Left to right: Professional fishermen Jordan Lee, Matt Lee and Randy Howell at a press conference at Cullman City Hall Wednesday morning (Nick Griffin for The Cullman Tribune)
This story will be updated.
CULLMAN, Ala. – Major League Fishing (MLF) on Wednesday morning announced that Cullman and Smith Lake will host Stage Five of the 2019 MLF Bass Pro Tour from Apr. 30 through May 5.The announcement was made at a press conference at Cullman City Hall.
Lewis Smith Lake is a deep, 21,000-acre lake with steep underwater slopes and more than 500 miles of shoreline. Known for its clear water, it is a popular sport and recreational fishing location for spotted bass (including a state and one time world record specimen), largemouth and striped bass, and many others.
“We are extremely excited to announce this new partnership and adventure with Major League Fishing,” said Woody Jacobs, Mayor of the City of Cullman. “By bringing the 2019 MLF Bass Pro Tour to our community this spring, we will be opening new avenues to sports tourism that were not always an option.
“I want to thank those involved with our Cullman Parks, Recreation, & Sports Tourism, along with Cullman Economic Development Agency for recruiting and securing the event; and also the Cullman County Commission and County Parks and Recreation for providing resources for this all to work. MLF consists of the top bass anglers in the world, and Smith Lake offers one of the best spotted bass fisheries in the entire United States. All of these factors, along with the tourism benefits and the prime coverage will help to make this a successful and fun event.”
Neither the state nor Cullman are strangers to the bass fishing scene. Sixteen of the Bass Pro Tour’s 80-angler field call Alabama home, and Jesse Wiggins, Matt Lee, and Jordan Lee are from Cullman. Jordan Lee won the Bass Pro Tour opener in Kissimmee, Florida in January, placed sixth last week in Conroe, TX, and he’s the two time reigning Bassmaster Classic champion with back-to-back Classic titles in 2017 and 2018.
“Cullman is rich in fishing history and Smith Lake always provides an exciting, competitive environment for bass fishing’s finest,” Michael Mulone, MLF senior director of events and partnerships, said. “Few areas in the country live and breathe the sport like this region does and Cullman always opens wide their arms and doors to make competitors and fans alike feel welcome here. Smith Lake will be a great stop for us.”
The 2019 Bass Pro Tour has already visited Kissimmee, FL and Conroe, TX; and will stop in Raleigh, NC and Dayton, TN before coming to Cullman. For more on this year’s Tour, visit https://majorleaguefishing.com/events/bass-pro-tour/.
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