By MLF Communications Staff

The MLF Pro Circuit will conduct its third event of the 2021 season this week at Alabama's Lake Eufaula. The event gets under way Thursday and runs through Sunday.

This event will mark the sixth time that the Pro Circuit (formerly FLW Tour) has visited Lake Eufaula. The most recent was May 2015, when North Carolina pro Bryan Thrift played the numbers game, hitting as many solitary objects – stumps, brush piles, rocks, logs – on the bottom of the lake as humanly possible to rack up a four-day total of 69-14 and take home $125,000.

In 2013, pro Randy Haynes put on an offshore clinic at Eufaula, winning the event with a four-day total of 79-01 – an 11-ounce margin over runner-up Thrift, who had multiple 2nd-place finishes on the lake prior to his 2015 victory.

Pro Clayton Batts of Butler, Ga., who will be competing in this event, fished his first bass tournament at Eufaula when he was 12.

“This is probably the first big tournament I’ve ever fished on a lake where I’ve grown up fishing,” said Batts. “Lake Eufaula can be a competitive challenge because the water level and clarity are constantly changing from day to day, so you have to really stay on the fish.

“Guys will have to be versatile during this event – I don’t expect to see one guy fishing one pattern the entire time. Even if they’re on a deep bite, they’re still going to have to find something shallow and have a shad or bluegill spawn or something else to go with it.”

Batts said he anticipates it will take around 20 pounds a day to win the tournament and bringing in consistent weight on all four days will be the hardest part of the event.

“This is one of the best times to come to Lake Eufaula because everyone is going to be able to fish their strengths during this tournament,” continued Batts. “If a guy wants to go flip or frog all day he can, or if guys want to fish offshore or run way up the river, it’s possible to win doing all of it.

“You’re going to have all three phases of pre-spawn, spawn and post-spawn, with the majority of the fish being post-spawn. I think we’ll see guys flipping and fishing shallow with swim jigs, frogs and all your basic power-fishing stuff, but we’ll also see guys offshore throwing big crankbaits, swimbaits, big worms, swim jigs and a variety of baits.”

While the fishery is very versatile this time of year, pro Clabion Johns of Social Circle, Ga., said he believes anglers will still have to dial in on specific patterns and baits if they want to stay relevant in the competition.

“Lake Eufaula fishes so well early in the year because there are always waves of fish coming to the bank, on the bank and leaving the bank,” Johns said. “However, usually by the end of April, the fish will go out the deepest I’ve seen on any lake I’ve ever been on – out to water more than 30 feet-deep. Once that last spawn wave hits, it gets tough as nails and the offshore, deep-fishing guys start crushing it.”

Johns said later in May, with bluegill bedding and mayfly hatches, the bite moves up shallow again – so this will be an interesting time on Eufaula to find the fish between those two stages.

“The shallow guys will have to get real specific to be competitive during this event,” said Johns. “It’s easy to catch a limit on Lake Eufaula, but it’s a lot harder to compete at the top of the leaderboard. The guys that know how to dial them in can catch big bags up there, but one bad decision can blow the entire tournament.”

Anglers will take off at 6:30 a.m. CT each day from Lakepoint Resort State Park, located at 104 Lakepoint Drive in Eufaula. Weigh-ins will also be held at the park daily at 3 p.m. Due to COVID-19 precautions, attendance is limited to competing anglers, family, essential staff and media covering the event.

Fans are encouraged to follow the action online through the MLF NOW! livestream and coverage at