Top Anglers in the World in Montgomery for Bassmaster Elite Series
The top 100 anglers in the world are in Montgomery this week for the Bass Masters Elite Series. Wednesday anglers prepared for the tournament, with the chance to win $100,000 and a chance to compete in the biggest tournament of them all, the Bass Masters Classic.
Alabama anglers say the bass tournament is embracing it's roots, since bass fishing started on the Alabamaa River
"I'm looking forward to catching maybe the biggest spot I've ever caught," said bass pro Chris Lane of Guntersville.
Lane won the Bass Masters Classic in 2012, and he says the high water levels on the Alabama River could help his chances to win the Elite Series.
"It will have a tendency to bunch the fish up, so where you can catch one, you might be able to catch two or three fish," Lane said, casting his reel during practice Wednesday morning.
Lane says he and other Alabama anglers, like Greg Vinson of Wetumpka, Keith Poche of Pike Road and Russ Lane of Prattville, are happy to represent their state with fans who overwhelmingly support the sport.
"So many people fish this river and I think they're really excited to see what's actually going to come out of here, when you actually put the best in the world on it," Lane said.
People like Sam Cooks, a long time Montgomery angler who bass fishes at least twice a week on the Alabama River.
"We just little boys, we can't compete with the big boys, but we're going to be out there with them," Cooks said about fans who will be on the water during the tournament this week.
By bringing in the best of the best anglers, Bassmasters is also projected to feed more than $2 million dollars into Montgomery's economy. Local fisherman say it's a win-win for the sport and the city.
"We fish tournaments around here locally, and just want to see how they do it and see if we compete the same way," said John Holt of Matthews, Alabama.
Lane says he is especially excited to fish the Coosa River. "The opportunity for a lot of guys to catch their spot of a lifetime is probably going to happen this week ," he said.
Event Note: Due to flooding at the River front, Thursday through Saturday, anglers will be launching at Cooter's pond in Prattville at 6:30 a.m., and weighing in all four days at 3:15 p.m. at Montgomery's Union Station Train shed.
The tournament will be filmed this week and air a one hour special next week on ESPN-2.