Pickwick and Wilson Lake Tournaments News

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Scotty_Hull.jpgScotty Hull has at least 1,500 reasons to be happy about the only fish he caught during the Fishlife Big Bass Battle on Pickwick Lake.

The 7.93-pounds largemouth bass earned Hull cash prizes totaling $1,500. He earned $500 for catching the largest bass during the first weigh-in period for the tournament that was held Saturday, April 16 out of Riverfront Park in Sheffield. Hull also received a $1,000 bonus for catching the largest bass overall for the tournament. Each of the anglers catching the largest bass during the seven one-hour weigh-in periods received $500.

“It feels good to win,” said Hull, of Summertown, Tenn. “The money is going to come in handy, because the motor on boat went out after I had caught that fish. Now I can use the money to help pay for getting it fixed.”

Hull caught the winning bass early and then spent the rest of day wondering if anyone would catch a larger fish. “It was nerve racking.”

Hull caught the big bass while fishing near Wilson Dam in an area of Pickwick Lake known as The Horseshoe. It was the largest bass Hull has ever caught.

Jody Harrison, founder and CEO of Fishlife, said Pickwick Lake is an amazing fishery. Carson Nash won the second weigh-in period with a 7.25-pounds largemouth bass and Chad Brewer won the third period with a 6.42-pounds largemouth bass. All of the weigh-in period winning fish weighed at least 4.45 pounds.

“We had people turning fish loose that would be considered big bass on a lot of lakes because they knew the bass were not big enough to win up here. Pickwick is a great lake,” Harrison said.

Susann Hamlin, CEO and President of Colbert County Tourism, said the Big Bass Battle format was a great way to showcase Pickwick Lake. “The size of the bass caught during the Fishlife tournament confirms that our lakes, Pickwick and Wilson, are some of the best lakes in the country.”

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A bass tournament coming to Sheffield’s Riverfront Park on April 16 is unlike most fishing competitions held in Shoals.

Bass tournament competitors typically strive to catch five largest fish that will be weighed in at the end of the day.

Instead of weighing in their catch at the end of the day, anglers competing in the Fishlife Big Bass Battle on Pickwick Lake, presented by Fishlife Fish Care Products, will return to Riverfront Park every hour to weigh their fish. Anglers will fish from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. and have seven opportunities to weigh a fish.

The anglers will compete for a $500 cash prize, awarded every hour for the largest bass weighed during that hour. The prize for the overall largest bass of the tournament is $1,000. If the weight of the overall largest bass ends in .00, the prize is $25,000. The entry fee for the tournament is $50.

Unlike many tournaments that are limited to a single angler or two-angler team per boat, the Big Bass Battle events permit as many anglers to fish from a boat as allowed by the vessel’s capacity plate.

Susann Hamlin, president and CEO of Colbert County Tourism and Convention Bureau, in Tuscumbia, said a big-fish-only format on a lake that is filled with huge largemouth and smallmouth bass promises to create plenty of excitement at the Sheffield tournament. “It’s going to be the most interesting bass tournament ever on Pickwick Lake.”

Complete rules and registration forms are available online at fishlife.net. For more information call Harrison at (205) 243-4572 or email him at jody.harrison@fishlife.net.

Jason BuckelewTimmy Horton travels the country fishing in bass tournament and taping shows for his television show, but the fishing trip he looks forward to most of all is on Pickwick Lake.

Since 1999, Horton, a professional angler and outdoors television personality from Muscle Shoals, has hosted Timmy Horton Fishing for Kids on Pickwick Lake. The annual event matches special needs anglers with volunteers who take them fishing. This year’s fishing rodeo is Saturday, Oct. 24, out of Riverfront Park in Sheffield.

Darrin TusseyVolunteers with fishing boats and pontoon boats are needed for the fishing rodeo. The pontoon boats are needed for anglers who use wheelchairs. Volunteers are also needed to help on the shore.
The anglers will fish 9-11 a.m. Live bait can be used and will be provided.
Volunteers are needed 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Lunch will be provided for the anglers and volunteers.

“I guarantee, anybody who comes and helps will leave with a big smile,” Horton said. “The volunteers have as much fun as the anglers. It’s a big day for everyone. It’s a day I look forward to every year.

To volunteer, call 256-332-5540. For more details on the Fishing for Kids program, call Colbert County Tourism and Convention Bureau at 256-383-0783.

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Evan Isbell’s legacy for sharing his love of fishing with others is helping bring smiles to the faces of children participating in Camp Courage, a Helen Keller Experience.

Isbell, 16, a member of the Muscle Shoals Trojan Bass Fishing Team, died in an automobile accident June 23. He was well known for helping special needs children and adults learn to fish through the Timmy Horton Fishing For Kids program and Camp Courage, a Helen Keller Experience.

Isbell, of Tuscumbia looked forward to Fishing for Kids and Camp Courage with as much enthusiasm as he did any of the many bass tournaments he competed in on the Alabama Student Angler Bass Fishing Association on other tours.

“Evan was such a nice young man. He would always come up to me after Camp Courage or Fishing for Kids and thank me for letting him help,” said Susann Hamlin, president and CEO of Colbert County Tourism and Convention Bureau. “He always had a smile on his face when he was helping the children learn how to fish.”

To honor Isbell, Camp Courage, a Helen Keller Experience organizers created the Evan Isbell Angler Award to honor the camper deemed the top angler. Twelve children from throughout Alabama attended this year’s session of Camp Courage Sept. 24-27.

Chase_and_Zachary.jpgThe first recipient the Evan Isbell Angler Award was Zachary Glasgow of Albertville. Glasgow caught a 4 ½ -pound largemouth bass at the Camp Courage fishing day on Pickwick Lake to clinch the prize.

It was the first bass and largest fish that Glasgow, 9, has caught.

“It was huge. It pulled really hard when I was reeling it in. Everybody on the boat was telling me that it was a good one,” Glasgow said. “I loved catching that great big fish.”

Chase Murphy, a close friend of Isbell, presented the special award to Glasgow. Several members of the Muscle Shoals Trojan Bass Fishing Team attended the awards ceremony.

“Evan was always trying to help people. He loved getting to help with Camp Courage and help make the children happy,” Murphy said. “With this award, Evan is still making the Camp Courage kids happy. It is a great way to honor Evan and his parents, Ashley and Connie.”

In addition to fishing, the campers made pottery and candles, explored a farm and nature preserve and learned how to use their abilities to make a difference in the world, just as Helen Keller did.

Camp Courage was sponsored by the Helen Keller Birthplace Foundation,  Optometry Cares  - The American Optometric Association Foundation, Valley Credit Union, University of North Alabama,  Colbert County Tourism and Convention Bureau, Colbert County Commission, Colbert County Community Development Fund, Siemens Industries, Helen Keller Hospital, Muscle Shoals Fishing Team, Tim Horton Fishing,  Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association and Alabama Tourism Department, Wind Creek Hospitality, Cypress Cove Farm and George’s 217.

 
 

Pickwick/Wilson Lake Fishing Guide

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