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!
The printing of the Alabama 2011 B.A.I.T. Report marks the twenty-sixth year of the B.A.I.T. report program. The objective of the program since its inception has been to gather information on bass populations by combining the fishing efforts of bass club members and state fisheries biologists. The B.A.I.T. Report summarizes fishing 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 bass fishing tournament sites or to locate a reservoir that provides a particular type of bass fishing.
Through 2011, we have summarized 12,505 tournament reports. Anglers have spent 2,740,985 hours collecting data for this program. They have contributed data from 670,104 bass that weighed 1,173,558 pounds.
Bass fishing in the State of Alabama has shown an overall trend of improvement during the past several years, and particularly during the previous four. However, during 2011, this trend appeared to level off with very similar numbers being reported, statewide. One exception was the length of time required to catch a bass larger than five pounds, which increased by over 40% in 2011. Nevertheless, this figure equaled the 26 year statewide mean of 252 hours.
The lake that has shown the most improvement in recent years is unquestionably Pickwick, which has shown drastic improvements since 2006. This reservoir had the highest percent success (97%) and accounted for nearly 50% of all bass over five pounds caught in Alabama during 2011. Of all bass over eight pounds caught in Alabama during 2011, 86% of them came from Pickwick.
- Pickwick was the top lake in the overall quality indicator rankings.
- Bankhead, Lay, Logan Martin, Mitchell, and Neely Henry moved into the upper third of the quality indicator rankings. Weiss, Wilson, and the Mobile Delta improved also; while West Point, Jordan, Harris, and Harding moved up also, but remained in the bottom third, statewide.
- Pickwick, Bankhead, Lay, Logan Martin, and Mitchell were the top five lakes in the overall quality indicator rankings
- Guntersville, Pickwick, Lay, Eufaula,and West Point were the top five big bass lakes in Alabama
2011 Statewide B.A.I.T. Statistics
3.72 – Number of bass caught per angler-day
7.54 – Pounds of bass caught per angler-day
2.02 – Average weight of bass caught
252 – Hours required to catch a 5-pound bass
9.90 – Weight of the largest bass caught
14 – Number of bass 8 pounds and larger
291 – Number of bass 5 pounds and larger
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.