, Wind Creek Hospitality – Wetumpka, Wind Creek Hospitality – Montgomery, Alabama Tourism Department, T-H Marine Supplies, Wedowee Marine, Buffalo Rock, Jack’s, Fish Neely Henry Lake.com, Alabama Power Company, Trapper Tackle, Lew’s Fishing, AFTCO, YETI, and E3 Apparel.
For information about Alabama Bass Trail and for complete tournament standings visit www.alabamabasstrail.org.