FantasyFishing.com Insider: Everything you need to know for Alabama's Lake Eufaula - Major League Fishing
FantasyFishing.com Insider: Everything you need to know for Alabama’s Lake Eufaula
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FantasyFishing.com Insider: Everything you need to know for Alabama’s Lake Eufaula

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May 8, 2024 • Mitchell Forde • Fantasy Fishing

When the Tackle Warehouse Invitationals season resumes Friday at Stop 4 Presented by E3 Sports Apparel on Alabama’s Lake Eufaula, we will officially start the second half of the 2024 campaign. While that means the race will heat up for the Fishing Clash Angler of the Year title, the pressure is also on for Phoenix Boats Fantasy Fishing players trying to position themselves to win the prize packages on offer from Tackle Warehouse. 

Targeting those in the thick of the AOY chase looks like a wise way to do so. A handful of anglers are off to blistering starts through three events, and Eufaula figures to fit their strengths. While building a team around those anglers makes sense, there are plenty of other anglers with track records of success on the Chattahoochee River impoundment to consider. 

Here’s everything you need to know to assemble a winning roster. 

The front-runners

No matter how far he’s fishing from his New York home, it’s hard to leave Alec Morrison off your Fantasy Fishing roster. Photo by Jody White.

The top five anglers in the AOY chase are operating at an insane level. Drew Gill has cranked out Top 10s in each of the first three events plus a win at Sam Rayburn, so it’s no surprise that he’s leading. But he’s only nine points ahead of Alec Morrison, whose average finish so far is 8.3. Perhaps most astonishing is that Marshall Hughes and Jake Lawrence are averaging 11th-place finishes, yet they’re currently tied for fourth in the standings, two points back of Brody Campbell

With how well they’re fishing right now, it would be difficult to fade any of those anglers. That’s especially true given that they should all be well-equipped to take advantage of the offshore bite on Eufaula. While the lake is full of habitat at every depth, ranging from emergent grass and laydowns to ledges and brushpiles, local knowledge and recent history suggest the latter will probably be the way to win. Gill, Morrison, Campbell, Hughes and Lawrence are all among the best with forward-facing sonar, which will undoubtedly loom large in targeting those offshore bass. You could certainly toss Dakota Ebare (and really the rest of the top 13 anglers in the standings) in that group as well. 

The locals

Expect Ethan Greene to be a popular Fantasy Fishing pick on Lake Eufaula. Photo by Rob Matsuura

Ethan Greene is still alive in the AOY chase in 15th place, plus he should be more in tune with what the bass are doing on Eufaula than just about anyone. The Eufaula, Alabama, native will be a popular pick this week as a result. Greene has logged six Top-10 finishes in his young career on his home lake, including one in a Toyota Series Southern Division event held in mid-May last year. 

The list of other accomplished locals in the field has to start with Ryan Ingram. Ingram has racked up six wins and 24 Top 10s in Phoenix Bass Fishing League and Toyota Series events on Eufaula during his career. Chad Prough is right up there with him in terms of Chattahoochee prowess. He has four Top-10 finishes on Eufaula to his name and six on Lake Seminole. Paul Marks Jr. won the most recent multi-day event on the fishery, topping the field in the three-day BFL regional on Eufaula last fall by more than 4 pounds.

Looking to last year

Defending All-American champ Emil Wagner has a few strong finishes on Eufaula on his résumé, including a fourth-place showing in the Toyota Series event last May. Photo by Erik Gaffron

The fishing figures to be similar to the aforementioned 2023 Toyota Series event on Eufaula, which took place May 11-13. Bass Pro Tour pro Justin Lucas won that one by exploiting a shad spawn in the morning and a brushpile bite as the days (and tournament) progressed, which could be the recipe again this time around. That’s especially true since Lucas is back in the field this week. Reigning All-American champion Emil Wagner, who finished fourth in that event, is also throwing his hat in the ring. 

Other anglers in the field with strong past performances on Eufaula include Justin Barnes, who won a Bassmaster Open on the fishery in February of 2023. Then there’s Trevor Fitzgerald, who’s known for his Florida prowess but proved that he can catch ‘em at Eufaula this time of year when he finished third at a Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event there in May 2021. 

Other names to consider

Bass Pro Tour angler Adrian Avena has a solid history on Alabama’s Lake Eufaula. Photo by Garrick Dixon

Flight 1:  

Tucker Smith — One of the hottest young anglers going, Smith is jumping into this event fresh off a runner-up finish in the Bassmaster Open at Logan Martin Lake. The Abu Garcia College Fishing star at nearby Auburn has undoubtedly put in plenty of hours on Eufaula. In fact, he finished fifth in a BFL on the lake in 2022. 

Ryan Salzman — As far as I can tell, Salzman has only competed on Eufaula once as a pro, finishing 60th in the 2021 Pro Circuit stop. But the fact that the BPT pro is taking time away from his Tennessee River guiding business to jump in this derby has my attention. He could be a nice contrarian pick in a loaded Flight 1. 

Flight 2: 

Adrian Avena — The New Jersey native has a surprisingly strong track record on Eufaula. He finished 10th when the Bass Pro Tour visited in 2020 and ninth at an FLW Tour stop on the lake in 2015.  

Cal Lane — Missing his check-in time and zeroing on Day 1 at Kentucky Lake derailed Lane’s season a bit. But he should be well equipped to bounce back if the offshore bite is indeed the way to win on Eufaula. Lane has spent plenty of time on Guntersville honing his skills fishing brush, hard spots, ledges and other offshore structure, as he showed during his fourth-place finish at Sam Rayburn this year.