Green Pond lands another major fishing event
Another major fishing tournament plans to arrive in Anderson in October.
The 2017 Academy Sports B.A.S.S Nation Championship, an event that offers three berths in the Bassmasters Classic tournament in early 2018, is scheduled for Oct. 19-21 at Green Pond Landing.
The international tournament features qualifiers from 50 states and 10 foreign countries, a formula that will bring 118 fishermen to town that week.
It will be the first appearance at Green Pond Landing for the B.A.S.S. Nation series, one of seven trails sanctioned by BASS. In a release, B.A.S.S. Nation Director Jon Stewart called Green Pond "a great fishery, and ... a fantastic launch and weigh-in area. We are excited to be going to Anderson."
“Anderson County and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers did a great job renovating the ramp area for the 2015 Bassmaster Classic a few years ago, and they have improved it even more since then," Stewart said. "We are expecting the weather and the fishing to be excellent that time of year.”
The latest addition to the Green Pond schedule raises the total of major events there to 18 in 2017.
Forty-seven states and one Canadian province (Ontario) will send 20-person teams (10 boaters and 10 non-boaters) to one of three regional tournaments. The top boater and non-boater from each state will then advance to the Nation Championship on Hartwell. The top boater and non-boater from nine other foreign countries and the Paralyzed Veterans of America champion and the defending B.A.S.S. Nation champion are also invited.
Visit Anderson Director Neil Paul said the tournament is significant because it is part of the B.A.S.S. circuit and because it will bring fishing enthusiasts to Anderson more than once. Besides the three-day event, which begins on a Thursday, the tournament will entice pro fishermen to visit the area all summer.
"Most of the anglers who qualify will know by the end of June that they'll be coming here for the championship," Paul said Monday, "and that means they'll be coming here in July, August or September to practice."
The chance to fish in the Bassmaster Classic five months later boosts the interest in the event, one of the few three-day tournaments on the series. The champion will receive a Bassmaster Elite Series berth, paid entry into the division of their choice in the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Opens, a prize boat, and the use of a fully-rigged, tournament-ready boat for one year.
Second- and third-place finishers will also earn the use of a fully-rigged boat for one year, as well as paid entry into their division of choice in the Bassmaster Open.
In 2016, Ryan Lavigne of Gonzales, Louisiana, won the tournament as an unlikely candidate — a non-boater — and won it by an enormous margin of 16.5 pounds on Lake Conroe outside of Houston. He also earned a chance to compete in the 2017 Bassmaster Classic, where he finished 16th among 52 of the world’s best bass anglers.