FLORENCE, Ala. – Kris Colley overcame having to fish alone in a team tournament to win Saturday’s Alabama Bass Trail North Division tournament on Pickwick Lake with a 25.11-pound catch.
Jamie Smith and Michael Rains finished second with 24.74 pounds. William Davis and Tim Cummings were third with 22.42 pounds.
Instead of fishing with his regular partner, Adam Bain, Colley fished with an observer who could only watch and not assist him in any way. Bain was unable to make the trip to Florence.
Colley said he will still split the $10,000 first prize with Bain.
“We’re a team. Adam really wanted to be here, but he has had a prior engagement for about three months. He wanted to come and fish for half of the day, but the rules wouldn’t allow it,” said Colley, of Ashville.
Colley’s catch was anchored by a 6.59-pound largemouth bass.
Colley caught his fish by flipping a green pumpkin LC’s Jig around wood structure on mud banks within 1 mile of McFarland Park. “I could see the boat ramp all day.”
Smith and Rains traveled much farther to catch their fish. They fished from the base of Wilson Dam to Waterloo.
“Our best hole was about 5 or 6 miles from Waterloo,” Smith said. “We just kept moving around until we found some big fish.”
They used 5-inch blueback herring colored swimbaits rigged on a 1/2-ounce head to catch their fish, Rains said.
”We would let it hit the bottom then start reeling,” Smith said. “We threw swimbaits on river ledges all day long.”
Davis and Cummings used square-bill crankbaits worked around stumps on a mud flat to catch their fish.
“It’s a spawning flat. I found it last year and decided to go back today and give it a try,” Davis said.
Joey Nania and Will Butler finished fourth with 22.19 pounds. Nania said they caught their fish working swimbaits and Spro Aruku Shad baits around shallow rocks near Wilson Dam.
Jimmy Mason and Lance Walker finished fifth with five smallmouth bass that weighed 21.74 pounds. Mason said they caught their fish between Riverfront Park in Sheffield and Wilson Dam using Booyah spinnerbaits and Yum Money Minnows.
Rounding out the Top 10 were Ryan Salzman and Phillip Hand with 21.55 pounds, Phil Mansfield and Roger Riddle 21.50 pounds, Billy Sharp and Kevin Stubblefield, 21.32 pounds, Clay Madison and Kyle Patterson, 20.72 pounds, Craig Daniel and Jackie Flack, 19.54 pounds.
Chad Newbolt and Jason Foster had big fish, a 7.03 pounds largemouth bass.
The youngest angler in the tournament, Ross Napier, caught a 6.04-pound largemouth bass. He was fishing with his father, Jack.
The next tournament for the Alabama Bass Trail North Division is April 5 on Neely Henry Lake in Gadsden. The next tournament for the South Division is April 19 on Lake Jordan in Wetumpka.