It’s Tournament Week!

Category: press release

 Jul 4th, 2010 by OutdoorsFIRST 

Modified Jul 4th, 2010 at 12:00 AM

MORRISTOWN, Tenn. – Amid a flotilla of recreational boats on Cherokee Lake, anglers begin practice today for the season-opening tournament on the PAA Bass Pro Shops Tournament Series presented by Carrot Stix.

Chevy pro Anthony Gagliardi of South Carolina is set for the opening PAA Tournament Series on Cherokee Lake. (Photo PAA)

The nation’s birthday celebration will be capped with a monstrous fireworks show tonight over the lake along with a free concert at Cherokee-Hamblin County Park. Thursday morning across the bay from the park, the Tournament Series field will launch for the first of three competition days on the 28,780-acre Holston River impoundment.

Anglers began arriving over the weekend to get settled in and begin practice for what should be a challenging tournament.

“I love fishing the PAA tournaments,” said Fury pro Randy Howell of Alabama. “It gives us time to fish longer through the year. If we want to make a living fishing tournaments then you have to stay busy all year. You can’t work 3-4 months of the year and be done, so it’s definitely good to have another option.”

The opening event of the PAA Tournament Series will award up to $400,000 in cash and prizes. The winner will earn $10,000 and a new Phoenix 719 powered by a Mercury 225 Optimax engine and outfitted with a T-H Marine Atlas Jackplate. Eligible anglers also may benefit from the Bass Pro Shops Tournament Rewards and Phoenix Boats First Flight bonus payout programs.

Daily launches and the first two days’ weigh-ins will be held at Cherokee/Hamblen County Park. The final day weigh-in featuring the top 30 pros will be held at the Bass Pro Shops in Kodak, Tenn., and will be streamed live on AnglersChannel.com via FishPAA.com. Launches and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.

Chevy pro Anthony Gagliardi of South Carolina is gearing up for his second full season on the PAA Tournament Series. He expects a tough tournament due to the summer conditions, but doesn’t mind that a bit.

“This time of year there’s not a lot of other big tournaments going on and I like fishing in summer and autumn,” Gagliardi said. “We’ll be fishing some different patterns that we may normally not get to fish earlier in the year. I’m not a big hunter so I fish pretty much year-round, and having tournaments through summer and into autumn is fun.

“I had a good time last season and am looking forward to this season,” he added. “The PAA tournaments allow us to fish against different people we don’t normally get to see on the water due to the BASS and FLW Tour seasons. You get to see them every now and then, but it’s fun to compete against different guys and your friends while also seeing some new lakes.”

Cherokee Lake has not hosted a major national tournament in years but is no stranger to tournament competition. Northeast Tennessee is legendary for top anglers and stiff competition.

The field will compete for two days before being trimmed to the top 30 for the final day. Anglers will be vying for Tournament Series points that will count toward the Toyota Texas Bass Classic in October on Lake Conroe. The top 15 in the points standings after the first three Tournament Series events, along with the top 15 from the Bassmaster Elite Series and FLW Tour standings and five exemptions, will qualify for the TTBC.

“I’d like to fish a (major) tournament every month,” Howell said. “It’s nice to have a tournament every month and fish for eight or nine months. I’m glad PAA sees the need for what we need to fill the gaps and help us make a living.

“The PAA definitely is the future of our sport and I think the anglers need to pull together to support it. We need more opportunities to fish and make a living by tournament fishing. Doing it through the anglers, ourselves, there’s no better way.”

PAA Sponsors: The PAA Tournament Series is sponsored by Bass Pro Shops, E21 Carrot Stix, Laser TroKar, Markel Insurance, Phoenix Boats, Nitro Boats, T-H Marine, Fishouflage, SolarBat, U.S. Reel, Sign Designs, BoatU.S. Foundation, Mercury Marine and Jasper Engines and Transmissions.

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