BASS looking at Lay Lake for Classic

Lay Lake is the front-runner to host the 40th Bassmaster Classic in February 2010, according to BASS officials.

BASS announced in February that the 2010 Classic will return to Birmingham at a to-be-determined fishery. ESPN Outdoors briefly revealed on its Web site Thursday that Lay Lake in Shelby County is the preferred site. It will be the lake’s fourth Classic.

“It’s 90 percent done,” said Michael Mulone, Director of Site Selection for BASS. “We hope to have a decision in the coming months.”

Lay Lake last hosted the Classic in 2007 when Demopolis resident Boyd Duckett became the first angler to win a Classic in his home state.

“We had a great experience in 2007. (Lay) is a fantastic fishery that made for good competition,” Mulone said. “We want to put the anglers on the best available water every chance we can.”

Lay also hosted the Classic in 1996 and 2002.

Birmingham was chosen as the host city of the 40th Classic because it is considered the birthplace of BASS.

“It’s not just that it’s great fishing, it’s great fans and host communities that welcome us back,” Mulone said. “These Alabama lakes and destinations do it time and time again.”

Mulone said that while Lay is close to being a done deal, BASS is still looking at Lake Mitchell and Lake Logan Martin for 2010.

The Greater Birmingham Convention and Visitors Bureau will host the event, which will be its 11th Classic, Feb. 19-21, 2010.

“We are very excited to be the host city for the 2010 Bassmaster Classic,” said Mike Gunn, vice president of sales for the Greater Birmingham CVB, in a February press release. “We feel that there is no other place that can offer the very best fishing in the country, the Southern hospitality, great accommodations and great food.”