FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) – They are heralded as some of the best fishing spots in the U.S., and this week professional anglers from all over are descending on the Shoals.
For the first time, three major tournaments are being held at the same time on three northwest Alabama lakes, and the local impact is huge.
The trucks are parked and the gear is being sorted for an epic week of fishing across the Shoals.
“I think the local people don’t realize how significant they are in the bass fishing world,” stated Suzie Shoemaker with Florence-Lauderdale Tourism.
So significant – pro, semi-pro, and high school anglers are all participating in tournaments on Wheeler, Wilson and Pickwick Lakes this week.
Jimmy Mason is a professional fisherman who calls the Shoals home.
He’s proud of the fisheries here and said hands-down Wilson and Pickwick Lakes has some of the best fishing in the country.
“Both of them are top 5 small-mouth bass fisheries in the nation. So, we have incredible fisheries and the weights this week will be huge and all the guys will catch a lot of fish. So it’s just a great area,” explained Mason.
And Suzie Shoemaker added the fishermen bring big money with them for tournaments like these, and it’s spilling over into the surrounding areas.
“I was talking with some of our hoteliers last week about this upcoming week, and everybody’s overbooked,” said Shoemaker. “So we’re hoping that will help push out to the surrounding area as well.”
And with eyes across the bass fishing world on the Shoals this week, Shoemaker said hosting these tournaments will pay-off big in the future.
Pro-anglers competing in the Walmart FLW Tour event will be fishing on Pickwick Lake this weekend.
Weekend anglers will be participating in the BFL All-American Championship on Wilson Lake, while high school fishing teams will compete in the Alabama State High School Fishing Open on Wheeler Lake for a spot in their championship.