Eufaula Ready to Bust Loose for BBT Anglers

Published on 03-04-2021

Eufaula Ready to Bust Loose for BBT Anglers

By Pete Robbins

When the Big Bass Tour field descends upon sprawling Lake Eufaula from March 5 through 7, it’ll be a new venue for the tournament series, but hardly an unknown. This is one of the most storied playing fields in the sport, akin to Augusta for golf, or Yankee Stadium for baseball, and Georgia pro Matt Baty said that the competitors can expect to see it at its best.

“It’s only going to get better,” he said in late February. “Those Eufaula fish like to be shallow, and there’s a full moon coming up.” He expects that some fish will be staging in likely offshore haunts, especially on brush piles, and the anglers who can graph ahead of time and find those pieces of fish-holding cover could prevail. If that was his chosen tactic, he’d pick the brush apart looking for a jumbo – or a couple of monsters – with a 10-inch Berkley Power Worm, probably in Junebug or Cherryseed. “They’ll gang up by size, and on one big brush pile you could find a school of 4- and 5-pounders.”

With recent rains, however, the water is up and it is stained, and that would make Baty more likely to look up shallow first. He’d cover water with a 2 ½ inch Berkley Frittside 7 crankbait, probably in the Special Red Craw pattern, although he’d also keep one in Sexy Back handy in case he stumbled onto some pockets of comparatively clear water. He’d also keep a vibrating jig on deck at all times. Either way, he’d be sure to cover water.

“I’d pull up on each brush pile, make 10 or 12 casts, and if I didn’t get a bite, I’d pick up and move onto the next one,” he explained. “If I was fishing shallow I’d just stay on the trolling motor all day.” He’d be likely to focus on the south end of the lake, specifically the Georgia side, from White Oak Creek on down to the south. “That’s where I think it will be won,” he said. “There will be lots of people down there fishing offshore and fishing in the creeks, so someone searching for an oddball pattern could go all the way up the river toward River Bend, and get in one of those backwaters and catch a bunch of big ones, like Jordan Lee did last year.”

One other factor that could affect anglers’ strategies this week is the recent BPT Redcrest Championship event, featuring 40 of the world’s best bass anglers. Of course, one strategy would be to watch what they’re doing and then copy it. Another would be to avoid their tactics and their best areas like the plague, figuring that they’ll have been picked over to death.

“I don’t think it will matter at all,” Baty said. “Those fish are ready to move up. By the time of the Big Bass Tour there will be new groups of fresh fish moving into those areas every day.”

The lake is chock-full of healthy, busting-at-the-seams 4- and 5-pound largemouths, and Baty said that an 8-pounder is generally considered a “giant,” although bigger ones certainly live here. With no BBT past history, competing anglers will have to “guesstimate” to figure out what will take the hourly and overall prizes. That requires close attention to the live leaderboard and a hefty dose of strategy to ensure that they don’t give up the goods too early, or withhold them for too long.