EUFAULA, Ala. — Jack Tibbs, a tireless promotor of Lake Eufaula and the Alabama Bass Trail, has some new tools to use in touting both.
Tibbs, mayor of Eufaula, founder and owner of StrikeZone Lure Co. and an avid outdoorsman, can now brag about the weights of the catches in the Alabama Bass Trail Tournament Series South Division event that was held on Lake Eufaula March 15.
David Caylor of New Brockton and Allen Haynes of Pell City won the tournament with a five-bass, 25.19-pounds catch. The father-son team of Jeff Aul and Paul Aul finished second with 24.58 pounds. Luke Kyle and Arch Cornett finished third with 24.21 pounds.
All of the teams in the top 10 broke the 20 pounds mark. It took 18.70 pounds to earn a check for finishing in the top 20.
“We’re proud of our lake. It’s an amazing fishery,” Tibbs said after he and his teammate, Durward Henderson, weighed in their catch at the Lake Eufaula tournament. They finished 33rd with 16.99 pounds.
Tibbs had predicted big weights for the tournament. He said the lake was going to “show out” for the tournament.
He also predicted anglers would catch bass using a variety of patterns, which they did.
Caylor and Hayes caught most of their fish using jigs that Hayes made at home. The Auls used white StrikeKing spinnerbaits worked around wood structure to catch most of their fish. Kyle and Cornett caught fish shallow and off shore where the bass were staging before moving into spawning areas.
Other anglers caught bass on crankbaits, Carolina-rigged lizards, soft plastics and topwater baits.
Tibbs said Lake Eufaula lends itself to a variety of fishing techniques. “It doesn’t matter if you like to fish shallow or deep, around grass, wood or riprap, you can catch bass here.”
Tibbs said the Alabama Bass Trail tournament Series is one of the greatest things ever for bass fishing and tourism in the state.
The Lake Eufaula tournament pumped an estimated $500,000 in the economy of the Eufaula area.
Tibbs said the economic benefits did not end when the Alabama Bass Trail anglers left town. He said as anglers around the country learn of the success of the Alabama Bass Trail tournament at Lake Eufaula, many will want to visit Eufaula to go fishing.
He said the Alabama Bass Trail is going to spur tourism around each of the 11 lakes it visits.Jay Barnett of Atlanta will be among the visitors being lured to fish more often in Alabama because of the Bass Trail.
“Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, all the states had better get on board and start a bass trail or they are going to wind up missing the boat,” Barnett said. “Everybody is going to start coming to Alabama to go fishing because of the bass trail. These tournaments are awesome. If I could register today for every single tournament on the Alabama Bass Trail next year, I would. I’m definitely going to be spending a lot more money in Alabama because of the Alabama Bass Trail.”