Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Fishing is at its Best on Lay

While everyone is fishing check out for all the available homes and land on Lay Lake

Phenomenal bite’ predicted for Mark’s Outdoors Lay Lake Open
By Pat Robertson - 05/05/2010

Fishing in Lay Lake should be as good as and possibly even better than it was last year this time for the Mark’s Outdoors Lay Lake Open, said Blake Harlow, the tournament manager at Mark’s Outdoor Sports in Birmingham, Ala., which sponsors the tournament.

“The fish definitely will be in post spawn by the time of the tournament and the lake looks in awesome shape. It’s full of water and the grass looks good. There is going to be a phenomenal bite,” Harlow said. “I predict the weights will be about the same as last year.”

And the tournament last year was the best ever, he noted.

“We had three fish that broke the 7-pound range and we had more fish weighed in last year than we ever weighed in before. We had more than 400 boats out of 500 weigh in.”

A major bonus, he said, was that only three fish were weighed in dead.

“That is a huge, huge success with that many boats weighing in.”

Harlow said a lot of fish will be caught cruising following the spawn, swimming a jig, and punching down through the grass mats.

“The topwater bite is going to come on real hard and heavy and they will also catch them throwing weightless flukes because the fish are going to be guarding fry. The spinnerbait bite will be good and the catch on swim baits in shad patterns ought to be just ungodly!”

The excitement for anglers will be even higher than in the past because of the increased participation this year by professional anglers, Harlow said.

“We’ve got 15 pros fishing so it’s going to be a really cool experience,” he said. Among top pro anglers committed to fish the tournament are Alton Jones, Boyd Docket, Byron Velvick, Fred Roumbanis, Jimmy Houston, Larry Nixon and Randy Howell.

“If an angler wants to call in and sign up to fish with the pros they can get on the list and if they get drawn they get to fish with that pro for free,” he said.

The entry fee is $125 per boat and Harlow said the total guaranteed payout is $85,000 with payback through 60 places. The prizes include $25,000 for breaking the tournament big fish record of 9.29 pounds, $25,000 for the first 7-pound largemouth bass weighed in, plus bonus prizes of $250 for the top parent-child and top mixed couple team.

A lucky angler can also win a Skeeter/Yamaha boat rig by test driving the boat before the tournament. GMC is also giving away a GMC 1500 pickup but you have to test drive it, too, at the same time you test drive the boat.

“There is the possibility you could drive away from this tournament with a new truck and a new boat,” Harlow said.

Proceeds from the tournament are used to replenish bass in Lay Lake. Since 1992 more than 2.5 million Florida bass have been stocked in the lake.

Entries are already being registered for 2011 and 2012. For details call Mark’s Outdoor Sports in Birmingham, (205) 822-2010 or toll-free 1-877-979-6275, or email:

Mark''s Outdoors Lay Lake Open

Sat. May 1, 2010

Lay Lake

Paradise Point


Monday, February 1, 2010

Homes Sales Were Strong in '09 on Lay Lake

2009 was a great year for re sales on Lay Lake. Lot sales have hit a slump but homes are still moving and now is a great time to buy. Sales on Lay Lake have surpassed the ‘07 levels and lenders are back in the vacation home market. Business quadrupled from ‘08 levels and millions of dollars worth of homes closed with families getting ready for some serious fishing action.

Spring and summer will be great and Bryon will be here moving it all along. Go to and browse all the available properties.

Bassmasters is Almost Here

Lay Lake in Alabama's Shelby County
Tapped as Fishery for 2010 Bassmaster Classic
Comment Email Print Share
BASS Communications

Click for enlarged map
BASS announced today that the 2010 Bassmaster Classic will return in February to Lay Lake in Shelby County, Ala., site of three previous Classic competitions — 1996, 2002 and 2007.

Fifty-one Classic qualifiers will hit the Coosa River impoundment Feb. 19-21 for the 2010 Classic title. As previously announced, the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex in downtown Birmingham, Ala., will be the site of the daily weigh-ins and accompanying 2010 Bassmaster Classic Outdoors Expo. This weekend BASS firmed up the location for the morning festivities at Beeswax Creek Boat Ramp, 537 Beeswax Park Road, near the town of Columbiana, Ala.

"Shelby County is excited about the opportunity to showcase our natural resources and attract an international audience as we host our fourth Bassmaster Classic," said Shelby County Manager Alex Dudchock. "Lay Lake continues to be a destination for anglers and water recreation enthusiasts, and Shelby County will continue to promote tourism through these types of events in our local, regional and state economy."

Alabama is no stranger to the biggest event in the sport. The state has hosted 10 Classic events, including three contested on Lay Lake. The most recent, in 2007, is famous for being the first to be won by a home-state pro: Bassmaster Elite Series pro Boyd Duckett of Demopolis. He laid to rest the myth of "home-state jinx" when he won with 48 pounds, 10 ounces of Lay Lake bass.

Duckett bested fellow Elite pro Skeet Reese of Auburn, Calif., by just 6 ounces.

Reese, who landed his first Classic title less than a month ago at the Red River in Louisiana, said another Classic on Lay Lake could be his chance to extract about 6 ounces' worth of revenge.

"Another Classic on Lay Lake is great news. I will get the opportunity to go back to Lay Lake and try to win. Finishing second to Boyd in 2007 was a little tough to swallow," he said half-jokingly.

"I feel a Classic on Lay also will be an opportunity for me to repeat as champion, and I'm excited about going back there."

With the defending champion's automatic qualification for 2010, right now Reese is the only angler with a secured berth — the other 50 will qualify through various BASS tournament circuits.

"Birmingham is excited to host the 40th Bassmaster Classic and we anticipate another fantastic event," said Mike Gunn, vice president, Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau. "This is our seventh time hosting this prestigious, major sporting event."


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

No Drawdown Yet Again

Current Lake Conditions
Date: 10/28/2009
Hour Ending: 7:51:00 PM

Lake Elevation
395.54 Feet

Turbine Release
26082 cfs

Lake Conditions Message
Effective - 10/27/2009

The Lay Biennial Drawdown that was initially scheduled to begin October 14 was postponed prior to its start due to high inflows from abnormal rainfall amounts. Due to the abnormally wet fall conditions and continued rain forecast, as well as other factors surrounding the USFWS conditions, we are regretfully cancelling the 2009 drawdown for Lay. The next drawdown will take place in 2011; details of that drawdown will be communicated as time draws closer.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Fall is a Great Time to be on Lay Lake

Fall arrived overnight here on Lay Lake and we have seen morning lows hovering right above freezing. It's a great time to be on the water as the fishing is still good and the crowds are gone. We've had plenty of water over the last month and when the current gets going the fish like to move into the sloughs. With most fishermen hitting the woods in search of a trophy buck, one could have the whole place to his self on a weekday.

As for real estate, the log jam that started last fall is officially broken. We have sold twice as many homes this year as we did in '08. Prices have moderated but the value of Lay Lake property is still strong. Homes have sold for as much as 435k and vacant lots as much as 140k. The banks are still lending and buyers are still getting financed on vacation homes and the comps for these properties are still strong. The time is right to purchase and enjoy the holidays on Lay Lake.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Drawdown Postponed

Who would have thought a controlled drawdown would ever happen again back in '07.
But who could have ever thought we'd have to postpone one due to heavy rainfall?

From APCO's site:

Lake Conditions Alert

Spillway gates opening at Coosa and Tallapoosa River dams;

Lay Reservoir drawdown postponed

Because of heavy rains and forecasts of continuing rainfall, Alabama Power on Monday opened spillway gates at its Coosa River dams to manage rising lake levels. The company plans to open spillway gates at Harris Dam on the Tallapoosa River.

Spillway gates were opened at Weiss, Henry, Lay and Mitchell dams on the Coosa River this morning. Spillway gates will be opened at Logan Martin and Jordan dams this afternoon. On the Tallapoosa River, minimal spillway gate operation will also take place this afternoon at Harris Dam. Alabama Power is working to maintain lake elevations at or below summer pool. However, the use of its flood easements above summer pool to manage high flows is possible. People on or near these reservoirs should take necessary precaution and action to protect their interests.

In addition, the biennial drawdown scheduled to begin this week on Lay Reservoir will be postponed until conditions allow rescheduling.

Alabama Power will continue to closely monitor lake conditions and manage resources carefully. People with boats and other water equipment or facilities should always be alert to changing conditions on Alabama Power reservoirs and be prepared to take the necessary steps to protect their property.

For more information about Alabama Power lakes and updates, please visit or call 1-800-LAKES11 (1-800-525-371