The Bama Blues Tournament Series held their season finale on Joe Wheeler Lake in Alabama. The trail, operated by Chris and Cory Ramsey from Pipeline Tackle, offer catfishing events on both Wheeler and Wilson Lakes. Twenty-nine teams registered for the December 19, 2020 event out of First Creek Ramp.
The 67,100-acre lake is created by Wheeler Dam and provides catfish anglers about 60 miles of Tennessee River to fish. The northern Alabama lake is known for its huge catfish and it did not disappoint the Bama Blues anglers and spectators.
The day started off chilly with air temps in the lower 30’s but rose rapidly to the mid-50’s by weigh-in time. Most anglers reported a relatively slow bite, but by weigh-in time Wheeler showed what it is capable of.
It was the brother team of Lonnie and Donnie Fountain claiming the top spot. The brothers made the trip from Georgia to fish the final Bama Blues tournament of the year with some important equipment left in Georgia.
Team Fountain hitched up the boat to Donnie’s truck about 2 am Saturday morning to head for the tournament.
“I never thought about our fish finders,” joked Lonnie. “We store them under the back seat of Dawn’s truck when we’re not fishing.”
“I’m always telling him he could throw all the electronics away and do better on his instincts alone,” added Dawn Fountain.” All he needs is a depth finder anyways, lol,”
So, Team Fountain fished the tournament without prefishing and without electronics. Having fished the location before they relied on their knowledge of the area and headed out to their first fishing spot.
“We hit the first spot on Wheeler and the fish were not there,” reported Lonnie. “After about an hour we move on. We hit 3 more holes that we knew about and caught 3 fish.”
During that time one, about 60 pounds and another around 10 pounds came to the boat. Another good fish was hooked and it got off. He said he set down and was a little disgusted with the fishing so far. They continued to fish for another two hours before Lonnie hooked the 72-pounder.
“The bite was very slow, but the fish was very big,” summarized Donnie. “Our two over fish was a 72 and a 60 for a three-fish-stringer of 143.70 pounds.”
Their three-fish-stringer was good for First Place in the Tournament and Big Fish in the tournament. The 72-pounder was also the Big Fish of the Year in the Bama Blues Tournament Series!
“The Bama Blues tournament was a great way to end a season,” concluded Donnie. “It was a great event, and they are a very good bunch of people to fish with.”
The runner-up spot went to Doug Walker and Jack Woodall. They fished under the team name of DTF and brought 114.15 pounds to the scales to claim second place. They caught their fish dragging.
Third place went to Chad Mayfield and Jason Frost. They were dragging bait to catch their tournament weight of 89.35 pounds. Their bag included a 47.40 pounder.
2020 Points Champs
The Bama Blues Points Champions are Ron Goucher and Ray Nix. Team ReelEm Up had 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place wins on their way to the championship. They demonstrated consistency all year long. They only had 2 events outside the top 10.
Youth Angler of the Year
Also named at the year-ending tournament was the 2020 Youth Angler of the Year (YAOY). The announcement of the winner made for a very proud granddad. Scott Childers’s grandson Cayden claimed the honor for 2020.
This was Cayden’s second YAOY of the year. He earned one earlier with the Tennessee River Catfish Club trail which he also fishes with his granddad. Cayden also accepted a pro staff position with Pipeline Tackle.
Coming Up Next
The Wheeler Lake event ended the 2020 season, but 2021 is just around the corner. Chris and Cory Ramsey will kick off 2021 with Bama Blues on Lake Wheeler out of Rogersville, AL. The January 2, 2021 event features a guaranteed $30,000 payout. Follow them for more information at https://www.facebook.com/BamaBlues.