Alabama bass healthy after Classic


Alan McGuckin

Editor's note: this story originally appeared on

Many bass fishing fans might wonder what happened to all those fish that were hauled in the livewells of the Bassmaster Classic anglers all the way from Lake Guntersville to BJCC in Birmingham for the Classic weigh-ins.

According to David Rainer of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ACDNR) nearly all of them wound up back where they came from thanks to the efforts of ACDNR biologists and hatchery workers.

After Bassmaster Tournament Director Trip Weldon weighed the fish in front of all the fans, he handed a basket through a trap door in the stage floor to a runner, who hurriedly transported the fish to large holding tanks on WFF vehicles.

WFF Hatchery Supervisor Brian Rinehard, who oversees all three hatcheries in the state (Eastaboga, Marion and Carbon Hill), teamed up with Gene Gilliland, B.A.S.S. Conservation Director, to determine how many tanker trucks would be needed during the Classic to transport the bass from the arena.

“Gene gave me an estimate of how big and how many fish they expected to be weighed in each day of the Classic,” Rinehard said. “We made sure we had trucks to easily handle that capacity.”

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