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McDuffie hopes to lure fishing tournament visitors

The water levels won't be what they have been for anglers competing in this weekend's Bassmaster Weekend Series Championship at Wildwood Park in neighboring Columbia County.

A lack of rain has created drought conditions that have caused Clarks Hill Lake to be unrecognizable to some. Where water once existed in some places, there now is just dry land.

Some 450 anglers from all over the country are awaiting their opportunity to catch a record number of bass. The tournament began Wednesday and will go through Saturday, according to Elizabeth Vance, visitors and tourism director of McDuffie County.

Because water levels are at least 12 below what they should be, anglers may have to launch their boats from other places other than Wildwood Park.

As of last Sunday, about 120 anglers had booked motel and hotel rooms in McDuffie Couty, Mrs. Vance said.

The fishing tournament is being sponsored by the Clarks Hill Partnership - which is made up of five CSRA counties. Those counties include: McDuffie, Warren, Lincoln, Wilkes and Columbia.

The tournament is expected to have a $1.1 million economic impact on the region, according to Mrs. Vance.

"We're hoping that a lot of people will come to Wildwood Park to see the weigh-ins and see who is on the leader board," she added. "We want the public to attend this big event."

Those wishing to drive to Wildwood Park are reminded that a small fee is charged for entering the facility grounds.

The Bassmaster Weekend Series Championship will include a special event on Sunday called: "Take a Soldier Fishing."

"We hope a lot of people will join us at Wildwood Park for that special event," Mrs. Vance said. "That should be a lot of fun."

Volunteering their time at the fishing tournament at Wildwood Park this week from McDuffie County include: Nancy Trivett, Jimmy Poston, Bob Flanders, Frances Cowart, Danny Hedgepeth, Donna Branch and Eli Trivett.

Web posted on Thursday, November 15, 2007

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