Classic returning to its best home

It’s good to see ESPN and BASS know where home is.

Last week, the two announced that the 40th Bassmaster Classic will return to Lay Lake in February 2010. It’ll be the fourth Classic to be hosted at the Coosa River lake outside Columbiana and the seventh Classic to be hosted in the Birmingham area.

Two years ago, when the Classic was last here, many people talked in the hallways of the Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Complex that the Classic should return every year to this area.

I agree.

Lay Lake provided exciting fishing in some pretty cold waters in February 2007.

It also led to history, as Boyd Duckett of Demopolis became the first angler to win the event in his home state.

Fishing secrets were revealed through the event, learning that some of the best catches in those conditions were hovering around the Gaston Steam Plant in Wilsonville, fishing the current of the warmer water coming from the plant.

The Classic was my first, and sparked an interest in keeping up with bass fishing. Little did I know at the time, that we’d have the first woman angler to fish a Classic come from our backyard two years later. Kim Bain-Moore, a native of Australia, emerged from Alabaster last fall to earn a spot in last month’s Classic in Louisiana. She failed to make the Saturday cut, but is ready to make another push to fish her home lake.

It’s pretty neat to stand around on the bank and realize that some of the world’s best anglers are fishing the lake that you can fish every week.

I haven’t taken advantage of getting out on the water since I’ve been here. I need to. The only fishing I’ve done in the past two years was at a small pond in West Jefferson County almost two years ago.

However, we should all take advantage of the beautiful waters we have available and spend a morning fishing the fruitful waters of Lay.

Also, if you’ve never been, plan on visiting the Classic when it returns to town.

Outside the Lines is a weekly opinion column.