Bass Fishing’s Most Competitive and Lucrative League Returns To Decatur in 2016

Bassmaster Elite Series Selects Wheeler Lake for fourth tournament location.  
The Decatur/Morgan County Convention and Visitors Bureau (DMCCVB) is pleased to announce Wheeler Lake has been chosen for the site of the fourth tournament location of bass fishing’s most competitive and lucrative league. The city welcomes the Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Elite Series at Wheeler Lake and the nation’s top 109 professional bass anglers to town April 28, 29, 30 and May 1, 2016, the fourth time the city has hosted the event since 2008. Hosted by the DMCCVB, the tournament will be held at Ingalls Harbor and is open to the public.
The Bassmaster Elite Series is one of the highest level of professional bass fishing tournaments and is comprised of nine different tournaments, plus a Classic Bracket event, held throughout the year in locations all over the country. This is an invitation-only competition with the series leading to the Angler of the Year Championship. Competitors must qualify for the series through the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Opens or the B.A.S.S. Nation, and anglers who are already on the Elite Series must requalify each year by maintaining enough points throughout the season. The pro anglers compete all season for the opportunity to win points toward the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the year award and to qualify for the Bassmaster Classic. 
Decaur City Logo“The Elite Series anglers love to fish on Wheeler Lake. It is a top-notch fishery that always shows very well with big bags at the weigh-in stage. The entire community understands what a fantastic natural resource the lake is and always supports B.A.S.S. events. And by the way, Ingalls Harbor may be the premier boat ramp and fishing tournament venue in the country. With the oversized ramp, docks and green space for events, Ingalls Harbor has it all. We are really looking forward to coming to Decatur and showing the Bassmaster audience around the world what a great destination this is,” said Michael Mulone, B.A.S.S. Director of Event and Tourism Partnerships.
The public is invited to watch to top Elite anglers in the nation as they compete for a total prize purse reaching over $600,000 with the top 50 anglers receiving at least $10,000 each for their efforts. The tournament will be televised and appear in a one-hour program on ESPN2 and ESPN Classic networks.
Tournament check-in and briefing is set for April 27 beginning at 3 p.m. with a social for Marshals and Elite anglers from 4:45 to 5:30 p.m. April 25-27 are designated official practice days. Take-off time is 6:15 a.m. daily and contestants will go out in flights. Weigh-ins will be held daily at 3 p.m.
As anglers battle it out on the water, the public is invited to a free festival and expo hosted by the DMCCVB as part of the Bassmaster Elite tournament. Set for Saturday, April 30 and Sunday, May 1, from noon to 5 p.m., the Community Festival and Outdoor Expo offers interactive displays, children’s activities and games, a rock climbing wall and a display of military vehicles. Guests will be able to meet their favorite Bassmaster Elite pros and enjoy live music from the Ben Parker Project on Saturday and Five O’Clock Charlie on Sunday. The DMCCVB hot air balloon will be offering tethered rides (weather permitting) and food trucks will be available for concession purchases.
Wheeler Lake and the city of Decatur will receive four hours of national television time on ESPN2 and ESPN Classic reaching 96 million viewers. The 2011_bassmaster_elite_series_logoWheeler Lake tournament will be televised on ESPN2 on May 22 at 9 a.m. CST and May 29 at 8 a.m. CST and on ESPN Classic on June 26 and July 31 at 10 a.m. CST. Additionally, will provide fishing fans with real-time leaderboards, streaming footage from weigh-ins, photo galleries and analysis at all Elite events. For more information on the Bassmaster Elite Series, visit
“We are excited to host this prestigious event at Ingalls Harbor. The investment and vision by our city leaders in creating this world–class facility is tremendous in attracting tournaments of this caliber,” stated DMCCVB President and CEO Melinda Dunn. “We invite the community to come out and enjoy the excitement of the daily weigh-in’s and enjoy the free festival and outdoor expo taking place on Saturday and Sunday. The media exposure our city and Wheeler Lake will receive from this event will promote travel to our area and boost our local economy.”    
All activities will be held at Ingalls Harbor located at 802 Wilson Street NW in Decatur. For more information, contact Dunn at 800.524.6181.

Comments are closed.