Officials hope Selma can land one of Alabama Bass Trail’s tournamentsPublished 9:53pm Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Hope is building that Selma may be selected as one of 11 cities around the state to host a tournament stop in the new Alabama Bass Trail state-wide bass fishing championship.
“It [would be] a big boost economically to our community, for one thing,” Sheryl Smedley, executive director for the Selma-Dallas Chamber of Commerce, said. “These tournaments draw out-of-towners to come in, and they actually come in and fish before the tournament, especially if they have never been to our area. They come two weeks in advance to learn about the river and that is extra money.”
The Alabama River is among the 11 Alabama Bass Trail lakes, including Guntersville, Wheeler, Pickwick, Lewis Smith, Neely Henry, Logan Martin, Lay, Jordan, Eufaula, and the Mobile-Tensaw Delta.
During the last year, Selma hosted an Alabama Bass Federation event — a completely separate entity from the Alabama Bass Trail — and organizers called Selma’s involvement a success, referencing a great turnout for a holiday weekend and a “fantastic” experience.
Another recent fishing success story in Selma was the city’s hosting of the Cabela’s King Kat Tournament event, which left many of the fisherman hoping the tournament would return to Selma in future years.
Kay Donaldson, executive director of the ABT, said the tournaments are expected to bring between $500,000 and $700,000 in business to the communities where they are held.
Smedley said she believes these events can do a lot for Selma’s local economy.
“It is putting us out on the map,” Smedley said. “It is showcasing the resources we have here as well. The city has done all the improvements down there to the marina and the investment is giving us our payback because people are noticing the resources that we have down on the river that we have for groups to come down and fish.”
Gov. Robert Bentley is expected to announce the tournament sites in October. There had been some reports saying the sites would have been announced last week.
The state will be divided into a north and south division, with five events in each area. A championship “fishoff” will feature the top 50 anglers in points.