Wow! Can you believe it's already mid April?! It has been an exciting year for Marshall County!
The 2014 GEICO Bassmaster Classic (aka, the Super Bowl of Bass Fishing) was held at the Guntersville City Harbor on February 21-23. An event such as this does not happen overnight, nor very often in our county. The last Classic on Lake Guntersville was in 1976. Thirty eight years later, a lot has changed, making it all the more special! It took exactly one year and two months worth of planning and was worth it all to be able to have the best 55 anglers in the world weighing in some of Guntersville Lake's most prize winning fish!
We couldn't have done this without the support and assistance from our cities and many volunteers who worked to make it a memorable and successful event. Many stores opened early during the three days after the blast off, and most all hotels were full for the weekend. Record breaking crowds at the morning blast off totaled over 12,000 for the three days combined. The daily weigh-ins and expo were held at the BJCC in Birmingham.
Above, Miss Marshall County, Shelby Cochran, sang the National Anthem on Day 3 and members of the local National Guard presented the colors.
Photo courtesy of Brad Wiegmann.
Randy Howell (Springville, AL) blasts off on Day 3--this would be his winning day as he claimed the coveted title of the 2014 Bassmaster Classic Champion with a 3 day total weight of over 67 lbs! The media coverage before, during, and after Classic have really put Lake Guntersville trending through the roof! It was also just recently named the top bass fishing lake by Fishhound.com
The Classic was a great event and here are some other highlights from this year thus far:
Back in January, we were pleased to host Boyd Duckett's Rat-L-Trap Tournament at Civitan Park. It was a cold but great day for fishing! 160 boats registered for the tournament. The winners, Tony Redwine and Bobby Ovell, took home $4,000 for their five fish limit weighing in at 25.06. The big fish weight was 8.75, caught by Lonnie O’Neal and Jeff Sparks.
Boyd is pictured below with his catch of the day, 5 fish weighing over 38 lbs!
On February 1st, Lake Guntersville was the first stop on the newly formed Alabama Bass Trail tournament series.
With over 200 boats and 400 angler spots filled up last year just weeks after the announcement, it proved to be a highly successful tournament, boasting a local economic impact of around $500,000.
The BASS (Bass Anglers Sportsman Society) sanctioned ABT tournament paid out $10,000 to first place winners Jerry Wright of Waterloo, Ala, and Brandon Staggs of Summertown, Tenn. Their winning five largemouth bass total of 32.09 came as a pleasant unexpected outcome after overcoming a trolling motor earlier in the morning.
On March 15 we hosted over 600 anglers in the Alabama Student Angler Bass Fishing Association tournament at Civitan Park.
The first place team from Childersburg was Alec Nortega and Jesse Smith, with a 5 fish bag weighing 26.63 lbs and the big fish winner at 10.95 lbs! This one big bass weight surpasses the big fish caught in the Bassmaster Classic by Fred Roumbanis at 9.3 lbs. 210 teams competed to earn points for their school and take home a coveted plaque.
Several other great events our county has already hosted this year include: Taste of Albertville, Albertville's Diamond Classic Show Choir Competition, American Bass Anglers Weekend Series, Alabama Bass Federation, Guntersville's Rowing Regatta, and the Alabama Trails Conference, and the Boaz Farm and Poultry Expo to name a few!
We have several upcoming events that will really get you in the spring spirit:
- Rayovac FLW Series April 24-26 at the Lake Guntersville State Park, weighing in the final day on Saturday at Wal-Mart in Guntersville, 4 pm.
- Lake Guntersville Triathlon Festival May 2-4 at the Lake Guntersville State Park
- Arab's 30th Annual Poke Salat Festival May 16-17 Downtown Arab