Alexander City, Ala. – One thing Alabama Bass Trail anglers can count on from a stop at Lake Martin is consistency. The Central Alabama, Tallapoosa River impoundment is going to produce ample limits of respectable bass. In two previous stops in ABT competition, Lake Martin produced winning weights in the 15 to 26-pound class and it took 10 pounds to get the last paycheck in 40th place.
Not this year.
Thanks to warm conditions that saw Lake Martin on the verge of full scale spawn, the weights increased throughout the 225 boat field during the second stop of the 2018 Alabama Bass Trail’s Southern Division schedule.
Leading that charge were the team of Rob Lee and Steve Winlett, local anglers who banked on isolated bedding fish as their strategy. The plan worked to the tune of a 20.38-pound limit of Lake Martin largemouth bass that earned them the victory and the $10,000 winner’s purse, along with a slot in this year’s Alabama Bass Trail Championship in October.
The pair said they committed to the program despite the fact that finding spawners wasn’t easy. “These fish were not easy to locate, and they were single fish in isolated pockets,” they said. “We found seven or eight fish that we felt would help us, we never thought that we would catch most of them.”
Armed with the location of their prey, Lee and Winslett ran to the first fish following takeoff, and caught it on the first cast. They ran six miles to the next one; which they caught on their second cast to that particular fish. They made another six to seven mile run, and caught the third fish on their next cast. “We made four casts and had nearly 12 pounds in the boat,” they said. “We tried for three hours before getting two small spotted bass to fill our limit, which we culled out later with more bed fish.” They reported catching their fish on a homemade floating minnow plug, a wacky rigged Crème Scoundrel floating worm in Natural color and a tube.”
The second place team of Charlie Williams and Michael Smith spent their morning fishing a shaky head to get a limit of spotted bass, then spent the afternoon culling those fish out by throwing wacky and Flick Shake rigged green pumpkin Yamamoto Senkos around boat docks. “We had a great day, and caught a lot of fish,” they said. “We did enough to win on most any other day here, and got beat by a really big day; we are really happy with our finish.”
The pair weighed 16.83 pounds and earned $5,000 for their day. They also earned the $500 Mountain Dew Big Bass of the Day bonus for their 6.45-pound kicker largemouth.
The team of Myles Palmer and B.J. Barnett finished third with 15.59-pounds, good for 44,000 in tournament payout. However, their total haul for the day was bolstered by a $125 AFTCO clothing bonus, a $250 Alabama Bass Trail gear bonus and a $1000 America’s First Credit Union bonus for financing the purchase of their boat through America’s First Federal Credit Union. The additional ABT bonus programs brought their total earnings to nearly $6,000.
For complete standings visit http://www.alabamabasstrail.org/tournament-series/lm-results/