Columbia County's Wildwood Park has landed the ESPN Women's Bassmaster Tour next year.
The tournament at Thurmond Lake has been scheduled for Sept. 18-20, 2008, with final weigh-ins at the Academy Sports and Outdoors superstore in Evans, said Tom Ricks, the vice president and general manager of BASS.
Academy Sports is a primary sponsor of the women's tour in 2008.
During the three-day competition, about 100 pros and 100 co-anglers will compete at the 70,000-acre lake. Everyone competes during the first two days, then the field is cut to 25 pros and 25 co-anglers on day three.
The champion pro will receive $1,000 and a fully-rigged boat package valued at $50,000. The winning co-angler will receive $500 plus a boat valued at $25,000.
With the exception of the Academy Sports final weigh-in, activities will be held at Columbia County's Wildwood Park, which is playing host to its fourth consecutive Bassmaster Elite Series Pride of Georgia tournament May 1-4.
The women's tour will include stops at Lewisville Lake, Texas; Lake Neely Henry, Alabama.; and Old Hickory Lake, Tennessee. The fourth and final qualifying event is at Thurmond Lake, after which the finals will be held at Lake Hamilton, in Arkansas.
By next year, repairs should be complete on the county's tournament ramps at Wildwood, which are closed after the failure of concrete extensions installed last year in hopes of keeping the ramps usable during low water.
The county expects to evaluate bids and design proposals for the repair work Nov. 1, and repairs are expected to get under way sometime in January.
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