Bass Tournament Brings Big Bucks

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October 5, 2005
New money is on its way to Columbia County. Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday night to bring in a competitive bass fishing circuit.

Fishing legend Ralph Barbee is thrilled the Southern Anglers is coming to Columbia County. He has twenty-five years worth of awards for bass fishing and he has over twenty sponsors. But he lost the will to compete.

“My mother died, my daddy died, and my wife died in three years. So I said I’m not doing tournaments anymore,” Barbee said.

So now, he takes tours out on Clarks Hill and has a TV show called Fishing With Ralph Barbee.

Community and Leisure Director Barry Smith says Wildwood Park needs the $5 per boat revenue.

“It will promote Columbia County outside this region for others to discover the Wildwood Park facility,” said Barry Smith.

They want to bring the tournament out here to Wildwood Park because they recently spent $1.2 million on brand new boat ramps and docks.

About 50 boats will fill these waters. They will get the word out by advertising in a regional magazine.

“I know these guys are going to have a good time and catch a lot of fish,” Barbee said.

The $2,500 contribution from the Columbia County Commission comes from the hotel/motel tax.

The first tournament at Wildwood Park is November 19 and six more will follow throughout the year. You can watch Ralph Barbee’s show on UPN Augusta Saturdays at 11 and Sunday at 2.