BASS announced today that the 2010 Bassmaster Classic will return in February to Lay Lake in Shelby County, Ala., site of three previous Classic competitions — 1996, 2002 and 2007.
Fifty-one Classic qualifiers will hit the Coosa River impoundment Feb. 19-21 for the 2010 Classic title. As previously announced, the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex in downtown Birmingham, Ala., will be the site of the daily weigh-ins and accompanying 2010 Bassmaster Classic Outdoors Expo. This weekend BASS firmed up the location for the morning festivities at Beeswax Creek Boat Ramp, 537 Beeswax Park Road, near the town of Columbiana, Ala.
"Shelby County is excited about the opportunity to showcase our natural resources and attract an international audience as we host our fourth Bassmaster Classic," said Shelby County Manager Alex Dudchock. "Lay Lake continues to be a destination for anglers and water recreation enthusiasts, and Shelby County will continue to promote tourism through these types of events in our local, regional and state economy."
Alabama is no stranger to the biggest event in the sport. The state has hosted 10 Classic events, including three contested on Lay Lake. The most recent, in 2007, is famous for being the first to be won by a home-state pro: Bassmaster Elite Series pro Boyd Duckett of Demopolis. He laid to rest the myth of "home-state jinx" when he won with 48 pounds, 10 ounces of Lay Lake bass.
Duckett bested fellow Elite pro Skeet Reese of Auburn, Calif., by just 6 ounces.
Reese, who landed his first Classic title less than a month ago at the Red River in Louisiana, said another Classic on Lay Lake could be his chance to extract about 6 ounces' worth of revenge.
"Another Classic on Lay Lake is great news. I will get the opportunity to go back to Lay Lake and try to win. Finishing second to Boyd in 2007 was a little tough to swallow," he said half-jokingly.
"I feel a Classic on Lay also will be an opportunity for me to repeat as champion, and I'm excited about going back there."
With the defending champion's automatic qualification for 2010, right now Reese is the only angler with a secured berth — the other 50 will qualify through various BASS tournament circuits.
"Birmingham is excited to host the 40th Bassmaster Classic and we anticipate another fantastic event," said Mike Gunn, vice president, Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau. "This is our seventh time hosting this prestigious, major sporting event."