MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Rising waters of the Alabama River — already at more than 10 feet above the normal level — precipitated a launch change today for the Bassmaster Elite Series Alabama River Charge presented by Star brite, May 9-12.
Originally scheduled for launch at the historic Montgomery Riverfront on Coosa Street, B.A.S.S. Tournament Director Trip Weldon said with the river continuing to rise, the decision was made today to relocate the launch site for the Thursday through Sunday tournament starts.
“From a safety standpoint, we moved the take-off point to Cooter’s Pond in Prattville,” Weldon explained. “We appreciate the consolidated efforts of Mayor Todd Strange of Montgomery and Mayor Bill Gillespie of Prattville in helping us to make this possible.”
Weldon is confident that, regardless of where they launch, the 100 Bassmaster Elite Series pros are going to boat plenty of bass during the tournament, which is the fifth stop of the eight regular season events in the series.
“Fishing is definitely going to be good,” Weldon said. “It has been a very wet spring, and with the water being high, the fishing has been excellent. Our anglers are going to catch a lot of spotted bass.”
B.A.S.S., now based in Birmingham, Ala., was founded in Montgomery in 1968 by Ray Scott. The birthplace of modern bass fishing, Montgomery has been the site of several top-tier Bassmaster competitions, including the Bassmaster Classic in 1981 and 1982. Most recently, Montgomery hosted three consecutive Elite Series postseasons, from 2009 to 2011, but this will be the first regular-season Elite event on the Alabama River.
“It’s great being in Montgomery because we have such strong relationships here that the people involved were able to assist us with coming up with a plan as good as the original one in a matter of minutes,” said Eric Lopez, director of operations for B.A.S.S. “We appreciate the cooperative efforts of the City of Prattville and the City of Montgomery in facilitating this change.”
The Elite field will compete for a first-place prize of $100,000, an instant-in for the 2014 Bassmaster Classic, and points that count toward a Classic qualification and the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year award.
Fans are invited to watch the launches and weigh-ins. Anglers will launch at 6:30 a.m. CT each day at Cooter’s Pond Boat Ramp, 1844 Cooter’s Pond Road, Prattville, AL 36066.
The weigh-ins, originally scheduled for the first two days at the Montgomery Riverfront Amptheatre, will now be held each day beginning at 3:15 CT at the Riverfront Park Union Station Train Shed [300 Water Street, Montgomery, AL 36104].
While the pros are on the river, fans can enjoy the Bassmaster Elite Series Expo, which will open at noon Thursday-Sunday. All Bassmaster fan activities are free and open to the public.
Bassmaster.com will provide extensive online coverage. Features include live, streaming video and real-time leaderboards during the weigh-ins; blogs and videos from the water; the Lowrance War Room, which features data and analysis from the BASSTrakk catch reports; daily results; photo galleries; news stories and much more.
ESPN2 will air coverage of the Alabama River Charge presented by Star brite on June 2 from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. ET on The Bassmasters TV show.
The local host of the event is the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce, http://www.montgomerychamber.com/. For more details, visit Bassmaster.com.
2013 Bassmaster Elite Series Official Sponsors: Toyota, Bass Pro Shops, Berkley, Evan Williams Bourbon, Humminbird, Mercury, Minn Kota, Nitro Boats, Skeeter Boats, Triton Boats, Yamaha
2013 Bassmaster Elite Series Supporting Sponsors: Carhartt, Diet Mountain Dew, Livingston Lures, Lowrance, Luck-E-Strike, Power-Pole, Ramada, Shimano
2013 Bassmaster Elite Series Proud Partner: Mustang Survival
About B.A.S.S. For more than 45 years, B.A.S.S. has served as the authority on bass fishing. The organization advances the sport through advocacy, outreach and an expansive tournament structure while connecting directly with the passionate community of bass anglers through its Bassmaster media vehicles.
The Bassmaster brand and its multimedia platforms are guided by a mission to serve all fishing fans. Through its industry-leading publications — Bassmaster Magazine and B.A.S.S. Times — comprehensive website Bassmaster.com and ESPN2 and Outdoor Channel television programming, Bassmaster provides rich, leading-edge content true to the lifestyle.
The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Open Series, Carhartt Bassmaster College Series, B.A.S.S. Nation events and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the Bassmaster Classic.
B.A.S.S. offers an array of services to its more than 500,000 members and remains focused on issues related to conservation and water access. The organization is headquartered in Birmingham, Ala.