Bain-Moore finishes 13th in WBT opener

The quest to Lay Lake and the 2010 Bassmaster Classic began this week up river in Gadsden, as Pam Martin-Wells of Bainbridge, Ga., won the Women’s Bassmaster Tournament on Neely Henry Lake Saturday.

Martin-Wells won $1,000 and a Skeeter/Yamaha boat rig valued at $55,000 after she brought in a three-day catch of 28 pounds, 10 ounces, besting Tammy Richardson of Amity, Ark., who recovered after a slow first day to finish second with 38-3.

Martin-Wells’ win put her in front in the 2009 Toyota Tundra Women’s Bassmaster Tour Angler of the Year points race. The pros are racking up points to qualify for the Oct. 16-18 Academy Sports and Outdoors WBT Championship on the Red River out of Shreveport-Bossier City, La. One pro will emerge from the championship as the 2009 AOY and earn a berth in the 2010 Classic, set for Feb. 19-21 on Lay Lake outside Columbiana.

Last yaer’s WBT Angler of the Year, Kim Bain-Moore of Alabaster, qualified for the 2009 Classic last month. She was the first woman to compete in a Classic after holding off her competition through the season. Her season-opening win last year helped set the tone for AOY award. Bain-Moore finished 13th Saturday with 25 pounds, 9 ounces.

“I just had fun fishing today,” she said. “Certainly I’ll be trying to make the Classic again, but I’d be more than happy to be able to share that experience with another lady.”