The Zion Chapel Bass Team’s third tournament for this season, sponsored by the East Alabama High School Trail, was Saturday, March 20, at Lay Lake. This lake is a 12,000-acre reservoir located 35 minutes south of Birmingham off I-65.
Some of the Zion Chapel Bass Teams departed early on Friday, but two of the anglers who are on the Zion Chapel High School baseball team, played a game Friday night before heading north. Ethan Young and Avery Padgett were some tired anglers when they finally reached their destination, but after a nap on the way and a short nap at the motel, they hit the water with their teammates on Saturday morning at safe light.
Zeke Gossett, guide and tournament pro, says “Lay Lake in February through March can be some of the best times to fish, but it can also be the trickiest. Cold front conditions can make things tough, but fish will still bite.”
This proved to be true for the ZCBT; for the first time, they won the team championship with 41 boats participating. It was a matter of fishing the conditions.
The team of DeVos/K. Dowdy placed second with a limit of five fish weighing 13.47 pounds.
The team of Young/Padgett placed third with a limit of five fish weighing 10.73 pounds.
The team of FitzGerald/J. Dowdy placed 27th with one fish weighing 2.69 pounds.
The team Lee/Johns, not weighing in, placed 35th.
In the year-to-date standings in the East Alabama High School Bass Trail, with 78 teams participating, Young/Padgett are in sixth place; Devos/K. Dowdy are in 16th place; FitzGerald/J. Dowdy are in 45th place; Lee/Johns are in 50th place.
Due to severe weather in north Alabama Thursday, March 25, the ZCBT waited for the go-ahead from BASS Nation regarding their tournament scheduled for Saturday, March 27. They left mid-afternoon Friday for Gadsden, Ala. When they arrived, they checked out the situation. Some of the teams decided not to participate, but two teams remained in hopes the conditions would improve by morning. However, that did not happen.
Taking caution and putting safety first, BASS Nation cancelled the tournament in the wee hours of the morning. It will be rescheduled.
The ZCBT will continue its quest for reeling in the big ones at Lake Eufaula, Saturday, April 3, on the East Alabama High School Trail.