Where bass fishing is king. Shelby County’s Lay Lake to host Basspro.com Bassmaster Eastern Open and more

Bass fishing tournament on Lay Lake. Photo courtesy of B.A.S.S.

This week, B.A.S.S., the Birmingham-based company that is the worldwide authority on bass fishing announced it is moving the Basspro.com Bassmaster Eastern Open from Syracuse, New York to Shelby County’s Lay Lake.

Of course for bass fishing aficionados, Lay Lake is the storied local fishery that has hosted four Bassmaster Classics. 

Last March, Birmingham hosted the 50th Bassmaster Classic. The Classic is like the Super Bowl or The Masters of bass fishing.

Attracts 400 Angler Plus Fans

Birmingham, Bassmaster Classic, fishing
The ultimate catch by Chris Zaldain. Photo courtesy of B.A.S.S.

The upcoming Basspro.com Bassmaster Eastern Opens will be economic boost for rural Shelby County and the Birmingham metro area.

In terms of participation, the tournament typically attracts 220 pros/boaters and 200 non boaters. 

Each division consists of four three-day tournaments in which pros compete for cash prizes and the coveted performance points in the Opens standings. For every angler fishing in the pro division, a co-angler is assigned to fish from the back of the boat. Co-anglers fish against other co-anglers for a cash prize. 

Pros weigh in their heaviest five bass each competition day, and co-anglers can weigh in up to three per day. The three-day format sees a full field of pros and co-anglers fishing the first two days, with only the Top 12 in each division fishing the third and final day.

Lay Lake is a Top Choice

Bass Fishing on Lay Lake. Photo courtesy of B.A.S.S.

Best known for its spotted and largemouth bass fishing, Lay Lake, a 12,000-acre Southern Company reservoir, is a top choice for anglers year-round. 

“Shelby County, Alabama and B.A.S.S. have a long and successful collaborative history, and we are extremely pleased Lay Lake will once again be the host of championship fishing with a Bassmaster Open,” said Shelby County Manager Chad Scroggins. “Anglers will be treated to one of the nation’s top fisheries.”

College Tournament Coming to Lay Lake in November

The pros are the only ones coming to Lay Lake this fall, The best anglers from the college ranks will compete on Lay Lake for the 2020 College Classic Bracket, which will be held in November . The Top 4 teams from the College Series National Championship will compete individually in a head-to-head format with a coveted invitation to the 2021 Bassmaster Classic going to the winner.

Tournaments Statewide

Birmingham, Bassmaster Classic, fishing
Clent Davis working on a catch. Photo courtesy of B.A.S.S.

Alabama is a Mecca for bass fishing. If you are interested in attending tournament or learning more about this fast growing sport that is regularly featured on ESPN 2, visit bassmaster.com .

  • Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.