ANDERSON COUNTY, SC (WSPA) – Two fishing tournaments at Green Pond Landing along Lake Hartwell are expected to bring new business to the area this weekend.
The Carhartt Bassmaster College Series and the Crappie USA Super Tournament will begin on Friday morning.
The college series has hooked more than 500 anglers and 264 boats, and the other tournament will bring in roughly 60 boats. Anderson County officials said the anglers are coming from nearly 30 states.
“So the impact of these two tournaments this weekend is going to be an excessive $900,000,” Anderson County Parks Department Manager Matt Schell said.
Schell said this will be the largest fishing tournament at Green Pond Landing to date.
The six-figure economic impact will help to keep the county swimming after months of challenges.
“We’ve had the weeks where our hotels weren’t full. Our restaurants haven’t been full. We had a situation where our event numbers were cut down,” said Visit Anderson Executive Director Neil Paul said. “It’s been difficult.”
However, these fishing tournaments have been the life vest that hotels, restaurants and stores needed during the pandemic.
“We’ll pick up a couple thousand room nights in our community this week, just off of this event. And that’s a combinations of hotel nights, campgrounds and short-term rentals, but it’ll be a tremendous boast for our community for sure,” Paul said.
Anglers from Kentucky Christian University drove seven hours for the tournament. Four weeks ago, the college series was set to be in North Carolina. The neighboring states’ restrictions, prevented it from happening, which allowed it to be hosted in the Upstate.
“I’m really excited to be out on the water. It’s been awhile since I’ve been able to be on the water. You know, between the weather and COVID,” said Dalton Coleman, angler from Kentucky Christian University.
As anglers throw their rods and lure in their fish in hopes of the big trophy, many believe it will be a win for both anglers and everyone else in Anderson County.
“Angler tournaments have been able to bridge the gap through this COVID-19 pandemic that we’ve been experiencing,” Schell said.
“I’m glad we could help. I mean we’re doing something that we love. So, I mean, if it could bring economic growth to an area and we get to have fun while we do it, you know, that’s a win-win situation,” Coleman added.
The college series will launch Friday and Saturday at 6:45 each morning. The Crappie USA tournament will start at 6:30 a.m. both days.
Green Pond Landing will be closed this weekend to recreational boaters. The county will allow spectators to watch, but they must practice social distancing and wear masks.
The tournaments will conclude Saturday afternoon.