“We are excited to be going to Clarks Hill Lake,” said Debra Talley, ABA national marketing director. “The great folks at Columbia County Community & Leisure Service Division and their entire community know the importance of tournament fishing and welcome participants with open arms. Their fishing tournament committee meets all year in preparation for national tournaments. Our anglers are in for a real treat from this fishing savvy town. They go above and beyond what is normally expected of a host community to insure a great time is had by everyone in attendance. We can’t wait to spend this week with them.”
The tournament will run out of Wildwood Park, located at 3780 Dogwood Lane in Appling, Ga. Also known as Lake Strom Thurmond, the reservoir forms part of the Georgia-South Carolina line. The free public weigh-in begins at 3 p.m. each tournament day.
“The mega ramps at Wildwood Park are part of the initiative that was implemented by former Governor Sonny Purdue of Georgia,” Talley explained. “The facilities this county offers are second to none. They know the economic impact of tournament anglers and their families on their economy. We have had the opportunity to work with them on several other occasions and look forward to introducing our AFT anglers to their expertise.”
The national championship week actually features two major events. The 2013 AFT Angler of the Year Final Round Fish-off takes place before the national championship tournament at a yet to be determined location. The AOY event features the top points earners from various AFT divisions across the country.
“American Bass Anglers is very excited to be bringing the 2013 American Fishing Tour National Championship competition to Clarks Hill Lake,” said Morris Sheehan, ABA president. “Clarks Hill Lake is an excellent bass fishing lake. We look forward to holding a great event in Georgia.”
The largest lake in Georgia offers anglers more than 1,200 miles of shoreline along the Savannah River and associated tributaries. Since the lake straddles the South Carolina-Georgia line, anglers may fish the entire lake with a license from either state. The system can produce largemouth bass exceeding 14 pounds. The lake also produces better than average spotted bass and some big smallmouth bass. Anglers may bring in up to five bass per day in any combination of largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass.
During a two-day Bassmaster Weekend Series event on Clarks Hill Lake in August 2011, Brian C. Gunn of Savannah, Ga. won the Boater Division with a total of 10 bass weighing 26.50 pounds including a 4.68-pound kicker. He caught his fish on topwaters and Texas-rigged worms worked around hydrilla beds. Steve DeBord of Martinez, Ga., landed the tournament lunker, a 5.51-pounder that hit a buzzbait at the upper end of the lake.
Dan J. Martin of Bluffton, S.C., won the Co-Angler Division in that event with a two-day total of six bass weighing 13.32 pounds. He caught his fish on crankbaits and creatures off rocky points and woody cover. Brian D. Hudson of Lexington, S.C., landed the division lunker, a 4.39-pounder that hit a green pumpkin jig fished in 20 feet of water.
For more information on this tournament, call ABA at (888) 203-6222 or see www.americanbassanglers.com.
About American Bass Anglers
American Bass Anglers is the largest tournament organization for the weekend angler. American Bass Anglers operates the American Fishing Tour, The Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Weekend Series and the American Couples Series. Each tour is designed specifically for the weekend angler, offering low-cost and close-to-home events where anglers can qualify for a larger championship. For more information on American Bass Anglers, visit www.americanbassanglers.com.