Wheeler Lake to Kick Off 2017 Alabama Bass Trail Tournament Series

North Division makes first stop in the River City February 25.


Decatur, Ala. (February 20, 2017) – The North Division of the Alabama Bass Trail Tournament Series will make its first stop for 2017 in Decatur this weekend, bringing with it over 400 anglers to fish the waters of Wheeler Lake where a guaranteed first place prize of $10,000 is up for grabs. Hosted by the Decatur-Morgan County Convention and Visitors Bureau (DMCCVB), the tournament is set for Saturday, February 25 and has attracted amateur anglers from across the southeastern United States. The one-day tournament is expected to generate an approximate $450,000 economic impact for Decatur and Morgan County. 


Sanctioned by BASS (Bass Anglers Sportsman Society), the Alabama Bass Trail Tournament Series contains two divisions: North and South. Each division is made up of five tournaments on five different lakes. The maximum number of boats for each tournament is 225. For the tournament on Wheeler Lake, 203 two-angler teams are registered to compete. According to DMCCVB President and CEO Melinda Dunn, the tournament is expected to pump an estimated $450,000 into the local economy through revenue generated by dining, shopping, and overnighting in local hotels and motels by anglers and their family members.


A film crew with Anglers Channel will be on hand filming for Alabama Bass Trail TV, which will air on Fox Sports Southeast (FSS) in July. The 30-minute episode will take viewers inside the boats of the competitors as they navigate Wheeler Lake and will feature local eateries and attractions located in Decatur and Morgan County. FSS, owned by Fox Cable Networks and operates as an affiliate of Fox Sports Networks, is available in over 12.4 million homes throughout Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi, South Carolina and a large portion of North Carolina. For more information on Fox Sports Southeast, visit wwwfoxsports.com/south.


Takeoff is set for approximately 6:30 a.m. or safe light and weigh-in begins at 2:30 p.m. at Ingalls Harbor, located at 802 Wilson Street NW in Decatur. Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public. Registration is from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Ingalls Harbor Pavilion on Friday, February 24. A captain’s meeting will follow at 6:30 p.m.


The tournament on Wheeler Lake offers an incredible payout with a $10,000 guaranteed first place prize and will pay 40 places totaling over $47,000.


Payout Schedule:

First place       $10,000

Second place   $ 5,000

Third place      $ 4,000

Fourth place    $ 3,000

Fifth place       $ 2,000

Sixth place      $ 1,500

Seventh place  $ 1,100

Eighth place    $ 1,100

Ninth place     $ 1,100

Tenth place     $ 1,100

11th – 20th      $    750 each

21st – 40th      $    500 each


Current Alabama Bass Trail Tournament sponsors include Bill Penney Toyota, Phoenix Bass Boats, GP8 Oxygen Water, Garmin, Academy Sports and Outdoors, Wind Creek Hospitality – Wetumpka, Wind Creek Hospitality – Montgomery, Alabama Tourism Department, SCA Performance, T-H Marine Supplies, Wedowee Marine, AFTCO, FishNeelyHenryLake.com, Lew’s Fishing, Crossed Industries, YETI, E3 Apparel, TVA, and Alabama Power.


For more information on the Alabama Bass Trail and the tournament series, call Program Director Kay Donaldson at 855.934.7425 or visit www.alabamabasstrail.org


For more information on the Wheeler Lake tournament, call Dunn at 256.350.2028 or 800.524.6181.


About Alabama Bass Trail

The Alabama Bass Trail is a program of the Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association. Its mission is to promote Alabama as a year-round fishing destination, to preserve natural resources for generations to come, and to educate high school and college-aged students to be good stewards of natural resources. The 13 bass fishing lakes consist of Lake Guntersville, Wheeler Lake, Pickwick Lake, Lewis Smith Lake, Neely Henry Lake, Weiss Lake, Lake Martin, Lay Lake, Logan Martin Lake, Lake Jordan, Alabama River, Lake Eufaula, and the Mobile-Tensaw River Delta. For more information, visit www.alabamabasstrail.org.


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