Columbia County reels in anglers for national competition
APPLING, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Columbia County is getting ready to host the Major League Fishing Tackle Warehouse Invitationals.
Workers were out setting up at Wildwood Park on Clarks Hill Lake ahead of the three-day event. We were live at the park where the stage and the weigh-in area were ready to go.
“It’ll be real exciting to see them in person, maybe get a chance to talk to them. At least watch what they’re doing things like that,” said one local angler.
One local angler lives down the street from Wildwood Park and has fished Clarks Hill Lake for more than 35 years. He’s watched professional fishing like the Major Fishing League on TV for more than 25 years.
He’s waited for an opportunity to watch in person.
“Oh, man. That’d be different,” he said.
He’s going to watch live when he can and looks forward to seeing what the television doesn’t show.
“You get to see more of their personality. You now get to know more about them by seeing them in person like that. So you develop new favorites,” he said.
The fans showing support, and anglers coming in from all over. We don’t know the overall economic impact, but Wes Horton with Columbia County says they’re already seeing money coming in.
“Right now, we have 20 anglers that are staying at Wildwood Park, that’s direct revenue back to our government,” said Horton, county’s parks operation manager.
Going into Tuesday, the local anglers have said the weather has been perfect for fishing which only adds to the anticipation.
“The fish are moving up and that just makes it triply exciting,” said the local angler.
The 150 anglers will take off at 7 a.m. on Tuesday, they’ll go again on Wednesday before it gets cut to 50 anglers for the final round on Thursday which will be nationally televised.
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