TUSCUMBIA, Ala. – On October 31, 2012, the Colbert County Tourism and Convention Bureau announced plans for the premier of the Timmy Horton High School Bass Anglers Championship. The event will be held on Pickwick Lake on May 18, 2013. The tournament will be televised and will be a no-entry-fee event with the winning teams being awarded scholarship monies.
“This event will be open to all high school fishing clubs in Alabama. To date, 46 clubs exist in Alabama with clubs being added on an ongoing basis,” said Wayne Holt, regional director for Northwest Alabama, headquartered in Muscle Shoals.
Several local coaches were involved in planning the tournament and they are excited about hosting what should become an annual event. These coaches include Sandy Evans of the Russellville Club, Cindy McDaniel from the Colbert Heights Club, Emily Blanton from the Belgreen Club and Kathy Gotcher of the Muscle Shoals Club. Evans noted, “We are privileged to be a part of this great opportunity for our students in the state of Alabama, I would have never imagined an opportunity like this for our anglers.”
“As Pickwick Lake is gaining in popularity with bass anglers nationwide, it is fitting to host this tournament on Pickwick Lake,” said Susann Hamlin, executive director of the tourism office.
Pickwick is also the home lake for Bassmaster Elite Series pro angler Timmy Horton, and it is particularly “hot“ for big bass right now. Horton has offered his name to this tournament and will lead the effort to bring in these youth anglers to compete in what we hope to be an annual classic event.
“Our plans are to allow each club to send teams to the tournament. Scholarship money will be awarded in two age categories, grades seven through nine and grades ten through twelve. This is the first statewide high school club tournament we know of that will pay out scholarship monies,” said Horton.
Horton also notes, “The event is also going to be televised which is a huge plus for the students to showcase their skills. Also, what an opportunity it is to compete in an event and know these anglers have a chance to help continue their education; it does not get any better than that.”
During the 2010 Alabama Legislative Session, state representative Johnny Mack Morrow introduced a bill that was subsequently signed by Governor Bob Riley to create the Alabama Student Angler Bass Fishing Association.
Representative Morrow said, “I just want to thank the Colbert County Tourism Office and bass pro angler Tim Horton who have joined together in a partnership to put this tournament together. This should help tremendously in bringing attention to the prolific fishing opportunities that Alabama and especially North Alabama has to offer. Fishing is a sport that both boys and girls can participate in while having fun and while taking advantage of our great outdoors. We invite the Alabama Athletic Association to join with us to promote this event throughout the state."