The River Region's Wave of the Future!
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After serving as the host of the Alabama State Championship, the Alabama River and the City of Millbrook will play an even more important role in the realm of crappie fishing.
Millbrook is preparing to host the top crappie anglers Sept. 27 through Oct. 2 as part of the 2011 Bass Pro Shops Crappie Masters National Championship. More than 300 anglers and 150 boats from 20 states are expect to compete for the national title.
“This is the Super Bowl of Crappie Fishing,” said Crappie Masters President Paul Alpers. “You are going to see the guys that this is what they do for a living. They begin fishing in January and won’t stop until September.”
The anglers have fished tournaments throughout the southeast along with Iowa and, Missouri.
The 2011 championship will be fished simultaneously on the Alabama River and Lake Jordan.
“We added Lake Jordan to take some of the pressure off the river,” said Alpers. “And we have some anglers that prefer fishing lakes we wanted to give them that option.”
Anglers will have the option to launch at any point along the Alabama River or from Bonner’s Point in Slapout.
They have to be checked-in at the weigh-in site in Millbrook by 4:30 p.m. on Sept. 30 and by 3 p.m. Oct. 1.
The top eight finishers will be paired with eight youth anglers Sunday morning for a four-hour fishing session with scholarship prizes on the line as part of the Crappie Masters Youth Championship.
“The fishery has been outstanding,” said Bobby Brown Crappie Masters vice president. “The first year we were there it broke records. But I really don’t know what to expect.”
There will be two return boats running and fish caught will be returned to their respective bodies of water. According to a press release issued by Crappie Masters, the expected economic impact of an event of this magnitude on Millbrook and Elmore County is somewhere near $2 million.
“We’ve got about 350 fishermen coming and bringing their families and then we have sponsors Crappie Masters staff and sportswriters from the across the country, attending the tournament,” said Alpers. “So that’s over 500 people right there. Normally we have upwards of 650, but with gas prices being what they are, some are just not traveling.”
During the National Championship Tournament, anglers will compete for the first place award of Z7 Nitro Boats powered by 150 HP Mercury engines.
The second place award is a minimum of $10,000 and the third place award is $5,000 or products of greater value. The fourth through 30th place awards are cash.
Overall $175,000 worth of cash and prizes are up for grabs during the tournament. During Wednesday’s banquet prizes will also be presented to the winner of the Big Fish of the Year, Top Weight of the Year, and Angler of the Year and Team of the Year.
A special meet-and-greet will be held Sept. 27 at Prattville’s Bass Pro Shop from 6-8 p.m. Weigh-ins, held at Millbrook’s Mill Creek Baseball Park Complex is free and open to the public.
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