Selma left off Alabama Bass TrailPublished 12:37am Tuesday, October 1, 2013
By Phillip Rawls
Associated Press Writer
MONTGOMERY — Alabama is launching a series of bass fishing tournaments for amateur anglers with the goal of generating tourism dollars from Mobile to Florence.
Gov. Robert Bentley and other officials announced the creation of the Alabama Bass Trail Tournament Series on Monday. The team-style tournament will be held on 10 lakes on the Alabama Bass Trial. Then the championship will be held on an 11th lake.
In the announcement, the Alabama River was represented with a tournament to be hosted at Millers Ferry, leaving Selma off the trail for this year.
Program director Kay Donaldson said each of the tournaments is expected to have an economic impact of $500,000. She said participants usually arrive three to four days in advance to scout locations and spend about $300 per day.
Bentley said one of the owners of the Birmingham-based Bass Anglers Sportsman Society, Don Logan, suggested the tournament to him two years ago as way to attract amateur fishermen to the state in the same way the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trial attracts golfers. State officials worked with the Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association, BASS and others to make it a reality.
The state is putting $50,000 into the first year. State Senate budget committee Chairman Arthur Orr R-Decatur, said it is an investment that will bring back extra sales, gas and lodging taxes paid by competitors.
The tournament trail will feature two divisions. The northern division tournaments will be Feb. 1 at Lake Guntersville, March 22 at Pickwick Lake, April 5 at Neely Henry Lake, May 31 at Wheeler Lake, and June 21 at Logan Martin Lake. The southern division will be March 1 at the Mobile-Tensaw Delta, March 15 at Lake Eufaula, April 19 at Lake Jordan, May 10 on the Alabama River at Millers Ferry, and June 7 at Lay Lake.