Lake Guntersville Classic
March 15th-16th 2018
Final Story



The 2018 U.S. Anglerís Choice Championship was held March 15th & 16th on famed Guntersville Lake, Scottsboro Alabama. At full pool Lake Guntersville stretches 75 miles from Nickajack Dam to Guntersville Dam, covers 69,100 surface acres and boasts 900 miles of beautiful shoreline. This would be the stage in which 284 teams would compete, all looking for that winning pattern or area that would lend enough weight to take home one of three Bass Cat Boats rigged with Mercury Outboards.

The event was hosted by Jackson County Tourism and the City of Scottsboro Alabama. The official lodging site for the event was the Comfort Inn and Suites in Scottsboro. Scottsboro offered teams and families plenty of entertainment while not on the water and some fantastic places to dine. The people living in the Scottsboro community are some of the friendliest you will find anywhere in the country.

Teams gathered Wednesday for a first class banquet followed up with a short meeting held at the Scottsboro Goose Pond Civic Center. Southern hospitality was in full force as teams were treated to a first class dinner.

Following the dinner teams were officially welcomed to the community and lake by Rick Roden from Jackson County Tourism and Tony Wallingsford from the City of Scottsboro. Rick Pierce of Bass Cat Boats then spoke to the anglers after which executive director Rick Byrnes started the receipt draw where thousands of dollars in prizes where awarded including a Power-Pole, Fury prop, 36v MotorGuide Trolling motor, free entries, Fitzgerald Rods, cases of oil donated by Bass Cat dealers and more. The evening was then finalized by recognizing the Fitzgerald Rods Divisional Champions and awarding two Fitzgerals rods to each team along with plaques for their accomplishments. Lastly a brief review of the water and event specific rules were covered and then teams were released to make last minute preparations.

Temperatures during practice were cool and running nearly twenty degrees under seasonal averages. As teams woke on the first day of competition they were greeted clear skies and a crisp morning, with temps in the low thirties at take off and ending up around sixty five degrees at weigh time. The weigh-in started at 3pm and it wouldn't take long to see why Lake Guntersville is a bass anglers must go destination.

When the scales closed after day one the Wisconsin team of Rick Fry & Travis Alcock found themselves leading the way with a massive Big G bag weighing 30.01lbs and nearly a three pound lead. The team however struggled a bit on day two weighing 17.74lbs dropping them to fifth place. Isn't that a statement, almost 18lbs and "struggled" what a lake.

Day two the weather continued to improve temperature wise with morning temps in the forties but mostly overcast on this day.

Josh Jackson & Luke Estel 2018 U.S. Angler's Choice Champions!

The final day weigh-in concluded minutes after the last flight checked in and The Cedar Lake Division team of Luke Estel and Josh Jackson would show that consistency is key and take the win and be crowned U.S. Angler's Choice Champions. The team brought heavy bags to the scales on both days. On day one they weighed in 25.27 lbs and followed it up on day two with 27 lbs even, giving them a two day total of 52.27 lbs and the title. The team focused their efforts on shallow water transition areas leading to spawning areas. The team reported fishing Strike King Red Eye Shad lipless crankbaits in water depths of two to three feet. They utilized a run and gun approach on day one but reduced those areas down to three on day two.

The team reported a phenomenal week of practice capped off by an even better tournament and stated things couldn't have went any better for them "it was a dream week for us" Luke and Josh hauled home a new Bass Cat Pantera II rigged with a Mercury 200 ProXS and more cash and prizes for their win!

2nd Place Jeff Hampton and Chris Glover

The second place team of Jeff Hampton and Chris Glover fishing out of the Indianapolis Division had a poor practice but got a tip from fellow competitors that turned things around for the event. They key was taller grass in two to three feet of water. The team caught their fish near break lines on the main channel. The weapons of choice were chatter baits and rattle traps. The team brought 22.80 lbs to the scale on day one and followed it up with one of the larger bags of the event weighing 28.21 lbs on day two. They finished just over one pound back and take home a new Bass Cat Classic rigged with a Mercury ProXS 150 for the finish.

Power-Pole Top Contenders Third place finish went to Josh Keeney and Gerald Mork

The Power-Pole Top Contenders Third place finish went to North Wisconsin team of Josh Keeney and Gerald Mork. They reported a tough practice catching only a few fish each day but thought they may have found something to stick with late on the last day of practice. They fished transition areas on the main channel that had plenty of grass and were near creeks. The team used rattle baits and vibrating jigs to weigh-in 24.34 lbs on day one and followed it up with 25.28 lbs on day two. The team earned over $13,800.00 for their finish.

Draw Boat Jeff Sykes and Harry Banycky

The luckiest team at the event had to be Jeff Sykes and Harry Banycky as they won a Bass Cat Pantera Classic with a Mercury 150 ProXS by DRAW by simply being present at the final day weigh-in, they didn't even have to catch a fish!!

Lunker Lure Classic Big Bass Steve Marshall and Jeff Koch 9.22 lbs

The Lunker Lure Classic Big Bass went to the team of Jeff Koch and Steve Marshall it weighed in at 9.22 lbs and earned the team $1,420.00 for day two Big Bass and $1,500.00 for the overall biggest. That one fish earned the team $2,920.00

If you were unable to fish last season or make it to the championship come join us in 2018! Call 618-496-3610 for a trail near you.