So the deal is that there’ll be 11 tournaments in the Alabama Bass Trail. Five will be in the Northern Division and five will be in the Southern Division. At the end of the season there’ll be a championship tournament.
They’re all team events. They’ll be held on the best bass lakes in our state — Guntersville, Wheeler, Pickwick, Lewis Smith, Neely Henry, Logan Martin, Lay, Jordan, the Alabama River, Eufaula and the Mobile-Tensaw River Delta. The trail stretches through most of 2014.
The Alabama Bass Trail is the brainchild of Governor Robert Bentley.
What’s so great about this, in my opinion, is that it highlights the great bass fishing we have here in Alabama and, at the same time, it helps lots of other people. There will be a ton of business at the marinas on these bodies of water as well as a lot of food purchased and motel rooms rented.
And I suspect that a number of local guides will get their share of business out of it. You have to figure that some of these teams won’t know as much as they want about some of the places so they’ll hire experts to help them get started. And they’ll probably buy some tackle while they’re doing that. Every lake has local stuff that’s a “must have” if you expect to catch the big ones.
So far as I know, Alabama is the only state doing anything like this. Lots of states promote their fishing — and they do a good job at it — but here in Alabama they’re really going the extra mile. We have serious, committed state backing. That’s a big deal. It makes a difference.
Of course, the sponsors deserve a lot of the credit. They’ve really stepped up to the plate. There’s a bunch of them so I’m not going to try and list them all. I don’t want to leave anyone out. However, if you visit the ABT website, www.alabamabasstrail.org,you can see who they are and support them if they have products or services that you need.
Another thing I like about ABT is that it’s been set up by people who know bass fishing. I think it’ll be done right.
In case you’re wondering, there are no tax dollars involved with this project. The state is supporting it but the prize money all comes from entry fees and sponsors. The public relations stuff all comes out of tourism dollars.
As you can tell, I’m pretty excited about all of this. With $10,000 on the line and an entry fee of only $1,250 for all five tournaments in each division I know that most of the top bass anglers in the area will compete, and we have some good ones. That’s for sure.
Bassmaster Elite Series anglers and FLW Tour Pros are barred from entering any of the events.
The Alabama Bass Trail is a super opportunity for anyone who can fish it. Check it out. Do it soon, though. The number of boats is limited. Spots are filling quickly.