By Jason Duran
Eufaula AL-In recent weeks the Lake Eufaula has seen pressure from some of the best pros in the sport. The lake has produced huge weights time and time again. It was time for the best teams in South East to take their turn at the lake when the Alabama Bass Trail South Division converged on Lake Eufaula. Going against the norm the team of Shane Powell and Tim Fox did things a little different to win with 26.22 pounds.
Shane and Tim went against the grain and started the morning out deep. They went to work fishing a roadbed. Tim said, “he was really surprised they had the whole spot to themselves.” It is a well know community area that stretches out for a couple miles, but they located a stretch that produced 19 pounds really quick for them. They noticed in practice “the fish were really feeding out deep early.” Making the decision to go deep when a good majority of the field went shallow early was unique. Timing proved to be a deciding factor because they returned later in the morning to check the roadbed again, but it didn’t produce a bite.
Once the sun got up, the bite died down on the roadbed. They then moved to their second spot. This time they fished out a little deeper to the ledges. They used a 10XD and upgraded a few times. Shane said there “were still large schools of fish still there.” Shane said they continued to notice “they had areas completely to themselves because guys were still up shallow”
At the end of the day, they switched up and moved shallow. Using a white ½ oz War Eagle spinnerbait they target shallow water brush piles. Shane said, “We could see shad busting the surface on the top of the brush piles.” He felt “with it being so hot the key was to use a smaller bait and get down in the brush pile and the fish would knock slack in their line. The fish didn’t really want a big bait and those two fish in the last hour really catapulted us up to the top”
All together they caught about 40-50 fish. They said, “the key was really mixing it up and fishing deep to shallow.’ They avoided the traffic that way and really fished opposite of the rest of the field. When they showed up in their areas the fish were active, no one was there, and they could really fish it the way they wanted too. Their Key Baits were: Strike King black and blue Pro Model Jig with a Rage Craw Menace; Strike King Natural shad 10Xd Crankbait and a War Eagle ½ oz white spinnerbait with willow leaf blades and a Big Bites white grub as a trailer.
Steve Graziano and Greg Hall finished 2nd with 23.96 pounds. Steve said, “They started early on one of the biggest community holes on the lake called the Potty Hole” and he also said they fished his namesake hole “the Graz hole but that was not where we caught our fish.” They ended up catching fish in about 20 feet of water by fishing “natural lake structure.” They said the key for them was “hard bottom like a shell bed.” Steve said he is “not a brush pile fisherman and prefers to fish the way he did today.” Greg said “typically this time of year the bush pile bite is fading away and it gives way the way we fished today. But this year has sent been the typical year and everything has been trending later.” Steve said he “felt his areas got better today because they dropped the water about 6 inches today.” They caught most of their fish later in the morning using an “Unnamed dark heavy shaky head and a homemade Brush Puppy jig.” They also threw a Strike King 10Xd but they just couldn’t get the fish to bite using that. Steve is a local guide on the lake, and he said, “that is usually a jinx in these tournaments, but he fished an area that was replenishing quick” and was able to put together enough for second place.
It took 22.71 for third place. The team of Kenny Smith and Rj Thompson found a stretch on the main lake that was holding fish early and they put together a good limit before 8 am. Kenny described the area as a “main lake shallow bank with grass.” The key stretch was a few hundred yards long. When asked what was holding the fish there shallow, they answered “bluegill.” They spent most of their day flipping that area with a Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver in Green Pumpkin color. RJ said he also “caught one of their bigger fish on a brim color Dirty Jigs swim jig with a Skinny Dipper Trailer.” The plan for them was to stay shallow all day. Kenny said he spend a lot of time graphing out deep in practice and found some good brush piles but “that’s just not who we are we like to go to the bank” This 3rd place finish moved them to 34th in points going into the final event on Lay Lake.
The top ten standings are below, and for a full list of results click here.
For information about Alabama Bass Trail and for complete tournament standings visit www.alabamabasstrail.org.