Lay Lake to host 2010 Bassmaster Classic

Word that the 2010 Bassmaster Classic is returning to Lay Lake leaked out in the late summer on an ESPN Outdoors Web page, but it was confirmed Tuesday, granting the Shelby County lake its third classic in nine years and fourth overall. Previous Classics on Lay were 1996, 2002 and 2007.

The 40th Bassmaster Classic will launch from Beeswax Park Feb. 19-21, 2010 with daily weigh-ins at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex

“Shelby County is excited about the opportunity to showcase our natural resources and attract an international audience as we host our fourth Bassmaster Classic,” said Shelby County Manager Alex Dudchock in a release from BASS. “Lay Lake continues to be a destination for anglers and water recreation enthusiasts, and Shelby County will continue to promote tourism through these types of events in our local, regional and state economy.”

Michael Mulone, Director of Site Selection for BASS told the Shelby County Reporter in July that the deal with Lay Lake was 90 percent done and planned for a complete announcement in late February to early March. Birmingham was announced as the 2010 host city during the 2008 Classic.

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

Shelby County has played a prominent role in Bassmaster Classic history in recent years. In 2007, Demopolis resident Boyd Duckett became the first angler to win the event in his home state at Lay Lake. Last month, Alabaster resident Kim Bain-Moore became the first woman to fish the “Super Bowl of bass fishing.”

Duckett, a Classic rookie in 2007, beat California angler and 2009 Classic champion Skeet Reese by six ounces in 2007. Reese is looking forward to another shot on Lay.

“”Another Classic on Lay Lake is great news. I will get the opportunity to go back to Lay Lake and try to win. Finishing second to Boyd in 2007 was a little tough to swallow,” Reese said in a BASS release. “I feel a Classic on Lay also will be an opportunity for me to repeat as champion, and I’m excited about going back there.”

The Classic is the seventh will be the seventh to be hosted in Birmingham and will celebrate 40 years of the Classic.