Decatur, Ala. (May 15, 2018) – The Alabama Bass Trail (ABT) is pleased to unveil the 2019 tournament schedule with a cash payout reaching over $500,000 plus a grand prize of a new Phoenix Bass Boat. Returning for the sixth season, the team-style tournament series is held on eleven of the lakes of the Alabama Bass Trail beginning February 16, 2019, with the championship tournament to be held on October 25-26, 2019.
Sanctioned by BASS (Bass Anglers Sportsman Society), the ABT Tournament Series contains two divisions, North and South, and each division is made up of five tournaments on five different lakes. The maximum number of boats for each tournament is 225. Teams must fish in all five tournaments in their respective division; no single entries will be allowed.
Hosted by the Mountain Lakes Chamber of Commerce, the championship tournament is set for October 25-26, 2019, on Lake Guntersville. “One of the most effective measurements of our success is how much of an economic impact a tourism event makes in the community. The Mountain Lakes Chamber of Commerce has hosted an Alabama Bass Trail tournament in the past and once the final numbers were in, an economic impact study was conducted. The study clearly indicated the positive impact the tournament made on the city of Scottsboro and Jackson County from the tax revenue generated during the anglers’ visit. And now more than ever, we are looking forward to hosting the 2019 Alabama Bass Trail Championship at Goose Pond. We hope everyone will come out to experience the excitement this tournament brings,” said J.P. Parsons, vice president of destination marketing for Jackson County Tourism.
The championship event will include up to 185 boats. The 185 boats are comprised of the 10 divisional tournament winning teams, top 75 teams in points from both divisions that fished all five events in their respective divisions, along with the top 15 student boats, top five college teams and the top five couples teams collectively from both divisions that fished all five events in their respective division.
“We are excited to announce the 2019 schedule, especially that the championship is heading to Lake Guntersville where it all started for the Alabama Bass Trail in February of 2014. There has been an incredible interest from new teams about the 2019 schedule. Each year we strive to put together a schedule that will put anglers on the lakes at the best possible time for fishing and we want to change things up from previous years to keep the anglers engaged. Once our tournament travels to an area, we are honored when city officials reach out to us and ask when the Tournament Series will be back. That’s a true testament to the impact the Alabama Bass Trail has on a community,” said ABT Program Director Kay Donaldson.
Each tournament features a $10,000 guaranteed first place prize and pays 40 places totaling over $47,000. In conjunction with the Alabama Bicentennial celebration in 2019, an additional $200 bonus prize will be awarded at each tournament to the team that finishes in the 200th place. The winning team of the championship walks away with a fully rigged bass boat valued at $45,000; there is a $5,000 bonus cash prize for Angler of the Year and $2,500 for runner-up Angler of the Year. According to Donaldson, over $568,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded when the ABT Tournament Series wraps up its season in 2019.
2019 Payout Schedule:
|11th – 20th (each)||$750|
|21st - 40th (each)||$500|
Anglers who fished all five events in their respective divisions in 2018 will be given a priority entry period from August 1 to August 14, 2018, to register online at www.alabamabasstrail.org. Registration will be open to the public on August 15, 2018. The entry fee per tournament is $1,300 per team, which includes registration for all five tournaments in the respective division. Each team may choose to pay a $500 nonrefundable deposit to hold the team’s spot. The balance of $800 must be paid by January 18, 2019.
ABT Tournament sponsors include Phoenix Bass Boats; Bill Penney Toyota; the Alabama Tourism Department; America’s First Federal Credit Union; Academy Sports & Outdoors; Garmin; T & H Marine Supplies, Inc.; Alabama Power Company; Buffalo Rock, Inc.; Jack’s; Wedowee Marine; Trapper Tackle; Lews Fishing; FishNeelyHenry.com; Power-Pole; YETI and Hydrowave. Pond MD will manage fish care and Southern Stream Live will be the live-streaming company.
For more information, call Donaldson at 855.934.7425 or visit www.alabamabasstrail.org.
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.