As touted in the Columbia County Convention and Visitors Bureau's visitor's guide, Clarks Hill Lake is the largest U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project east of the Mississippi River.
And this weekend will be one of the biggest for the lake this year, when the Bassmaster Elite Series Pride of Georgia Tournament comes once again to the county's tournament-class launch site at Wildwood Park.
Even with 108 teams of anglers roaring out into the lake for four days, fishing tournaments can be a lot of hurry-up-and-wait time for spectators. Not so for the tournaments in Columbia County - especially this one.
The festivities actually begin today. Though the tournament action takes place at Wildwood and includes an Outdoor Expo Saturday and Sunday, the organizers this time around have added "Angler Alley" - an opportunity for fans to hobnob with the anglers before the serious fishing begins. Angler Alley will be held at Patriots Park. The central location makes it more accessible, but also is free; Wildwood charges a $5 per vehicle gate fee.
The fee is well worth it for spectators, who will have opportunities themselves to win prizes that could include accompanying their favorite angler on the final day of the tournament. This is serious business; first place in the tournament is worth a cool $100,000 in prize money.
For those who don't make it out, ESPN2 will televise tournament highlights next Saturday morning.
The state of Georgia is still trying to get Gov. Sonny Perdue's "Go Fish Georgia" tourism initiative off the ground. Thanks to Columbia County's CVB, Recreation and Community Events staff, our home-grown efforts already are paying off.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.