EUFAULA, Ala. — Eufaula Mayor Jack Tibbs will be in a slightly awkward position when he greets the B.A.S.S. Nation Southern Divisional competitors coming to his town.
As the mayor, Tibbs must play the role of a gracious host, but as a member of the Alabama B.A.S.S. Nation state team, he plans to trounce his out-of-state guests during the divisional.
Tibbs frequently gives a welcome speech during pretournament meetings and likes to joke about his mayoral powers. When the Alabama B.A.S.S. Nation held an event on his home lake, Tibbs told the competitors he had a SWAT team he would put on his opponents if he saw them on one of his fishing holes.
“They got a kick out of that,” Tibbs said.
Tibbs, 59, is a member of the Eufaula Headhunters club and is a two-time B.A.S.S. Nation Southern Divisional qualifier. He recalls joining the Fort Benning Bass Club and fishing in the first Georgia B.A.S.S. Nation tournament ever held on Lake Sinclair in 1971. Since moving to Eufaula 14 years ago, Tibbs has won multiple tournaments on his home lake.
After 20 years of working for a trucking company, Tibbs decided to do something he really enjoyed, so he founded Strikezone Lure Co. in 1999.
“We were the first company ever to market a deep-water spinnerbait, the Ledgebuster,” he said. “That was our signature bait, and we still sell a ton of them.”
When the hydrilla in Lake Eufaula was removed recently and the fishing declined, Tibbs decided to run for mayor and handily won the election.
“No one was really fighting for the lake and trying to work with the Corps of Engineers and get them to manage the grass in the lake,” Tibbs said. “The lake is our biggest asset, and tournament fishing is really an industry here. We want the lake at its optimum when a tournament is held here, and I want everyone who comes to catch fish and have a good time.”
The mayor revealed one of the goals he hopes to accomplish during his four-year term is to help boost Lake Eufaula into the Top 10 of Bassmaster’s 100 Best Bass Lakes list.