In Alabama, the thrum of air conditioners laboring against temperatures in the high 90s is a constant background noise.
The sound is music to the ears of serious anglers. That includes the 12 pros set to compete in Toyota Trucks All-Star Week, the July 23-31 postseason of the Bassmaster Elite Series.
Anglers can revel in such brutal conditions because as long as the sun beats down, Alabama Power will generate power by running water through its dams. Thus the magical condition anglers need this time of year will happen: current.
Current is especially key to July success on Lake Jordan. Just north of Wetumpka, Ala., Jordan is a 6,800-acre Coosa River impoundment that’s home to largemouth and plenty of feisty spotted bass. The lake will serve as the playing field for All-Star Week’s first round, the July 23-24 Ramada All-Star Semi-Final out of host city Wetumpka.
Recent and regular afternoon thunderstorms are helping to keep the current rolling on Jordan, too. The more rain, the more water is pulled through the lake’s two dams. And with Jordan being the southernmost of the Coosa River chain of impoundments, a hard upriver rainfall means the current soon will run harder and the fishing action will heat up.
Lake Jordan has 188 miles of shoreline — big enough to space out 12 anglers. But when water is pulled through the dams, anglers are likely to bunch up near current. That’s where bass are hanging out, waiting for their baitfish dinner to be delivered. The trick is to be in the right place when the dinner bell rings, said Greg Vinson of Wetumpka, Ala.
“The fish are not real active this time of year, except for those short periods when the water is moving,” said Vinson, a Jordan expert and Bassmaster Elite Series pro who is not competing in the postseason events.
“The fishing could be really good if the weather continues to be hot and the rain keeps coming,” he added.
Twelve anglers will compete on Jordan, but only the top eight finishers after two days will survive the event’s first elimination and move on to the July 29-31 Evan Williams Bourbon All-Star Championship. Those eight anglers will be seeded according to Lake Jordan performance to begin the final three days of competition on the Alabama River out of Montgomery. Each day more pros will fall out until only two will compete July 31 for a $100,000 prize.
The public is invited to watch the daily takeoffs and weigh-ins. The anglers will start each day on Lake Jordan (Saturday, July 23 and Sunday July 24) at Lake Jordan Marina at 7:30 a.m. CT. The weigh-in festivities will begin at 5 p.m. CT at the Wetumpka Civic Center, 410 S. Main St. in downtown Wetumpka. All events are free.
Fans are invited to come early Saturday to the Wetumpka Civic Center to sample the food from the Cookin’ on the Coosa barbecue competition, cooked by experts who want to show off their talents as well as support the Elmore County Community Foundation. On Sunday, the band Sweet Young’Uns will perform at 4:30 p.m., just before the anglers bring their fish to the scales. Sweet Young’Uns are scheduled to play another set after the weigh-in.
ToyotaTrucks All-Star Week Roster
The first eight anglers listed qualified for the event by being the top points earners of the regular Bassmaster Elite Series season. The final four were voted into the event by Bassmaster fans.
1. Kevin VanDam Kalamazoo, Mich.
2. Edwin Evers Talala, Okla.
3. Gerald Swindle Warrior, Ala.
4. Ott DeFoe Knoxville, Tenn.
5. Steve Kennedy Auburn, Ala.
6. Terry Scroggins San Mateo, Fla.
7. Casey Ashley Donalds, S.C.
8. Davy Hite Ninety Six, S.C.
9. Michael Iaconelli Pitts Grove, N.J.
10. Aaron Martens Leeds, Ala.
11. Jeff Kriet Ardmore, Okla.
12 . Skeet Reese Auburn, Calif.