Tournament Series Recap
Kevin Phillips and Robert Medas win 2018 Alabama Bass Trail Lake Jordan
by Dan O’Sullivan
May 5, 2018 – Wetumpka, Ala. – When the Southern Division of the Alabama Bass Trail launched into the waters of Lake Jordan for its fourth stop of the season, the discussion of boat numbers being critical, bed fish and shad spawn was rampant. The compactness of the lake meant that hot spots and waypoints for bedding areas might mimic parking lots more so than a fishing tournament.
Because of the crowded conditions, there was no real way to be able to accurately assess what it would take to win the day. With Lake Jordan, there is the varied chance that a bag of spotted or largemouth bass eclipsing 20 pounds could win, or, a solid mixed bag would take the win.
What ended up happening was that the team of Kevin Phillips and Robert Medas found a quality bite early and enough bedding largemouth to sack an 18.62-pound limit to take home their first Alabama Bass Trail victory, the $10,000 first prize and clinch their trip to the ABT Championship in October. They also earned the $500 Mountain Dew Big Bass Bonus with their 5.13-pound largemouth.
The pair said they had 10 bedded fish marked after practice, and were able to get one key bite early to seal the deal. “We caught our big fish in the morning on a frog and then caught six other bed fish throughout the day,” they reported. “Our waypoints covered much of the main lake, and it took most of the day to get our limit. We never thought that 18.62 would be enough to win. We’ve had better days and gotten edged out, and to be standing here now is an amazing feeling.
The reported catching the one fish on a white SPRO Popping Frog and the bed fish coming on a 1/4-ounce brown Big Money Bait Company jig with a black Zoom Z Hog as a trailer.
Christ Rutland is a familiar name atop the Alabama Bass Trail standings, usually with Coby Carden, his typical team partner. However, with Carden expecting to have having back surgery, the pair named longtime friend Mike Keel as their alternate for the season. That pairing resulted in a 17.56-pound mixed bag limit, good for a second place finish and a check for $5,000, as well as the $500 bonus for using Garmin electronics.
The pair said that their strategy revolved around the grass and the shad spawn. “We all love fishing for postspawn fish around the shad spawn with homemade swim jig and frog,” they said. “We spent the morning doing that and caught two of our better fish, then turned to hard spots with a crankbait and deep jig with a Big Bite Baits Fighting Frog as a trailer.”
The team of Evan Robbins and Justin Coker finished the day in third place with 17.08 pounds, which earned them a pay day of $4,000. The rest of the Top 10 Standings are below, for complete standings visit: https://www.alabamabasstrail.org/tournament-series/lj-results/
|1||Kevin Phillips / Robert Medas||18.62||5.13||$10,000|
|2||Chris Rutland / Mike Keel||17.56||4.23||$5,000|
|3||Evan Robbins / Justin Coker||17.08||5.10||$4,000|
|4||Martin (Rocky) Lyons / Daniel McQueen||17.00||$3,000|
|5||Jeff Morgan / Tim Vanegmond||16.66||4.74||$2,000|
|6||John Pollard / Dallas Weldon||16.42||$1,500|
|7||Jimmy Miller / Chris Miller||16.39||$1,100|
|8||Daryl Crenshaw / Barry Chaffin||16.27||$1,100|
|9||Keith Kirkley / Jeff Kirkley||16.26||$1,100|
|10||Chris Cook / Lawson Cook||16.17||$1,100|
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.