The River Region's Wave of the Future!
The Wetumpka Herald
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“Let’s do this all again next year” should have been BASS emcee Keith Allen’s words to the Wetumpka crowd gathered in front of the Wetumpka Civic Center Sunday afternoon at the conclusion of the 2010 Ramada Worldwide Trophy Chase.Wetumpka, during BASS media day Monday, was announced as the host city for the first leg of the 2011 Toyota Trucks Championship Week.“BASS has a lot of ties here,” said Wetumpka Mayor Jerry Willis. “A lot of these people, when they come here, have in-laws and moms and dads. So for them, it’s a chance to come home. When you can come together at an event where it’s wholesome and safe, that says a lot.”
It’s also an opportunity for BASS to return to its roots. Like this year, the event will be set up with the Trophy Chase being contested July 23-24 on Lake Jordan and then the Trophy Triumph event ending the Week July 29-30 on the Alabama River.“The growth of the postseason wouldn’t have been possible without the Montgomery River Region,” said BASS General Manager Tom Ricks. “Their ability to activate and provide ancillary entertainment options for fans around the postseason has been truly impressive and we are confident that we can continue to build on this event.”Prior to becoming the league’s one and only postseason home, Alabama has had a rich history with BASS. Throughout the years, the state has hosted 11 Bassmaster Classics and several events throughout the years.“This is a tremendous way of showing our city worldwide,” said Willis.“That’s the type of promotion that we couldn’t buy. When this thing airs in August, I’ll start receiving phone calls from people in California, in North Carolina, in Kentucky that have grew up here.”Willis also pointed out that the success that the Bass anglers have had here could lead to other organizations choosing this area to host their events.“We can use this as a tool to get our name out there and begin to use the outdoor features that this area has been blessed with as a way to generate an economic boost.”Willis also pointed out that one of the biggest areas where the city would see an immediate benefit from hosting the third BASS postseason is in a hotel.“We need lodging,” said Willis. “If we do what we are capable and start laying the groundout, we can use these tournaments as an economic development tool for the city. To have a hotel or motel come in, that would give them somewhere to stay and it would in turn give Wetumpka an economic boost.”Prior to landing in the River Region to end the season, the Bass Elite Anglers will have to work their way through eight events along the eastern seaboard.“It’s exciting to bring the Elite Series to new communities and expose the most prestigious level of tournament bass fishing to new fans and BASS members,” said Ricks. “We appreciate the support of the outstanding communities that are involved with BASS events.”While there are a couple of familiar stops on the 2011 schedule - a majority of the fisheries are brand new as the schedule has no trips scheduled for the west coast.Following February’s Bassmaster Classic in New Orleans, the Elite Series anglers will kick off their run to the postseason with the Sunshine Showdown (March 10-13) being contested in Tavares, Fla., on the Harris Chain of Lakes. One week later (March 17-20) the pros will assemble again in the Sunshine State to take part in the Citrus Slam on the St. Johns River in Palatka, Fla.Despite hosting 16 BASS events in the past, this will mark the first time an Elite event has been held on the St. Johns River.In April, the Elites will make their first of three stops in Alabama. For the second consecutive year, Florence will play host to the Alabama Charge (April 6-9) on Pickwick Lake.One weekend later (April 14-17) the professional anglers will travel to Louisiana to compete in the Battle on the Bayou, hosted by Many, La. and fished at Toledo Bend.Another first-time stop for the Elite anglers is a stop in Georgia to fish the Pride of Georgia on West Point Lake in West Point.Following the Carolina Clash on Lake Murray in Columbia, S.C. (May 12-15) and the Diamond Drive on the Arkansas River in Little Rock (June 9-12), the Bassmaster Elite postseason puzzle will fall into place with the group’s second trip into Alabama.Wheeler Lake in Decatur will play the stage for the final Bassmaster Elite Series event of the 2011 regular season (June 16-19). From there, the top 12 anglers in the points standings will turn their attention to Lake Jordan and the Alabama River en route to naming the 2011 Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year.“For ESPN/BASS to choose to come back here a third year, we are obviously doing something correct,” said Willis. “And this could be the start of many great things for the community.”
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