By Jason Duran
The first stop of the Alabama Bass Trail Southern division kicked off at Lake Jordan. The Team of brothers, Noah and Cole Godwin, won with 20.33 pounds of Coosa River spotted bass. This is their second year fishing the ABT, and while they are not the first brothers to ever win, they are the youngest team to ever win. They are only 19 and 17 years old.
Their day began on a spot downriver about two minutes from take-off. Reflecting on practice they said, “it was pretty rough… we found some fish Friday, caught two of them and left them. They were big ones. We went straight to them Saturday and had a limit in the first 30 minutes. We then culled up until around 9:00 to 20.33 pounds.” They stayed on that spot until about 1 pm and went looking for a big largemouth. With no luck finding a largemouth, they returned to their winning spot and finished the day there.
The point was about a 15-yard stretch they worked with
a Rapala crankbait in chartreuse and blue.
The spot was a secondary point. They said the spotted bass “would hang out in deeper water, pull up to feed in about four feet of water and drop back down into deep water about every 20 to 30 minutes.” The point was about a 15-yard stretch they worked with a Rapala crankbait in chartreuse and blue. Some were also caught on a shaky head with a Zoom trick worm in green with a chartreuse tip.
The team said, “we put in a lot of time and have worked hard to learn to catch these fish.” Their mom and dad both said they were really proud of them. Mom said, “she never has to worry about them staying out late at night because they always have to get up early in the morning to go fishing.” They only caught about 15 fish, but that was enough to defeat the other 224 teams of highly respected anglers.
Kenny Smith and RJ Thompson claimed the second place along with the $1000 Wedowee Marine Bonus. They “spent the morning putting the trolling motor down, covering water in the river and fishing mostly current related and deeper type spots.” They said, “we threw everything at them from spinnerbaits to crankbaits to shaky heads and managed only 4 fish.”
About noon they decided to try to go shallow. When they showed up in their shallow area, there were about four or five boats already in there, so they made a U-turn and headed back upriver. At 1:30, still only having four fish, “they decided they were going hero or zero and went shallow,” Kenny said.
This time they were able to get into their shallow area and use a brown beaver style bait to flip cover. They caught three of their biggest fish in an hour to fill out their limit and cull up to 18.76 pounds and a full bag of spots. They said the fish were really moving up with conditions improving and water temps warming up to 55°. “If they had another hour, they would have really had a bigger bag,” they said.
The plan for the team of Clay Harris and Billy Norwalk was to “just show up today and not embarrass themselves.” They made a short run within sight of
take-off and had their first fish before the next flight finished taking off. They found those fish on Friday when it was foggy. While waiting for the fog to lift, they just happened to scan over the area and spotted the school of fish. They “fired at them just to see and got a 3.5 pounder off of it pretty quickly and left.” They felt with the amount of fish and shad that was a good place to start.
Within sight of the boat ramp, they finished out that limit in just a short time. The spot is best described as two shallow flats at the mouth of a creek that almost meet in one area where the fish headed into spawn funnel through. They were casting up to 4 feet and working it down to twenty-four feet. They targeted those fish using chartreuse and blue-black Rapala DT 10 Jenko CD20 and a Strike King series five all in the same color. They did try one other spot in the back of the same creek that produced two more fish allowing them to fill out the bag of all spots for 18.36 pounds.
For the top ten standings and a full list of results visit. https://www.alabamabasstrail.org/tournament-series/lj-results/
Download and listen to the ABT Podcast on your favorite podcast app by searching for “Alabama Bass Trail Podcast.” This week’s Podcast will be released on Tuesday and will feature winners Noah and Cole Godwin.
The sponsors of the 2020 Alabama Bass Trail include; Phoenix Bass Boats, Bill Penney Toyota, Garmin, Academy Sports & Outdoors, America’s First Federal Credit Union, Sweet Home Alabama, Alabama Tourism Department, Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association, T-H Marine Supplies, Wedowee Marine, Strike King, Buffalo Rock, Mountain Dew, Jack’s, Fish Neely Henry Lake.com, Alabama Power Company, Lew’s Fishing, Berkley, YETI, Power Pole, Big Bite Bait Company, E3 Apparel, and Hydrowave.
For information about Alabama Bass Trail and for complete tournament standings visit www.alabamabasstrail.org.