Hall, Thompson, and Davis Win Bama Blues on Guntersville
Chris and Cory Ramsey (Pipeline Tackle) presented their Guntersville version of Bama Blues out of Goose Pond on the Tennessee River (Lake Guntersville) on Saturday, April 17, 2021. The tournament is part of the ACA Tournament Alliance.
The weather was beautiful for fishing, but many anglers reported a tough bite because they found the TVA electric generation schedule slowing which dropped the current. Nevertheless, as the Tennessee River often does, some good weights were posted and fun was had by all. And, in a rare occurrence, the winning team’s three weigh-in fish were all flatheads
Nooner Hall, his dad Les Thompson, and Chris Davis teamed up with the right strategy to take the win on Guntersville. They brought a 3-fish limit of Tennessee River flatheads to the scales to post the winning weight at 102 pounds.
The team from Missouri arrived late on Friday night and did not have time to pre-fish. They would base their strategy on their last trip to Guntersville and go from there.
“We got down to Bama Friday night,” reported Hall. “We didn’t get to pre-fish so the plan was to start at the area we fished the last time we were there. We marked some nice fish while scanning and anchored up on them.”
The team caught their 2 biggest fish pretty quick on fresh skipjack. They reported missing a couple of fish during that time because of short bites. One of those fish, a 51.1-pound flathead was Les Thompson’s personal best. To add to the celebration, the big flattie also won big fish in the tournament.
“After we caught the big fish we struggled the rest of the day to catch another fish,” offered Hall. “We anchored fished all day and never gave up. We finally got the under we needed during the last hour of the tournament. We stayed positive and just had fun.”
Hall went on to thank the team’s sponsors for their support. They include The DeWitt Company, Tomlin Trucking, T-Force World Wide, Smackdown Catfishing, Drury Hotels, and Grizzly Jigs.
The runner-up spot went to Brian Ellison and Ryan King with 92.4 pounds. As the owner of K&K Bait Company King provided plenty of fresh skipjack for the occasion. For anglers needing bait, he can be reached through the K&K Facebook page.
Ellison and King targeted their fish in the river channel.
“We drug baits in water that ranged from 15 to 40 feet deep,” reported King. “We also did some anchor fishing on ledges. Our big fish came while we were dragging baits in 15 feet of water.”
Although the weather was nice, the team did report floating grass to be a little bit aggravating at times.
“We really didn’t have a peak fishing time of day,” recalled King. “We caught our first fish about 8 AM. After that, the bite remained pretty steady for the rest of the day. Medium-sized baits did seem to work better than bigger baits.”
Ellison and Ryan caught about 20 fish on tournament day. With a 3-fish limit, they had a little culling to do. Several of their fish were in the 12-30 pound range.
Nathan Trammell from Villanow, GA, and David Ryals from Rome, GA, teamed up to bring the third-place weight to the scales. Fishing under the team name of Blessed Outdoors, their 3-fish limit weighed in at 79.3 pounds.
They are members of, and fish other catfish trails too. As ACA members they are participating in the Points Race. Both have been doing well in the rankings. Click here for more information on the ACA Points Race.
“We decided to trailer to the area between Scottsboro and Stevenson,” reported Ryals. “It’s on the river section of Guntersville Lake. We fished an area of the river that has produced big fish before. Nathan and I anchored fished in 22-28 feet of water using fresh skipjack for bait. We had a good morning bite with 4 unders, all about 9 pounds each.”
About 11:30 Trammel and Ryals changed location on the river. Around noon they had a good takedown, but the fish dropped the bait.
“The fish we missed came back and I hooked up on a 38.8-pound flathead,” recalled Ryals. “While I was fighting the flathead another rod went down but we didn’t hook up on it.”
With no more action, the team moved to two other holes and caught a 3-pound flathead. Then about 2 pm, they decided to go back near the hole where Ryals caught the big flathead.
“We had decided that we would leave at 3 pm to go back to the ramp and then to weigh in,” continued Ryals. “By 2:50 pm we hadn’t had any bites in that hole and decided to get everything together to leave.”
Time was running out and at 2:58 pm they were in the front of the boat with their backs turned to the rods. Trammel turned around and saw one of Ryals rods lay down.
“The fish was rippin’ drag,” explained Ryals. “Nathan grabbed the rod and hooked up on a 31-pound blue. We got the fish in the boat and then scrambled to get back to the ramp on time. That last-minute big fish put us in 3rd place. We never gave up and always fish until the last minute.”
“About 2:30 I was talking to God in my mind,” added Trammel. “I said Lord, I sure would like to catch a good one before we leave. After that 2:58 bite, I was shaking like a leaf and saying thank you, Jesus. It probably wouldn’t mean a lot to some people but it sure blessed me. I have been truly blessed through the years in hunting and fishing, and that’s where the name Blessed Outdoors comes from.”
“I want to thank Nathan Trammell with Blessed Outdoors for asking me to be his partner,” concluded Ryals. “And I also want to thank Bama Blues for putting on a great tournament.”
“We launched 22 boats on Guntersville Lake from the Goose Pond Colony location,” said Co-Tournament Director Chris Ramsey. “The morning started a little brisk but as the sun came up, you couldn’t ask for better weather! With another large bass charity tournament going on, it took the help of the anglers to pull off a successful event.”
“We weighed in 17 boats,” continued Chris. “With the help of Glen from the ACA, we present a great live feed on Facebook. Team Dewitt fished all season long last year and just finished short of a win, so it was good to see their dedication and persistence pay off. In typical spring Guntersville Lake fashion, Team Dewitt came in with a livewell full of flatheads to pull out the win. They were the only team to break the 100-pound mark.”
Chris and Cory Ramsey will now turn their attention to the next Bama Blues Tournament scheduled for May 29th at Ingalls Harbor. For tournament information, follow Bama Blues at https://www.facebook.com/BamaBluesCatfish.