By Paul Stackhouse
Across the years, plenty of bass tournaments have called Wheeler Lake home. Prizes ranged from cash, boats and even cars.
This week’s fishing tournament offers a week in Japan for two people to the winner.
The inaugural American Dream Tournament is slated for Saturday and Sunday at Ingalls Harbor with registration Friday from 3 to 5 p.m. at Academy Sports 1205 Wimberly Drive S.W., in Decatur. Entry fee is $150 per team. It is a bring-your-own partner event.
Japan’s Kota Kiriyama, who recently moved to Moody, has had his share of success on the Bassmaster tournament trails. He has received six invitations to fish the Bassmaster Classic and won the 2008 Lake Erie Elite.
“I’ve had three of these tournaments in Japan where the winners came to the United States as the grand prize,” Kiriyama said. “Now, I’m doing just the opposite for this tournament. The winner here on Wheeler Lake will go to Japan for a week.”
The winners will get to fish on Lake Biwa in Japan where the world-record-tying largemouth bass weight was caught.
“But, fishing on Lake Biwa is just the beginning. This is also going to be a cultural trip. I can guarantee they are going to enjoy this trip to the homeland. It will be a week of learning history and culture and bass fishing. And, I want to make sure everybody knows that’s just the first-place prize. We have a lot, lot more. If we have say 150 boats entered, second place could be $1,000.”
Takeoffs from Ingalls Harbor are to begin at 6:30 a.m. or safe-light each day with the weigh-ins slated to begin at 3 that afternoon, also at Ingalls Harbor.
To find out more about the tournament, including rules and regulations, you may visit kotaamericandream.com, or call Doug Nichles at 205-396-5556. You also may visit the Decatur/Morgan County Convention and Visitors Bureau’s website at decaturcvb.org.