Selma fisherman finishes in Top 10 at Lake Mitchell tournament

Published 5:08 pm Tuesday, April 30, 2024

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Selma resident Mark Black had a top-10 finish at the Bass Fishing League (BFL) tournament on Lake Mitchell east of Clanton on April 20.

Black finished in a tie for eighth place in the co-angler division with five bass that weighed eight pounds and 13 ounces, earning a prize of $234.

Lake Mitchell was fishing tough, but I managed to put enough in the boat for another top 10 finish,” Black said. “I’m highly blessed for the support system I have and all my sponsors.”

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A 2014 graduate of Southside High School, Black described the process that led to the Top 10 finish.

“I started early that morning swimming a Davis bait ¼-ounce swim jig in the grass and put two keepers in the boat early,” Black said. “We realized the spotted bass were spawning so I picked a ¼-ounce Davis bait shakyhead paired with a zoom watermelon seed trick. It worked, and I caught the majority of my keepers. I had it on a seven-foot mouth bait slinger custom iron-casting rod which played a major role for me. I have been able to skip my bait under laydown docks. I also had one fish to spit up shad, which was the key for me. They were eating shad, and I picked up a kid 1.5 square-bill natural shad crankbait first cast. I caught my biggest of the day. My biggest two came off cranking.”

Black said he began fishing at the age of two with his father, Charles Black, on the Dallas County Lake.

“For many years then we start fishing the Alabama River after catching my first river bass,” Black said. “I was hooked on bass fishing but not having the money to afford a boat and to fish tournaments.”

Black said the turning point came when he met Earl Travis, also known as “Butch.”

“I started working and saving up and I met Earl Travis, who gave me an opportunity to fish tournaments with him,” Black said. “He motivated me to fish the big trail after saving up and gaining confidence from fishing small local tournaments. I jumped in and started fishing BFL and ABA Bass Nation as a co-angler. This is my fourth year on the trail. I won my first big trail tournament early this year, a bass nation event on Lake Martin. I currently  have two top 10 finishes in  major league fishing in the BFL Bama division. I have qualified for the region all three years. I also have a third place finish in the ABA Open Series.”