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Bass Fishing Quality (BAIT Reports)

Bass Clubs in Alabama and neighboring states have submitted their tournament results to help us manage their resource. The Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division appreciates this help from anglers!

Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division

ALABAMA BASS ANGLERS INFORMATION TEAM (BAIT)
2012 Annual Report
by Damon Lee Abernethy

Sport Fish Restoration Logo

INTRODUCTION

The printing of the Alabama 2012 B.A.I.T. Report marks the twenty-seventh year of the B.A.I.T. Program. The objective of the program since its inception has been to gather information on bass populations by combining the efforts of bass club members and state fisheries biologists. The B.A.I.T. Program summarizes catch data on reservoir bass populations that are collected and provided to us by participating clubs. This information is used by state fisheries biologists in combination with data from other sources as a basis for fisheries management decisions. Bass anglers use the report to establish future tournament sites, or to locate a reservoir that provides a particular type of fishing.

Through 2012, we have summarized 12,955 tournament reports. Anglers have spent 2,865,785 hours collecting data for this program. They have contributed data from 713,320 bass that weighed 1,273,565 pounds.

SUMMARY

Bass fishing in the State of Alabama has been excellent during the past several years, and particularly during the previous five. During 2012, most quality indicators were very similar to that of the previous year. Bass caught per angler-day were down, somewhat; but the average size bass caught was 2.24 lbs., which is the largest in the 27 year history of this program and almost a quarter of a pound larger than the year before.

Although Pickwick and Guntersville have remained among the top reservoirs in the state during recent years, it is Wheeler that made the most impressive improvements in 2012. After years of ranking near the bottom of the quality indicator rankings, it has skyrocketed to No. 2, overall; primarily due to a considerable increase in the numbers of larger fish being caught. In fact, the time required to catch a bass over five pounds rivaled that of the early 1990s when the lake was considered to be in its prime.

  • Bankhead was the top lake in the overall quality indicator rankings.
  • Wheeler and Aliceville moved into the upper 1/3 of the quality indicator rankings where they were joined by newcomers Warrior and Coffeeville; while the Mobile Delta fell from the middle of the pack all the way to last place.
  • Bankhead, Wheeler, Pickwick, Aliceville, and Warrior were the top five lakes in the overall quality indicator rankings.
  • Guntersville, Bankhead, Pickwick, Wheeler, and Eufaula were the top five big bass lakes in Alabama.

2012 Statewide B.A.I.T. Statistics

  3.55  – Number of bass caught per angler-day
  7.54  – Pounds of bass caught per angler-day
  2.24  – Average weight of bass caught
  235  – Hours required to catch a 5-pound bass
  12.56  – Weight of the largest bass caught
  27  – Number of bass 8 pounds and larger 
  363  – Number of bass 5 pounds and larger

 2005 Best of Show State Fish Art Contest; Connery Carson - Artist

Good luck fishing and do not forget to take a child with you and introduce him or her to your sport. Our children are our future anglers and stewards of Alabama’s resources. To obtain more information on Alabama’s fisheries resources or to submit your club's reports, contact Mr. Damon Abernethy, telephone (334) 242-3882, Fax (334) 242-2061, or email Damon.Abernethy@dcnr.alabama.gov

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