Join Bassmaster Pro Tim Horton, winner of the 2017 Elite Series Tournament on Lake Okeechobee, at the 2017 Timmy Horton High School Bass Anglers Challenge on Pickwick Lake April 15. A major change for this year’s tournament is the senior division – for students in grades 10-12 – is open to students from all states. In the past, the tournament has been limited to Alabama residents. Students will compete for $20,000 in college scholarships. For more details call Colbert County Tourism at 256-383-0783 or 800-344-0783.
SHEFFIELD, Ala. – A big change is coming for the Timmy Horton High School Bass Anglers Challenge fishing tournament, which has awarded $80,000 in college scholarships since 2013.
The senior division at this year’s Timmy Horton High School Bass Anglers Challenge on Pickwick Lake is open to students from throughout the United States in grades 10-12. In the past, the tournament has been limited to Alabama students. The junior division, for students in grades 7-9, at this year’s tournament remains limited to Alabama residents only. The tournament, on Saturday, April 15, will be staged out of Riverfront Park in Sheffield.
“I have had kids from all over the country asking me if they could fish the tournament,” said Horton, a professional angler and outdoors television personality from Muscle Shoals, Ala. “By opening up the senior division to students from other states, this year’s tournament is going to be huge. There’s no doubt it will be our largest ever.”
The tournament is organized by the Colbert County Tourism and Convention Bureau. Susann Hamlin, president and CEO of Colbert Tourism, said the influx of out-of-state anglers into the tournament will be a boom for tourism.
“We’ve had students and their parents from Illinois, Virginia, Mississippi, Tennessee and other states calling and emailing our office wanting us to expand the Timmy Horton tournament to student anglers from other states,” Hamlin said. “It seems like everybody wants to come fish for those big bass we have Pickwick Lake and have chance to win a college scholarship.”
The tournament offers $20,000 in college scholarships. The tournament is open to students in public, private and home schools.
Prizes and scholarships will be awarded to the top five individual anglers in each division. In addition, prizes and scholarships to Northwest-Shoals Community College in Muscle Shoals will be awarded to the top anglers in the senior division who live in Colbert, Franklin Lauderdale or Lawrence counties in Alabama. Students do not have to be a member of a fishing team at their school to participate. Students will fish from boats operated by adult captains.
Highlights from the tournament will be televised nationally on World Fishing Network.
Pickwick Lake in northwest Alabama belies the notion that all good things must come to an end. Completed in 1938, the bass fishing in this storied 47,500-acre Tennessee River reservoir is better than ever.
Bassmaster Elite Series tournament angler Timmy Horton was a fishing guide at Pickwick before he became one of the top bass pros in the country. He still fishes Pickwick often and is astounded by what the lake is producing.
“Last spring you had to have 30 pounds to have a shot at winning any bass tournament here,” Horton says. “A 20-pound limit no longer gives you bragging rights at Pickwick.”
Electrofishing by the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources found that Pickwick’s largemouth bass were fatter than bass from other Alabama reservoirs in 2008. That was a harbinger of better things to come. Read More