Bassmaster tour returning to Columbia County Wildwood Park

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One of Georgia’s biggest fishing events – the Bassmaster Elite Series tour and its pro-laden entourage - will return to Columbia County in 2010, according to a new tournament schedule released today.

Bassmaster held tour events at the county’s Wildwood Park four consecutive years before announcing after this year’s event that its 2009 schedule would not include Thurmond Lake as part of an effort to broaden its venues and reach other quality lakes around the country.

During 2010, however, the tour’s sixth stop will be the “Pride of Georgia at Clarks Hill Lake,” said Tom Ricks, vice president and general manager of BASS. “This is the first time BASS has simultaneously released two years of Elite Series schedules.”

The planned dates for the competition are May 20-23, 2010, he said.

By rough calculations, at least 5,400 people attended the four-day tournament in May, where $670,000 in prize money was awarded. That figure doesn't include 209 anglers and throngs of support staff, volunteers, media, employees and other visitors. The participants landed 1,336 bass weighing 2,999 pounds, 7 ounces.

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