Guntersville, AL – Governor Robert Bentley today announced the launch of the Alabama Bass Trail, a new statewide tourism, conservation, and education initiative. The Alabama Bass Trail, which features 11 premier bass-fishing lakes, is a cooperative effort between the governor’s office, the Alabama Tourism Department, the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and the Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association.
The AlabamaBassTrail.org web site also launched today with the theme of “Now You’re Hooked.” The site invites visiting anglers to enjoy fishing “hot spots” in Alabama and provides the details they need to plan a trip. Features on each lake include the latest tips from professional anglers and guides, lake maps with hot spots indicated, and current weather and water data. The ability to search for and book accommodations from the site is in the works and will be available in the near future. The 11 lakes – Lake Guntersville, Wheeler Lake, Pickwick Lake, Lewis Smith Lake, Neely Henry Lake, Logan Martin Lake, Lay Lake, Lake Jordan, Alabama River, Lake Eufaula, and Mobile-Tensaw River Delta – stretch from the mountains of North Alabama through the central plains to the Mobile Delta.
Governor Bentley stated, “Don Logan [owner of B.A.S.S.] and I first discussed the concept of promoting the great fisheries in Alabama in my office. The launch of the Alabama Bass Trail is the realization of that goal. Anglers from around the nation will be encouraged to come and fish where the pros fish. I firmly believe the Bass Trail will grow into a successful model that neighboring states will want to emulate.” The partnership with a media giant like B.A.S.S will significantly boost the visibility of the Alabama Bass Trail and its partners.
Currently in Alabama, expenditures by anglers for goods and services exceed $700 million annually. Senator Clay Scofield, chairman of the Senate Tourism Committee, noted that the Alabama Bass Trail will further promote Alabama as a year-round fishing destination to help increase the number of anglers visiting the state’s lakes. The mild climate, mineral rich reservoirs, affordable lodging and dining, as well as public access to boat ramps and marinas are a few of the advantages Alabama offers anglers from across the country.
Conservation and education are two primary elements of the Alabama Bass Trail mission. The Alabama Bass Trail is partnering with the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Alabama Student Angler Bass Fishing Association to educate young men and women about protecting and enhancing Alabama’s natural resources. An annual conservation project at each of the Bass Trail lakes will be one of the service projects in which the clubs may participate. Bass fishing among high school and college students is the fastest growing non-traditional sport in the United States.
Governor Bentley and State Tourism Department Director Lee Sentell selected Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association to develop and operate the Alabama Bass Trail in association with the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society. In addition, Alabama Mountain Lakes is coordinating the communications efforts for the Trail with chambers of commerce and convention and visitors bureaus throughout the state, including Colbert County Tourism, Cullman Area Chamber, Decatur-Morgan County CVB, Etowah County Tourism Board, Eufaula Barbour County Chamber, Florence-Lauderdale Tourism, Greater Birmingham CVB, Greater Jackson County Chamber, Marshall County CVB, Mobile Bay CVB, Montgomery Area Chamber, and Walker County Chamber.
Governor Bentley noted that a key component to the success of the trail is the financial support of both the state and the private entities signing up to partner with the Trail. One of the founding partners for the Alabama Bass Trail is Zack Penney, general manager of Bill Penney Toyota in Huntsville, Alabama. Penney donated a Toyota Tundra wrapped with graphics promoting the Trail. The vehicle will serve as a rolling billboard throughout the state and at major bass fishing tournaments in the region. Other methods being used to communicate to anglers around the country are www.AlabamaBassTrail.org; advertising and editorial coverage in angler-focused media, including Bassmaster, Bass Times, and www.Bassmaster.com; tourism brochures, social media, and television.
For more information, contact:
Alabama Bass Trail