Photo: BASS/Dalton Tumblin
Randy Tolbert and Gary Thompson of the Alabama Bass Trail won the 2021 Bassmaster Tag Team Championship on Lake Eufaula in Alabama with a two-day total of 28-14.
By BASS Communications Staff
Every time a competing team weighed their fish in Thursday’s final round of the Bassmaster Tag Team Championship in Eufaula, Alabama, Randy Tolbert and Gary Thompson nodded in approval.
??Was good,?? they told each other, knowing that their lead remained intact.
Tolbert and Thompson were good to the end on Lake Eufaula, winning the final tournament of the 2021 Bassmaster season with a total of 10 basses over two days that weighed in at 28-14.
Tolbert and Thompson, who represent the Alabama Bass Trail, won a $20,600 cash prize provided by Ranger/Mercury. They also qualified for the Bassmaster Classic Fish-Off, a two-day competition starting Friday that will feature the top 3 tandems (six individual anglers) competing for the final spot in the 2022 Bassmaster Classic, which is scheduled for 4 to March 6 on South Carolina’s Lake Hartwell.
??We had one over 4 pounds both days and that really helped,?? said Tolbert, who fished the Bassmaster College Series at the University of Georgia. ??And here this week is a big one. We caught quite a few fish both days, but I really didn’t think we had a chance of winning. Coming in today, I thought the best we could do was make the Top 3. But when those other guys started coming in, knowing what was out there, we knew we could do it. to earn.
Tolbert and Thompson entered Day 2 tied for 9th at 14-01. A 90 minute delay on Thursday due to fog didn’t stop them from posting the heaviest bag of the day?? a 14-13 limit that propelled them to the top of the standings. They took the lead at the start of the weigh-in and stayed there until the end.
Thompson said winning the Tag Team Championship, let alone having a 1/6 chance of making the Bassmaster Classic, seemed like a dream come true.
??It’s very exciting, but I don’t think it’s sunk in yet,?? he said. “I’m surprised to be as calm as I was sitting up there.”
Tolbert said he and Thompson caught their bass offshore in some of Eufaula’s deepest water.
“We use our ActiveTarget (Lowrance) and watch the fish eat the bait many times, ? said Tolbert. ??Watching a fish follow your bait and know when it is about to eat the bait is a game changer. ??
Shane Powell and Tim Fox, also of Alabama Bass Trail, finished second at 27-04. Powell, who fished for Auburn University, said he and Fox targeted three or four key areas during the tag team championship. The native of Dothan, Alabama, just south of Eufaula, said the experience on the lake helped this week. His team was in 7th place after Day 1 with 14-09 and added a 12-11 limit on Day 2.
??You have to hit them at the right time, but you don’t really know when it is,?? said Powell. ?? You just have to spin, go try new things. I know something will happen eventually.
David Lowery and James Murphy of Berry’s Tournament Trail placed 3rd with 26-06.
Lowery and Murphy also have intimate knowledge of Eufaula, having grown up in the Columbus, Ga./Phenix City, Ala. area, just north of Lakepoint State Park, home base of this week’s event. After catching a 15-15 boundary on Day 1, the duo caught just three lows on Thursday for 10-07.
??We wanted to win it, but the Top 3 was the goal,?? says Lowery. ?? I’m gonna keep flipping jigs and trying to go win this thing. I’ve wanted to fish the Classic all my life.
Every angler from the Top 3 teams qualified for the Bassmaster Classic Fish-Off.
Delaware BASS Team Trail’s Mark Hogan and Brian La Clair won $500 for having the big bass of the tournament?? a bigmouth 6-08 they hung on Thursday.
Day 1 of the Classic Fish-Off begins Friday at 6:15 a.m. CT from Lakepoint State Park. The weigh-in is scheduled for 2:15 p.m.
A total of 179 teams took part in the Tag Team Championship portion of the event, vying for part of a total purse of $91,600 that was split among the top 35 finalists on Thursday.