Bassmaster Classic returning to South Carolina in 2018
It won’t be back-to-back like the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year Championship. But the Bassmaster Classic also will be returning to a familiar place.
This week, organizers of the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods announced that the event will return to South Carolina in 2018, saying the world championship of pro bass fishing will be held on Lake Hartwell in Anderson, S.C., with daily weigh-ins at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena in downtown Greenville. It’s the third time since 2008 that Lake Hartwell will host the tournament.
This year’s tournament is March 24-26 on Lake Conroe near Houston, Texas.
Earlier this month, after a successful debut on Lake Mille Lacs in 2016, it was announced that the Bassmaster Angler of the Year Championship will return to the central Minnesota lake Sept. 14-17, 2017 — the first time the season-ending derby will be held at the same venue in consecutive years.
While long a walleye lake, Mille Lacs is fast becoming regarded as a premier smallmouth fishery. For 2016 — likely at least in part because of the lake’s showing in the Angler of the Year event — Bassmaster rated Mille Lacs sixth in its Top 10 Best Bass Lakes ranking; South Carolina’s Hartwell was not ranked.
Bruce Akin, CEO of B.A.S.S., which conducts the Bassmaster events, said the 2015 Classic in South Carolina drew 103,000 fans despite frigid temperatures during the then-February tournament. And Akin says he expects next year’s classic to be bigger — and warmer, what with the March 16-18 dates.
South Carolina angler Casey Ashley won that 2015 event; Minnesota’s Seth Feider won last year’s Angler of the Year event on Mille Lacs.