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Fishing: Pro-Am Bass Tour on Chain of Lakes this weekend

The Silverado Pro-Am Bass Tour is back in Alexandria this weekend as the tour kicks off its 2010 season at Arrowwood on the chain of lakes on June 12.

The 6th annual tour, sponsored by Minnesota's Heartland Chevrolet Dealers and Ranger Boats, features the region's top anglers, consisting of one professional and one amateur in each boat. Scoring is determined by the weight of each contestant's combined catch of up to six largemouth or smallmouth bass.

"We're thrilled to start the 2010 tour in Alexandria," Tour Director Bill Hildebrand said. "The Silverado Pro-Am Bass Tour is the premier fishing tour in the upper Midwest and with the early ice-out and warm-up this year, we could have a real exciting weigh-in at Arrowwood on Saturday."

Each tour stop pays out more than $25,000 in cash to the top 12 teams. The tour ends with the Tournament of Champions stop in September, where more than $40,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded. Included in that will be a new Ranger boat. Pro-Am teams share more than $150,000 in cash and prizes over the course of the five-stop tour.

"We're proud to have this great event come back to our area," said Bill Nettleton, general manager of Alexandria Motors, the local hosting Chevrolet dealer. "We're expecting big crowds again, excitement and the chance for everyone in the area to get a look at some of the biggest bass caught and released in Alexandria lakes."

The public is welcome to attend and cheer on their favorite anglers and register to win a variety of prizes that will be given out throughout the day. Opening ceremonies start at 7 a.m. with anglers easing off immediately after that. Rapid Marine Ranger Boat displays, product demonstrations and fan prize drawings will be going on all day for fans to enjoy. Weigh-in begins at 3 p.m. with angler awards and a big bass showcase to follow.

Anglers will not be allowed to fish lakes Victoria or Jesse on the chain. The closing of the channel between Geneva and Victoria in an attempt to keep zebra mussels from entering Victoria has made these lakes off limits for the tournament.

The stop in Alexandria is the first of two local stops on the tour. Anglers will be back on July 24 for the second stop of the tour when they gather at Waters Edge in Starbuck to fish Lake Minnewaska.