infant dr martens Bassmaster Tour Points to Guntersville Lake
America’s top tournament anglers are always excited about returning to Alabama’s Lake Guntersville where they know the shallow grassbeds harbor one of the best largemouth fisheries anywhere.
But as the Alabama CITGO Bassmaster Tour event presented by Busch Beer approaches (competition days are Feb. 26 29), their enthusiasm is almost overwhelming.
“I am truly looking forward to the Guntersville tournament,” said veteran Alabama pro Randy Howell. “There are going to be record catches there, and I cannot wait.”
The last time the BASS train pulled into the 69,100 acre Tennessee River impoundment, Texan Kelly Jordon was the big winner with 81 pounds,
11 ounces. But Howell believes that Kelly’s 2002 catch will be dwarfed by the 2004 winner’s weight.
“I don’t think I’m going out on a limb in predicting that the winner will have a lot more than Kelly did,” he said. “Guntersville is probably the best lake in the country right now.”
Howell, who lives about an hour from the lake, took three trips to Guntersville before it was placed off limits to tournament competitors.
“All three trips were awesome,” he said. “The last time I went, I fished from the dam all the way up the lake,
and I caught good fish everywhere I went. I’m talking about good fish. Of the 21 fish we caught, 15 of them were 3 to 6 pounds.
“There are so many 3 to 6 pound fish in this lake it’s amazing.”
Local tournaments held throughout the fall and winter also offered evidence of Guntersville’s resurgence in the past few years. Howell said it routinely takes five bass weighing 23 to 28 pounds to win those one day contests. A recent tournament was won with 34 pounds, despite water temperatures that dipped to 41 degrees.
“The only thing that could make our tournament less than awesome would be a lot of rain right before the tournament that would make the Tennessee River carry a lot of high, muddy water through Guntersville,” Howell said. “That would make it tougher.
“Worst case scenario, I predict it would take 78 pounds to win. Best case scenario,
it could take 100 pounds.”
Howell expects that fishing shallow running crankbaits and lipless crankers in grass to be the productive pattern. CT on ESPN2.
The CITGO Bassmater Tour travels to Table Rock Lake in Kimberling City, Mo., for the fourth event of the 2004 season, March 4 7.
CITGO BASSMASTER ANGLER OF THE YEAR
Pros will be competing for CITGO Bassmaster Angler of the Year points throughout the 2003 season. Anglers are awarded points based on their finishes in each of the six Tour events. The tournament winner receives 300 points. The scoring decreases in 5 point increments to fifth place, 4 point increments through 10th place, 3 point increments through 15th place,
2 point increments to 99th place and 1 point increments for the remainder of the field.