State anglers battle Lay Lake
A day on the lake is nothing out of the ordinary for Memorial Day weekend, so why not earn a little cash while chasing the &8220;one that got away.&8221;
More than 25 two-man teams of anglers from across Alabama set out on Lay Lake just before dawn Saturday for the third phase of the BassMaxx Tournament Trail.
The day belonged to Scott Cantebury, of Odenville, who partnered with his father Danny. After finishing 17th at Lake Martin in March and ninth last month on Lake Guntersville, team Cantebury captured the first place prize, an 18-foot BassCat Sabre boat, with 16 pounds, 2 ounces.
&8220;I&8217;ve had one fish in two different tournaments that have come off (the hook) and cost me,&8221; the younger Cantebury said. &8220;We didn&8217;t have any big fish, but we caught about 16 keepers.&8221;
This was the first tournament of the trail for the father-son team. Scott Cantebury usually fishes the trail with Darren South, who was in Florida for a baseball tournament with his son.
The family theme continued along the money winners as Alabaster resident Chris Mason and his brother Jeremy, of Columbiana, took home $1,000 in second place.
&8220;We had a blast,&8221; Jeremy Mason said. &8220;We fish together all the time.&8221;
Mason-and-Mason made their first BassMaxx stop of the season after finishing in the Top 10 of last year&8217;s trail championship.
&8220;I like (the trail), especially fishing for that kind of money,&8221; said Chris Mason.
The brothers caught a total weight of 15 pounds, 7 ounces.
Competing against the Masons were good friends Brian Stiffler, of Inverness, and Shelby resident Mitch Uptain.
&8220;They&8217;re a threat every time they launch a boat. We love them to death, but we hate to see them out there,&8221; Stiffler said jokingly about the Mason brothers. &8220;Seriously, those two are like brothers to me.&8221;
Stiffler and Uptain hooked the third largest lunker of the day, a 4-pound large mouth, on their way to a fourth place weight of 14 pounds, 13 ounces to win $300.
Another set of brothers, Chris and Kyle Colley of Ashville finished second with 15 pounds.
Stiffler hopes to see the new trail system, only in its second season, grow in years to come.
&8220;I think they have some good ideas for next year that we&8217;re excited about,&8221; Stiffler said.
Trail director Randy McBride, who operates BassMaxx from Airport Marine in Calera, is also excited about the chances to grow.
&8220;This is the best payback, in terms of percentage, in the state of Alabama. We pay back more than we take in,&8221; McBride said.
The trail rotates year-to-year and stops next at Neely Henry Lake on July 21, followed by Logan Martin Lake on Aug. 18. The trail will conclude this fall with the Basscat/Mercury Championship at a site to be announced later.