Tournament set for this weekend

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 3, 2007

DEMOPOLIS &8212; Fishermen will return to Demopolis this weekend to take part in the Alabama Bass Federation&8217;s fishing competition on Demopolis Lake beginning today through Saturday.

The tournament will be the third qualifier for the federation&8217;s competition.

The tournament is expected to bring a large number of fishermen to the Demopolis area, said Kelley Smith, president of the Demopolis Area Chamber of Commerce. Businesses in the area including restaurants and hotels are expected to receive an influx of these fishermen as well, Smith said.

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Ronnie Willingham, of Willingham Sporting Goods agreed with Smith&8217;s sentiments. &8220;You can&8217;t get a room for this weekend in Demopolis,&8221; Willingham said.

Hall too said he expects a large crowd of fishermen to participate in the tournament, but is concerned with outside factors.

The Alabama Bass Federation Inc. is one of the 51 states and international federations that make up the amateur arm of The Bass Federation, Inc. Alabama is one of the largest state federations with over 1,000 members in clubs across the state. Alabama Federation members are grass-roots anglers, dedicated to the future of bass fishing. The federation promotes &8220;catch and release&8221; and is protective of the natural resources surrounding the sport.

According to the federation&8217;s website,, every year, the Alabama Bass Federation Inc. conducts five Bass tournaments. Their one-day qualifying tournaments are traditionally held the first weekend of March, April, May, and June. The two-day state championship is held on the first Friday and Saturday in October. They average 260 anglers in the qualifying tournaments and the top 50 from each qualifying tournament are eligible to compete in the state championship.