At one time Lake Eufaula was referred to as the “Bass Capital of the World.” That was back in the day when legendary angler Tom Mann fished these waters.
Lake Eufaula is a sprawling 45,000 acres with over 600 miles of shore line…awfully tempting for guys like Jack Tibbs, a tournament fisherman who also happens to be mayor of Eufaula.
Tibbs grew up in Columbus. “I wasn’t too far from the Chattahoochee River. Everyday after school that’s where we’d be, down there fishing on the river.”
Jack recalls thinking he had the catch of the day on the old Sportsman’s Lodge TV show that aired on WRBL. “I caught this eight pounder so I’m going to the Ridley Bell Show hoping to win the rod and reel combination that he gave away. When I got there unfortunately a young lady was there that had an eleven pounder that her daddy caught. So I think I won a pack of jelly worms,” he says with a chuckle.
The stakes are a lot higher these days, and that’s part of the reason tournament fishermen love to come to Lake Eufaula. Tibbs says, “The bass tournaments are really big. Next year I think we’ve got well over 100 tournaments here already scheduled. The good thing about anglers, when there’s a tournament they’ll come the weekend before to kind of practice and get the lay of the land. That’s more revenues that come into the town.”
The FLW Tour came to Eufaula back in May. “They really had a good tournament here. I think the winner had 73 pounds for four days which is pretty respectable. The winner got $125,000. That’s pretty good for four days of fishing.”
Eufaula is also a hot bed for fishing lure manufacturing. According to Tibbs, “We would be considered the fishing lure capital of the U.S. There’s more fishing lures made right in Eufaula than anywhere else in the U.S., probably in the world.”