Riverine reservoirs can be tough bodies of water. That's BassGold's classification for the Alabama River because of its locks and dams – in other words, it's not a free-flowing, natural river. Riverine reservoirs can be tough to fish because the bite is often current-dependent and can change significantly with weather events like rain.
That said, riverine reservoirs can be patterned, same as any other type of water. BassGold's historical pattern info indicates that two patterns could be in play at the Bassmaster Elite Series Alabama River Charge presented by Star brite.
You can look at those two patterns in various ways – fast vs. slow baits, shallow vs. deep, early in the day vs. late – but the bottom line is that both can be effective, and Elite pros might need both, especially in a four-day tournament.
Using BassGold to find the best patterns for this event isn't as easy as usual because the database doesn't have enough patterns for May on the Alabama River. So we compared that BassGold Pattern Report to one for all Alabama riverine reservoirs for May, and also combed through the pattern details.
From that research – which didn't take long! – here is what we see, though with your fishing experience you might find different "gold" than us, which is one cool thing about BassGold.
First of all, it looks like shoreline or even some backwater-ish wood (laydowns and stumps) is key in the morning. That means shallow fishing, and with active fish it's mostly moving baits: crankbaits, spinnerbaits, Chatterbaits and buzzbaits.
At some point during the day, it seems anglers switch to plastics and jigs fished slower and often deeper. However, a few tournaments have been won doing one or the other all day – with most tournaments being won with slower-moving baits.
An X-factor might be a deeper rock bite – another way to look at it may be a spotted bass bite. Certainly if anyone can find that and make it work, it will be one or more of the Elite anglers.
Weight-wise it seems that folks who finish in the top five will have to average in the mid teens or better per day. Usually Elite Series high finishers do at least as good as BassGold's average daily weights, but once in a while they don't … like at the recent West Point tournament. Hopefully the Alabama River will be better.
Check out BassGold.com, a B.A.S.S. partner. Like your depthfinder, the more time you spend with it, the more you'll get out of it. Save 15 percent on the one-year subscription price by using code BASS132 (case sensitive) when you sign up. Note that BassGold offers a three-day free trial.