Eufaula "Reels in" Million Dollar Economic Impact

By Andrew Wittenberg  - bio | email | Twitter

EUFAULA, ALA (WTVM) - It's a big weekend in Eufaula as hundreds of anglers hope to reel in a big catch and take home a big check.

It's also a substantial weekend for the local economy.

The FLW's Eastern Series has brought more than 300 anglers to the water.

They are looking to cash in, with a $50,000 first prize at stake.

But the city of Eufaula may "reel in" the big winner, with an economic impact of $1.4 million, according to Eufaula/Barbour County Chamber of Commerce spokeswoman Corey Kirkland.

"A lot of these guys that are pros are out on the road over 300 days a year, so when they're here, they're getting vehicle maintenance, buying tennis shoes, haircuts, those sort of things, as well as gassing up the boat, buying all the tackle they need and eating in the restaurants, staying in the hotels," Kirkland said.

It also happens to be one of the best locations on the tour.

FLW public relations manager Chad Gay says the city rolls out the red carpet for bass fishermen --- as part of its identity --- "The Big Bass Capital of the World."

"Eufaula is just a great, great stop for us. It's one of those that when I see it on the calendar for the next year, I really can't wait and I'm not just making that up. We really do look forward to coming to Eufaula," Gay said.

And it's not just the hospitality that keeps the tour coming back.

The fishing is some of the best on tour.

"There's only seven ounces separating first and second place. So, it's incredible, this fishery, the way it's producing in the varied factors we have right now," Gay said.

The tournament wraps up on Saturday, with the final weigh-in to be held at Billy Lawrence Chevrolet in Eufaula at 4:00 p.m. central time.

©2010 WTVM. All rights reserved.