Best of the Southeast to visit Lake Hartwell
ATHENS, Ala. - American Bass Anglers, Inc. will hold the two-day 2013 Toyota Bassmaster Weekend Series Southeast Regional Championship on Oct. 4-5 at Lake Hartwell in Hartwell, Ga.
This event features a 200-boat field including the top 40 boaters and co-anglers representing the Alabama South, Georgia, South Carolina, Florida and East Tennessee divisions. After this regional event, the best anglers from this tournament will compete against the top anglers from three other regional events during the BWS National Championship tournament, set for Nov. 6-9, 2013, on Old Hickory Lake near Hendersonville, Tenn. The Boater Division champion will compete in the 2014 Bassmaster Classic, slated for Feb. 21-23 on Lake Guntersville, Ala.
Hosted by the Hart County Chamber of Commerce, the tournament will run out of Gum Branch Landing, located on Janna Waller Road near Hartwell, Ga., at 7:15 a.m. or safe light each morning. The free public weigh-ins will take place at the landing, starting at 3:15 p.m. on Oct. 4 and Oct 5. Registration for the event takes place Oct. 3 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the landing. To register for this tournament, see www.americanbassanglers.com/proddetail.php?prod=726.
One of three large reservoirs on the Savannah River, Lake Hartwell covers 56,000 acres on the Georgia-South Carolina line and offers anglers more than 962 miles of shoreline. Interstate 85 crosses the lake, allowing excellent access. Major tributaries include the Tugaloo and Seneca rivers.
Since the reservoir straddles the Georgia-South Carolina line, anglers can fish the system with either state license. For a Georgia fishing license, see www.georgiawildlife.com/licenses-permits-passes#Recreational_Licenses_and_Passes or call 800-366-2661. For South Carolina fishing license information, call 866-714-3611 or see www.dnr.sc.gov.
The Savannah River reservoir can produce largemouth bass exceeding 16 pounds. The lake also holds good numbers of spotted bass up to five pounds, especially in the rivers. In 2008, Alton Jones won the Bassmaster Classic on Lake Hartwell. In three days, he caught 49 pounds, 7 ounces of bass. In that event, Jones fished with Booyah jigs tipped with Yum chunks in 30 feet of water, working the baits very slowly over the bottom.
Anglers can run 49 miles up the Tugaloo and 45 miles up the Seneca River. The Tugaloo contains many shallow coves and sandy flats that provide good places to catch spotted bass. Anglers also find flooded timber and stumps in many backwaters, good places to throw chartreuse or white spinnerbaits and buzzbaits. On the outside bends in the rivers, anglers might probe deep holes with jigs tipped with craws or fish the long, sloping points on the inside bends with topwaters, spinnerbaits, lipless crankbaits or soft plastics.
During the June 30, 2012, BWS tournament on Lake Hartwell, William Dudley of Royston, Ga., won the Boater Division with a five-bass tournament limit weighing 18.15 pounds including a 4.41-pound kicker. Dudley caught most of his fish on topwaters around brush piles. Joseph Toth of Richmond Hill, Ga., won the Boater Division big bass title with a 4.42-pounder that hit a trick worm worked through 12 feet of water.
In the Co-Angler Division during that tournament, Michael S. Woods of Goose Creek, S.C., landed a three-fish division limit going 11.50 pounds. He anchored his catch with a 4.46-pounder. Woods caught most of his fish on at the lower end of the lake on a topwater plug. Travis Malphrus of Ridgeland, S.C., won the tournament lunker competition with a 5.10-pounder that hit a topwater bait.
The Toyota Bassmaster Weekend Series is sponsored by Triton Boats, Mercury Outboards, Royal Purple, Busch Beer, Odyssey, Raymarine, Carlisle, Biobor, Rejuvenade, Simms, TH Marine, Best Western and Livingston Lures.
For area information, contact the Hart County Chamber of Commerce at 706-376-8590 or see www.hart-chamber.org. For more information on this tournament, call Billy Benedetti, tournament manager, at 256-230-5632 or ABA at 256-232-0406. On line, see www.americanbassanglers.com.
About American Bass Anglers: American Bass Anglers commitment is to provide low cost, close to home tournaments for the weekend angler and at the same time offer each competitor an upward path for individual angler progression. For more information about American Bass Anglers, visit www.americanbassanglers.com.