Three days after he’d won the Alabama Sports Festival’s bass fishing competition for the second straight year, Zeke Gossett was back out on Lake Logan Martin, hoping for a good catch.
“I wish it had been like this Saturday,” he said, looking at the overcast sky and watching the slight breeze create ripples on the water. The day of the contest was sunny with no wind.
“When there’s a cloud cover, the fish roam around more than they do in sunlight,” he explained. “And the ripples on the water make your bait look a lot more alive and natural when the fish look up at it. Still, for how (Saturday) was, I was pretty happy with it.”
Gossett reeled in five fish weighing a total of 9.92 pounds, good enough to win his second ASF contest. He won the inaugural event last year, and both were hosted at Lakeside Landing.
For competitive fishermen, casting on one’s home lake isn’t always an advantage.
“It’s supposed to be easy, but there’s a little more pressure because everybody expects you to win,” Gossett said. “I know this lake very well, but I’ve had better days on other waters than I’ve had here.”
The largest fish he caught Saturday weighed in at 4.0 pounds, and his total catch earned another ASF team fishing award for him. Combined with a four-pound total from his partner — a young angler from Mount Olive whom Gossett had never met before that morning — their team total was slightly less than 14 pounds.
“I had a good feeling when I caught the four-pounder, but I had a bad feeling when I lost a three-pounder right at the end,” Gossett said. “I was very excited when I saw that I’d won. This is a pretty big tournament and a big thing in Alabama.”
His sponsors include Ouzo Baits, Carrot Stix, Strike King and local sponsor Scuttlebutt Wireless. Vicious Fishing, a line manufacturer, was his first sponsor. “I want to thank (president) Jeff Martin at Vicious Fishing for all he’s done for me,” he said.
Gossett, 14, will begin his freshman year at Pell City High School this fall, and has plans to compete in several open tournaments before competing in the BASS Alabama Youth Championships at Lake Wheeler on Sept. 10.