ANDERSON COUNTY, SC(WSPA)–Anderson County will see at least a million dollar economic impact from Bass Master Tournaments this weekend, despite pumping the breaks earlier this year, due to COVID-19.
The Bass Master College Series Tournament runs Thursday through Saturday, with teams representing colleges from all over the Country.
“Thursday through Saturday, we have the 220 boat Bass Master College Series Tournament and then on Sunday we’ve got a 120 boat Bass Master High School Series tournament, that’s just a one day tournament,” said Glenn Brill, Director of Anderson County Parks, Recreation and Tourism.
Second through eighth graders will fish in their own tournaments Sunday, as well.
“We’ve been idle for five months from the COVID restrictions, so we’re excited to finally be back,” said Hank Weldon, Tournament Director for College and High School Bass Master Tournaments.
Weldon said this is their first tournament since the college series competition was postponed back in March. Now roughly 600 anglers from schools all over the United States, will throttle through Lake Hartwell.
“They’re going to be staying in our hotels, they’ll be eating in our restaurants, they’ll be buying gas in our stores. That’s how we come up with this $1.1 to $1.2 million impact this weekend,” Brill said.
For the first time in history, social distancing and masks requirements will be in place for participants, and spectators won’t be allowed, unless they’re on the water. Brill said you can follow a team on the water, but you must maintain a safe social distance.
“With the pandemic, I understand it’s safer for people, but I’m glad people will still be able to enjoy it even through online,” said Yen Nguyen, fan.
Either way, fans and those in charge are ready for the show to go on.
“This area checks off a lot boxes with what we need to run a tournament,” Weldon said.
“I’m very glad it’s back and we enjoy it,” Nguyen added.
Tournament leaders said anglers will launch at 6:45 a.m. and weigh-in at 2:45 p.m. each day. Weigh-in’s will be streamed on Bassmaster.com