Lay Lake Selected as Fishery for Next Summer's CITGO BASS Masters Classic

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - December 18, 2001 - B.A.S.S. announced today that the fishery for the 2002 CITGO BASS Masters Classic will be Lay Lake in Shelby County. It was announced earlier this year that Birmingham would host the event July 25-27, 2002.

"This will be the first time we fished Lay Lake for a Classic since the 1996 event," said Dewey Kendrick, B.A.S.S. Tournament Director. "Fishing was tough last time, but the lake is very good now and the fishing should be great this summer."

While the City of Birmingham has hosted several Classics, Lay Lake only played host to the 1996 event, with the other three events taking place on nearby Lake Logan Martin (1992, 1993, 1997). A majority of the 40 mile long Lay Lake is contained within the
boundaries of Shelby County.

"With a prestigious event like the CITGO BASS Masters Classic returning to Shelby County's Lay Lake, we are excited not only about the potential economic opportunities the tournament and related activities bring to the area," said  Shelby County Manager Al
ex Dudchock, "but we are also excited about showcasing the State of Alabama's best natural resources. The Classic allows people of all ages to experience a spectacular event while enjoying the talents of some of the country's best fishermen, and we are pro
ud that Shelby County's Lay Lake will play an integral part."

Anglers qualifying for the 2002 event will find that Lay Lake offers a stark contrast to the fisheries for the previous three Classics, New Orleans in 1999 and 2001 and Chicago in 2000.

"Lay Lake is definitely not as large as either the Louisiana Delta or Lake Michigan which are two of the largest bass fisheries in the nation," explained Kendrick. "The anglers will not have to worry about making long runs to find bass."

The fishery will go off limits to any potential qualifier for the 2002 CITGO BASS Masters Classic beginning January 1, 2002, and will not re-open until the official pre-practice days June 24-29.  Lay Lake will then be off limits until the official practice
 day for the Classic.

The launch venue for the event will be Paradise Point Marina. The exciting CITGO BASS Masters Classic weigh-in show  and the CITGO BASS Masters Classic Outdoor Show will take place in the Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center.

With the exception of the launch site, all of the venues for the event are located in close proximity to one another.

"Birmingham definitely offers one of the most convenient layouts for a Classic with all of the venues located next to one another," said Kendrick. "The headquarters is right across the street from the arena and the Classic Outdoor Show."

By sanctioning over 20,000 tournaments worldwide, B.A.S.S. is the world's largest fishing organization. The CITGO BASSMASTER Tournament Trail is the oldest and most prestigious pro bass fishing tournament circuit. It continues to set the standard for credi
bility, professionalism, and sportsmanship after more than three decades.

Sponsors of the 2002 CITGO BASS Masters include: CITGO, Chevrolet Trucks, Mercury Marine, Yamaha Outboards, Triton Boats, Skeeter Boats, Lowrance Electronics, Pennzoil Marine, Flowmaster Exhaust Systems, Stowaway Batteries, Kumho Tires, Long John Silver's,
 Gore-Tex Outerwear, MotorGuide Trolling Motors, Bass Pro Shops, Armstrong Industrial Hand Tools, GMAC/ B.A.S.S. Vehicle & Boat Insurance, B.A.S.S. Platinum Visa/First USA.

Associate Sponsors include: Bass Cat Boats and G3 Boats

The 2002 CITGO BASS Masters Classic will be presented locally by the State of Alabama, City of Birmingham, Jefferson County and Shelby County.

For more information contact:

B.A.S.S. Communications (334) 272-9530