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ESPN Bassmaster Fishing Event Coming to Kentucky Dam Village in 2006

Frankfort, Kentucky - The Commonwealth of Kentucky has succeeded in securing a stop on the newly expanded CITGO Bassmaster Tour for 2006, an event that will raise the state's profile in the sport fishing world and likely increase tourism to its many lakes and streams.

The effort to include Kentucky on the tour represents an important achievement by state officials in fulfilling Governor Ernie Fletcher's vision to attract top sporting events that will boost tourism and economic development and provide marketing exposure for the commonwealth.

The event will take place June 15-18, 2006 at Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park in Gilbertsville.

The Kentucky Sports Authority and the Departments of Parks and Tourism worked together to successfully negotiate a contract for the stop on the 2006 tour. The 11 sites were revealed on ESPN's recent "Bass Madness Selection Show. "

Expected to attract 400 of the world's top anglers, the event will be televised live on ESPN, which will also air a preview show dedicated to this stop the week preceding the event.

"We are very pleased and excited to attract such an event to the commonwealth," said Terry Johnson, Executive Director of the Kentucky Sports Authority. "We are working diligently to fulfill the vision set by Governor Fletcher to attract top sporting events. We feel by teaming up with ESPN and their vision for the tour, this is a terrific fit."

Earlier this year Bassmaster announced a major expansion of the tour from six events to an 11 tournament series in 2006, culminating in the crowning of the CITGO Bassmaster Angler of the Year and berths in the prestigious CITGO Bassmaster Classic. The extended trail spans three seasons - spring, summer and fall.

This event will provide a great opportunity for the commonwealth to market itself to millions of fishing enthusiasts across the country.

"We have long felt we have many terrific fishing areas throughout the state park system and this event, with its exposure, will help us get the word out nationwide," stated Parks Commissioner George Ward.

Commissioner of Tourism Randy Fiveash added, "Fishing and other outdoor activities are an essential part of the future of Kentucky tourism. This event will help us promote ourselves as being in the top tier of destinations for anglers across the country."

By the time the anglers reach the seventh stop on the Bassmaster tour, their attention will start to shift from largemouth to smallmouth bass, mainly the smallmouth of Kentucky and Barkley lakes in an event already nicknamed the "Bluegrass Brawl.''

This is just past the halfway point in the season and Kentucky Lake always offers something surprising. There have been five Bassmaster events held here and each has been different.

Norio Tanabe of Japan, the first international angler to win a Bassmaster event, won the last event, in 1993. He won that event on smallmouth caught on a jerkbait. But the primary tactic for this lake during the time of year the tournament will be held is usually flipping or cranking.

While Clarks Hill is the largest manmade lake east of the Mississippi, Kentucky Lake is the largest manmade lake in the eastern United States. It backs up the Tennessee River for 184 miles and creates a lake that stretches south across the western tip of Kentucky and nearly the entire width of Tennessee. At maximum normal operating level, Kentucky Lake covers 160,300 acres.

That's a lot of room for anglers to concentrate on dozens of ledges and stump fields and even the occasional town that was flooded when the lake was created. For the southern anglers in the field, it will be a last look at familiar waters before they head north.

Formed by Governor Fletcher earlier this year, the Kentucky Sports Authority is the statewide agency responsible for working with individuals, communities and other entities of the commonwealth to attract, retain, create and promote professional and amateur sporting events, conventions, franchises and organizational headquarters for Kentucky. Its purpose is to generate tourism, economic development, jobs and positive media exposure, as well as promote exercise and wellness through sports activities.

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