For years, locals have known Wheeler Lake as a hot spot for all kinds of fishing- catfish, bass, crappie and more. With the addition of Ingalls Harbor, weekend competitive anglers and pro anglers are also experiencing the fishing mecca of Wheeler Lake and Decatur and Morgan County are benefiting from the revenue generated from hosting multi-day tournaments.
“Fishing tournaments will be an integral part of the Decatur-Morgan County Convention and Visitors’ efforts in 2014,” said President and CEO Melinda Dunn. “Nineteen tournaments are lined up bringing in thousands of anglers to test their skills on Wheeler Lake.” Beginning in March, tournaments will take place each month through November, and often anglers will visit months before a tournament or in the days leading up to the tournament to scout a location.
Tournament organizer Myles Reed is bringing six amateur tournaments to Ingalls Harbor. A division of Heartland Angers, the Myles Reed Fishing Tournament, kicks off March 1, 2014 with tournaments also set for April 5, May 24, June 28, July 5, and August 2. A week later, the Xtreme Bass Series returns to Ingalls Harbor on March 9, with tournaments also set for August 10 and September 7.
The Hooked on Decatur Bass Team Tournament returns for the third year on March 29. Proceeds from the one-day tournament benefit the Wounded Warrior Project. The tournament is open to all anglers who possess a current Alabama State Freshwater Fishing License, and as a special thank you to veterans, a boat captain and entry fee will be provided for any wounded veteran that would like to fish in the tournament.
The sixth annual FCA Bass Anglers Classic, a fundraiser for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, is set for April 26th, and the following weekend, Ingalls Harbor welcomes the fifth annual Homeland Security Bass Tournament. The no-entry fee tournament is open to first responders, active military personnel, police officers, firefighters, reservists, and members of the National Guard.
The second Saturday in May, anglers are invited to come out and fish for a cure. The third annual City of Athens Relay for Life Bass Fishing Tournament is set for May 10 at Ingalls Harbor.
The American Bass Anglers, who conducts the largest and most prestigious tournament trail for weekend anglers, is bringing its Weekend Bass Series to the River City on May 17, the American Couples Series on July 12, and the Ray Scott Championship, formerly known as the Weekend Bass Series Championship on November 12-15.
The Alabama Bass Trail is bringing its new tournament series for amateur anglers to Wheeler Lake May 30-31. Registration is already closed with four hundred anglers registered to compete.
The Alabama B.A.S.S. Federation Nation is bringing a qualifying tournament to Wheeler Lake on June 7. The tournament is expected to draw 200 anglers from across Alabama. The Alabama Bass Federation Inc. is one of the fifty-one 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 1,300 members in clubs across the state. The Alabama Bass Federation Inc. Tournament Trail is the only way an amateur fisherman can compete against the top professional fishermen in the most prestigious FLW Championships Tournament Trail.
Offering affordable bass fishing tournaments for the weekend angler with both adult and junior angler categories, the Alabama North District of the National Bass Fishing Trail will be at Ingalls Harbor November 1-2.
“Competitive weekend anglers travel with family members during these multi-day tournaments where they are found shopping in local establishments and convenience stores, dining in our restaurants, and overnighting in our hotels, motels, and campgrounds,” added Dunn. “The revenue generated from anglers visiting to scout a location and during tournaments is a welcome boost to our local economy.”
Ingalls Harbor Pavilion, located at 802-A Wilson Street NW in Decatur, will host the above-mentioned take-offs and weigh-ins. Take-offs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.
For more information on fishing tournaments on Wheeler Lake, contact Melinda Dunn at 800.524.6181 or 256.350.2028.