Tourists from around the world visit Guntersville for 50th Bassmaster Classic

Northeast Alabama
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GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. – Day two of the 50th Bassmaster Classic on Lake Guntersville wrapped up Saturday.

The so-called Super Bowl of bass fishing brings in millions of dollars for the state.

Hundreds of people braved the bitter cold and wind to see 53 anglers take off from Civitan Park in Guntersville for the 50th Bassmaster Classic.

One group told WHNT News 19 they call Canada home.

“It’s cold for down here. It’s normal for where we are, but we’re on a fairly big lake,” said Canadian resident and spectator Dave Flindall.

They said they were excited to see some of their own representing in the biggest bass fishing competition in the world.

“We came down to see the three Canadians. This is the first time three Canadians have been in the Bassmaster, so the sport is really growing in Canada, professional bass fishing, so it’s pretty amazing to come down and see all this,” said Flindall.

Another group was visiting Marshall County from Indiana.

“I’ve never been here before. It’s pretty cool to see the Bassmaster guys here,” said Indiana resident and event spectator Fred Claar.

Both groups said they have seen nothing but southern hospitality while in town.

“It seems like it’s just an awesome fishery. Everybody down here has been nice. And it‘s not crowded like you’d think it would be, and it’s just a good time down here,” said Claar.

“Everyone has been so friendly. We were speaking to one of the sheriff’s this morning, it was pretty amazing. He stopped to talk to us for about 10 minutes and everybody’s been so friendly, it’s been very, very welcoming,” said Flindall.

Guntersville Mayor Leigh Dollar told WHNT News 19 that the three-day tournament is bringing in more than $30 million to the state of Alabama.

She said most, if not all, of the hotels in town are booked up.

Mayor Dollar also said the press after the Bassmaster Classic is also a huge benefit to the local economy, which could potentially draw in visitors long after it’s over.

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