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TUESDAY, APRIL 10, 2007
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OUTDOORS
Paul Stackhouse
sports@decaturdaily.com

ABA brings to Wheeler Lake perfect event for the little guy

When fishermen hear people talk about the ABA, it's a good bet they'll do their best to hear what they're saying.

The respected American Bass Anglers will host a qualifying tournament April 20-21 on Wheeler Lake. Anglers involved know that this is the third in a series to qualify for the Grand Slam tournament later this year.

The ABA offers a chance to the guy who doesn't have big bucks to spend on fishing.

"While there is a place for high-entry-fee, huge-money tournaments, the industry has changed to the point that it ran off and left the aspiring professional angler," said Athens' Morris Sheehan, president of the ABA. "American Bass Anglers is returning to the roots of professional bass angling by offering a tournament series for the aspiring professional angler."

The concept of the ABA's Grand Slam Series is to turn back the clock to a time when the stars of today were born. ABA knows there is a lot of potential fishing talent that simply cannot afford the staggering high entry fees of today.

The Grand Slam Series offers six events for 2007. In April, Decatur will host the third tournament at Ingalls Marina. The public is invited to attend the weigh-ins each afternoon at 3 and meet the professional anglers of the future.

The Grand Slam Series will be fished in lakes in the Southeast that have proven the hottest spots for bass. The entry fees will be $550 for boaters and $155 for co-anglers.

There will be a $20,000 prize going to the top boater and $5,500 to the top co-angler at each of the five qualifying events. That payout is based on 200 entries, and the total payout for qualifying events will be 80 percent.

Those who make it to the Grand Slam Series will find they have no entry fee to fish for the championship.The winning boater will receive a fully-rigged Triton Tr21X series boat, Mercury OptiMax 225 motor and a MotorGuide Trolling Motor, all valued at $52,000.

Another $50,000 will be paid out to 20 percent of the remaining boaters. The series co-angler champion will receive a fully-rigged Triton Tr186 boat, Mercury 150hp motor and Motorguide Trolling Motor valued at $30,000. If you think about it, that's not a bad payday for fishing two days on Wheeler Lake.

Another $25,000 will be paid out to 20 percent of the remaining co-anglers.

With all of America's top name marine product manufactures offering incentives, the total possible payout for The Grand Slam Series in 2007 will be over $725,000.

ABA offers over 1250 tournaments per year in 41 states that are designed for the weekend angler. American Bass Anglers' commitment is to provide low cost, close to home tournaments for the weekend angler and at the same time offer each an upward path for angler progression.

For more information, visit americanbassanglers.com.

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Paul Stackhouse Paul Stackhouse
DAILY Correspondent

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