Welborn and Sams win Alabama Bass Trail Smith Lake

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Alabama Bass Trail Smith Lake 2015 Champions (Custom)

Alabama Bass Trail Smith Lake 2015 Champions John Welborn and Wesley Sams

Jasper, Ala. – April 11, 2015 – If there is one lake in the State of Alabama that stands alone a different type of fishery, it is Lewis Smith Lake. While the majority of the waterways in Alabama are stained water, power fishing havens, Smith Lake is a finesse angler’s dream. With clear water, plentiful spotted bass and the somewhat recent introduction of blue back herring into the lake, Smith Lake can be a challenge.

To those who know how to contend with its componentry, Smith Lake can be one of the best fisheries for catching numbers of healthy bass. When the Alabama Bass Trail Northern Division made its third stop of the 2015 season, the talk of large numbers of bass being caught was plentiful.

But, finding the kind of fish that could win a tournament on Smith Lake was an entirely different story. While catching two pounders is common; locating the three and a half to four pound fish that typically win this time of the year was key.

The team of John Welborn and Wesley Sams did that just slightly better than the rest. In what turned out to be an extremely close affair, Welborn and Sams came to the stage as one of the last teams to weigh-in, and managed to place five near clone spotted bass on the scales to take the win with 18.93 pounds. The pair reported moving around a lot to fill their bag.

“We covered much of the lake today running a milk run of places that spotted bass will spawn on the lake,” they said. “We targeted spawning areas as deep as 12 feet, and managed to get the kind of bites we needed to win. We knew it was going to be close, but we’re very happy with the results.”

The winning team said that they caught 50 to 75 fish throughout the day, but at nearly noon, they didn’t have much for weight. “We started getting our better bites later in the day as the sun came up better,” they reported. “We used 1/4-ounce Shaky Heads and six-inch green pumpkin finesse worms to catch them; we just had to get the lure in the right places. Sanborn and Sams took home the $10,000 winner’s purse for their efforts.

For the longest time, it looked like the second place team of Brent Crow and James Morgan would be the team holding that check. They weighed their 18.65-pound limit early in the weigh-in, and stood as leaders until they were unseated by Welborn and Sams with less than 10 team left to weigh-in.

They reported fishing the Rock Creek area of the lake, and using the same technique as the winners. “All of our fish were deeper spawning fish,” said Crow and Morgan. “We thought we would catch only spotted bass on the Shaky Head, but we had a couple of good largemouth in there too. We thought we had a good chance to win, but those guys are good, and it just didn’t go our way today; we feel pretty good about second place.” They received $5,000 for their second place finish.

The team of Charlie Cummings and Greg Pugh finished third with 18.29 pounds, and earned $4,000. The team of Sam Moody and Ray Battles finished in 20th place with 15.55 pounds, but their limit included the Mountain Dew Big Bass of the tournament. Their 5.18-pound largemouth earned them an additional $500 bonus.

The top 10 in the standings were as follows below. For complete standings visit the results page at http://www.alabamabasstrail.org/tournament-series/lsl-results/

The sponsors of the 2015 Alabama Bass Trail include: Bill Penney Toyota, the Alabama Tourism Department, Phoenix Bass Boats, Inc., Garmin, Academy Sports & Outdoors, T-H Marine Supplies, Inc., Alabama Power Company, Buffalo Rock, Inc., Jet-Pep, Inc., Tennessee Valley Authority, and Frogg Toggs, Inc., HydroWaveTM, Alabama Foundation Specialist, Boat U.S., LEER, Vicious Fishing, E3 Sports, Inc., Costa Del Mar, Frogg Toggs, Inc., Power-Pole,  Window World and Yeti Coolers.

Place Name Fish Weight Penalty Big Fish points Winnings
1 John Welborn/Wesley Sams 5/0 18.93 0.00 0.00 225 10000
2 Brent Crow/James Morgan 5/0 18.65 0.00 4.61 224 5000
3 Charlie Cummings/Greg Pugh 5/0 18.29 0.00 0.00 223 4000
4 Randall Wear/Ken Crossley 5/0 17.76 0.00 4.93 222 3000
5 Jeremy Tomlin/Greg Tomlin 5/0 17.31 0.00 0.00 221 2000
6 Brandon Gibson/Andy Chappell 5/0 17.23 0.00 5.01 220 1000
7 Benjie Seaborn/Johnathon Seaborn 5/0 17.22 0.00 0.00 219 900
8 Jeff Shelton/Tim Arnold 5/0 16.94 0.00 0.00 218 800
9 Dale Greer/Barry Johnson 5/0 16.58 0.00 0.00 217 700
10 Jonlee Sasser/Bradley Nix 5/0 16.44 0.00 0.00 216 600