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Record number pre-registers for Peach Classic

It’s official: the 2008 Peach Classic Fishing Tournament is the biggest ever – in more ways than one.

More boats, 16, than ever before have pre-registered for the tournament, which is hosted by the Rotary Club of Chilton County. The Peach Classic will also offer the largest cash prizes in its four-year history.

“This is a lot for us,” Rotary Club president Carl Mims said. “We’ve never had this many signed up before the day of the tournament.”

That’s when the bulk of the tournament’s participants will register. “People want to know what the weather is going to do,” Mims said. Though this year’s pre-registration number is a record, for example, 37 boats put in for last year’s Peach Classic. The largest tournament ever was the inaugural year, in 2005, when more than 45 boats put in.

While most Peach Classics have featured a majority of local fisherman, Mims said this year people have registered from places such as Birmingham, Wetumpka and even Elba.

“Most of the fishermen we have are from outside Chilton County,” he said. “The biggest thing is we wanted people to come in knowing it was the beginning of the Peach Festival. So, we like people to come from out of town because it’s good for the whole county. If they come from far enough out, they might just spend the night.”

Perhaps so many people are signing up for this year’s tournament because of the large prizes it will offer. The winner of this year’s tournament is guaranteed $1,500. The prizes for second place ($750), third place ($500) and fourth place ($250) are also larger than last year. Mims thanked all the tournament’s sponsors.

Also, there is the possibility the winner could receive an extra $1,000 if he or she fishes from a Blazer Bass Boat purchased from Gene Marine’s in Montgomery. Proper proof of purchase will be required.

The $75 registration fee, $10 of which goes to a “big fish” prize, is the same as previous years.

Registration forms are available at The Clanton Advertiser or by contacting Mims at 646-2641 or at cmims@coop.caec.com.