A Fishing League Worldwide-sponsored Bass Fishing League tournament will take place Saturday on Lake Hartwell for the Savannah River Division anglers.
Tournament officials expect up to 400 boaters and co-anglers competing for a top award of $8,000 in the one-day tournament.
The event is hosted by Tugaloo State Park near Gum Log and is part of a FLW fishing circuit that includes 128 fishing tournaments through the season.
The fishermen will launch their boats at 6:30 a.m. and return to the marina at 2:30 p.m. for the weigh-in to determine winners.
Savannah River Division events are open to anyone who chooses to fish them, as long as they meet FLW competitor guidelines, said FLW communications specialist Brian Johnson.
“A BFL competitor who lives in Oregon could drive to Lake Hartwell and compete, if he or she wished,” Johnson said.
“Tugaloo State Park is hosting this event because it is equipped to handle a tournament of this size,” he said. “Lake Hartwell and its surrounding communities have been excellent hosts in the past and we look forward to another great tournament.”
Tournament officials said they expect the lake to produce “some notable weights” for this event. Fishermen are expected to use jigs, lipless crankbaits and crankbaits, along with flukes and top-water baits.
Bass fishing in the lake has been up and down, according to State Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officer Craig Fulghum.
The fishing has been difficult at times this spring due to a fickle Mother Nature.
“It’s been hard to get an idea where (the bass) are at depending on the fluctuating water level,” Fulghum said.
“The last tournament on the lake, it was a beautiful Saturday, but the wind was incredible and kept a lot of fishermen on the ropes all day,” he said.The average weigh-in for that tournament was 12 to 14 pounds, although a couple of fishermen had higher weights due to catching one or two big fish, according to Fulghum.
“The hybrids have been really good. I’ve heard multiple people say they were fishing for largemouth, but hooked into a striper. It’s been pretty good for this fish,” he said.