Tournament Series Feature Story
2019 Alabama Bass Trail Pickwick Lake Preview
with Jade Keeton
by Dan O’Sullivan
May 7, 2019 – Decatur, Ala. – Pickwick Lake has been the site of some true fireworks since the inception of the Alabama Bass Trail. There have been heavy weights that fell short to massive bags and there have been times that the winners were a little surprised their catch held up long enough to win.
According to ABT Northern Division angler Jade Keeton, Pickwick Lake could hold some surprises in store this week when the Northern Division holds its fourth event of the year this Saturday. “Pickwick is in a state of transition in all phases of the spawn, and fish could be caught anywhere,” he said. “I believe that it will be won out deep, but a lot of the paycheck finishes are going to come from shallow water he said.”
He believes that the field will show how strong Pickwick is, even with the transition period the lake is in. “There was a tournament last week that took 26 pounds to win, and took 20 pounds to get the last check in 17th place,” he said. “I would expect that it will take 25 to 28 pounds to win our event, and 17 to 18 pounds to get a check; we should catch them.”
Keeton said that anglers who target the shallow bite will likely be using wacky rigged soft plastics to catch late spawners and fry guarders. He felt the deep bite would be typical Pickwick Lake fare. “I bet swimbaits and crankbaits will play a role,” he said. “There will be a lot of 6XD and 10XD crankbaits thrown, as well as larger swimbaits like Rage Swimmers and Shadalicious; those will be the tickets.”
He said he wouldn’t completely rule out the tailrace bite at Wilson Dam, but that it would be unlikely to play heavily, unless the weather hits hard. “If we get a lot of rain this week and the TVA has to push a lot of water through the system, then the bite at the dam could be big,” he said. “Other than that, I think an offshore bite will win, and the weights will be solid.”
The 2019 Alabama Bass Trail Pickwick Lake event happens May 11 out of Florence, Ala. The mandatory pre-tournament registration and angler information meeting happens on Friday May 10 at the Florence Conference Center located at 10 Hightower Place in Florence, AL 35630 with registration happening from 5:00 P.M. – 6:30 P.M. and the pre-tournament meeting beginning at 6:30 P.M. Takeoff and weigh-in occur at McFarland Park located at 200 James M. Spain Drive in Florence, AL 35630
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.