Florence fishing tournament nets income for winner and community

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FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) - Professional anglers have spent two weeks in the Shoals preparing for the Walmart FLW Fishing Tournament.

All that prep work came down to two pounds over the four day tournament, $100,000 went to the winner Sunday.

Every member of the top ten had nothing but praise for the fishing on Pickwick and Wheeler Lakes.

“There's some giant fish here. The smallmouth fishing, they got it all. The anglers love to come where they can get those big guys,” explained Tournament Director Bill Taylor.

In front of a huge crowd in Florence’s McFarland Park, the winner brought in 74-pounds of bass over the four day period. Taylor said this is one of their favorite stops on the trail.

“All of our anglers love the area, simply the Tennessee River system, the hospitality here in the Florence/Lauderdale area. They know what it's going to be like when they get here.”

Tourism officials said they love to see these tournaments come to town. With most participants staying here for two weeks, the economic impact could top a million dollars into local coffers.

“We've talked to all of them, where did you eat, what did you do? Have you shopped? And they have, their families have,” stated Suzie Shoemaker with Florence-Lauderdale Tourism.

And well after these guys leave, tourism officials said they will get even more visits from people wanting to drop their lures into these same waters.

After a couple of more stops on the Walmart FLW Fishing Trail, the Forrest Wood Cup Championship will be held in Huntsville on Wheeler Lake. Those tournament dates are August 4th through the 7th.

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