Southern Regional set for Lake Neely Henry
ATHENS, Ala. - American Bass Anglers, Inc. will hold the two-day 2013 Toyota Bassmaster Weekend Series Southern Regional Championship on Oct. 4-5 at Neely Henry Reservoir in Gadsden, Ala.
This event features a 200-boat field including the top 40 boaters and co-anglers representing the North Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, Louisiana, Central Tennessee divisions. After this regional event, the best anglers from this tournament will compete against the top anglers from three other regional events during the BWS National Championship tournament, set for Nov. 6-9, 2013, on Old Hickory Lake near Hendersonville, Tenn. The Boater Division champion will compete in the 2014 Bassmaster Classic, slated for Feb. 21-23 on Lake Guntersville, Ala.
Hosted by the Gadsden Parks and Recreation Department, the tournament will run out of Coosa Landing, located at 200 Lake Street East in Gadsden at safe light each morning. The free public weigh-ins will take place at the landing at 3 p.m. on Oct. 4 and Oct 5. Registration for the event takes place Oct. 3 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Gadsden Convention Hall, located at 344 South 1st Street in Gadsden. To register for this tournament, see www.americanbassanglers.com/proddetail.php?prod=727.
Neely Henry Reservoir runs more than 77 miles down the Coosa River and covers 11,235 acres. Created for hydroelectric power in 1966, Neely Henry probably holds more spotted bass in the 14- to 20-inch range than any other Alabama lake.
“Neely Henry breaks down into three portions,” explained Joel Hodges of Lake Neely Henry Guide Service (256-613-9056, www.jspotfishing.com.) “The upriver section is more riverine with current. The midsection has a lot of ledges and grass. The lower end of the lake is completely different. It’s the widest part of the lake with a lot of pockets.”
In a bass tournament, the winner generally needs to catch five bass totaling at least 19 to 20 pounds, Hodges said. The event big bass generally falls in the 5.5- to 6-pound range, but the lake occasionally produces 8-pound largemouth. Many anglers throw Carolina rigs on the ledges or work spinnerbaits, frogs or swimming jigs around grass. Along the shorelines, many anglers flip creature baits into thick grass and other cover. For spotted bass, throw soft plastics around river channel ledges or bridge pilings.
During the May 11, 2013, BWS tournament on Neely Henry Reservoir, Marty J. Colley of Ashville, Ala., won the Boater Division with a five-bass tournament limit weighing 20.22 pounds for an average of 4.04 pounds. He also won the tournament big bass battle with a 6.02-pound kicker. Colley caught most of his fish on a brown jig fished through 10 to 12 feet of water.
In the Co-Angler Division during that tournament, Jon R. Adams of Jacksonville, Ala., landed a three-fish division limit going 11.19 pounds for a 3.73-pound average. He anchored his catch with a 5.89-pounder that won the division lunker title. Adams caught the big fish on a Spook topwater bait, but landed most of his fish on shaky heads.
The Toyota Bassmaster Weekend Series is sponsored by Triton Boats, Mercury Outboards, Royal Purple, Busch Beer, Odyssey, Raymarine, Carlisle, Biobor, Rejuvenade, Simms, TH Marine, Best Western and Livingston Lures.
For area information, contact the Gadsden Parks and Recreation Department at 256-549-4679 or see www.cityofgadsden.com. For more information on this tournament, call Billy Benedetti, tournament manager, at 256-230-5632 or ABA at 256-232-0406. On line, see www.americanbassanglers.com.
About American Bass Anglers: American Bass Anglers commitment is to provide low cost, close to home tournaments for the weekend angler and at the same time offer each competitor an upward path for individual angler progression. For more information about American Bass Anglers, visit www.americanbassanglers.com.