Bassmaster weekend series coming to Lay Lake

FROM STAFF REPORTS

The second stop for the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Weekend Series, operated by American Bass Anglers, lands March 5 at Shelby County’s Lay Lake.

Anglers in the series’ Alabama South Division 2 competition will start out at Beeswax Landing at 245 Beeswax Creek Road off Highway 145 near Columbiana at 6 a.m. or safe light.

The weigh-in begins Saturday at 2 p.m. Registration begins at 4 p.m. March 4. Anglers fishing in the Boater Division may weigh up to five bass, each at least 12 inches long. Co-anglers may weigh up to three bass.

From the landing on the Coosa River, anglers can fish one of the oldest reservoirs in the country. Impounded in 1914, the 12,000-acre lake stretches about 50 miles along the Coosa River course.

Many anglers fish the numerous creek channels and backwaters for largemouth or concentrate on areas with current for spotted bass. The upper portion of the lake looks more like the original river with rocky cover, fallen trees, shallow flats and current. In the middle portion of the lake, anglers find more grass beds, stump fields, brush and boulders. The lower lake holds more deep structure and open, clearer water.

Lay Lake can produce largemouth bass exceeding 10 pounds and spotted bass topping 7 pounds. In February 2010, Kevin VanDam won the Bassmaster Classic on Beeswax Creek by catching a three-day total of 15 bass that weighed 51 pounds, 6 ounces. VanDam caught his fish on a 1/2-ounce Strike King Red Eye Shad in gold or gold sexy shad.

During the BWS Regional Championship, held Oct. 15-16, 2010, David Brunaugh of Carbondale, Ill., landed 10 bass weighing 25.96 pounds with a 3.64-pound kicker. Brunaugh fished ledges with a homemade chartreuse and white vibrating bait.

Robert B. Kennedy of Nashville, Tenn., landed the largest bass of the regional championship, an 8.04-pounder. Kennedy caught the fish in about two feet of water with a large Zell Pop topwater bait in sexy shad at first light.

Also in that Oct. 2010 event, Steven Christie of Gray Court, S.C., won the Co-Angler Division with six bass weighing in at 15.64 pounds, including a 4.26-pound kicker. Christie caught his fish on a green pumpkin trick worm in seven feet of water on a flat near a point. Terry Geren of Fort Smith, Ark., landed the co-angler lunker, a 7.84-pounder that hit a Carolina rigged creature bait.

For more information on the Bassmaster Weekend Series tournament, call Billy Benedetti at (256) 230-5632 or call ABA at (888) 203-6222. Information is online at Americanbassanglers.com.