High school anglers fish for state championshipPublished 4:48pm Friday, May 10, 2013
By PHOEBE DONALD ROBINSON/For the Reporter
COLUMBIANA – The Alabama Student Angler Bass Fishing Association (ASABFA) rolled into Columbiana Friday afternoon.
Approximately 200 boats pulled by pickup trucks or SUVs drove down Mildred Street to stop in front of the Old Shelby County Courthouse for the first official weigh-in of the ASABFA 2013 State Championship. Each two-student team from high schools all over Alabama weighed their live fish, with a limit of five per boat, and one big fish. Southeastern Pond Management housed the fish to be rereleased back to Lay Lake.
Main Street was full as people watch the fish being weighed. Two sets of bleachers banked each side of the courthouse filled with cheering spectators. Hot dog, BBQ, snow cones, and gift vendors lined the street.
On Thursday night the Shelby County Exhibition Center was filled with student anglers, their coaches and boat captains for a BBQ dinner hosted by the City of Columbiana and catered by Johnny Rays of Chelsea. Chelsea High School Fishing Team was first place going into last week’s Lake Tuscaloosa match.
The anglers launched out of Paradise Point Marina on Lay Lake early Friday morning and will again Saturday morning at 6 a.m. The boats will depart the marina Saturday at 2 p.m. to arrive at the Shelby County Exhibition Center around 2:15 p.m. for the final weigh-in. The public is invited to this free event.
After the Saturday weigh-in, the ASABFA State Championship 2013 Angler Team will be announced with the highest total weight for the two-day championship and also the biggest fish caught. The top 20 ASABFA Teams of the Year will also be announced Saturday night.
ASABFA member Norman Brown and Columbiana’s Marketing Director Helen Dean worked tirelessly to figure out the logistics to bring the ASABFA State Championship to Lay Lake and Columbiana. Mayor Stancil Handley hopes that the ASABFA will return next year to the Lay Lake and Columbiana. To see the weigh-in streaming live feed, go to alabasstrail.org.
The public is welcome to watch the final weigh-in Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 2 p.m. at the Shelby County Exhibition Center on Highway 70.