LAKE WYLIE -- When it comes to Catawba River lakes, angling tournaments have their choice of fisheries offering steep competition and great fishing. Yet to kick off its 2009 Catawba Division season, National Bass Circuit Pro Series returns to a former series championship lake.
"It's a great lake, Wylie is," said Scott Turner, director with NBC and the Pro Series Catawba Division. "We love coming there."
On Sunday, Buster Boyd Access hosts the first of seven division events. Wylie also hosts a June 28 event and the division finale Sept. 12. The division also offers three dates on Lake Norman -- also a past championship lake -- and one on Lake Hickory.
"All our regular season events are one day, and our championship is three days," Turner said.
The Pro Series offers nine divisions in five states. Qualifiers who finish in the top 35 spots in any division or fish seven total tournaments may compete in the Nov. 13-15 championship. The venue for that event will be announced May 20.
The series pays out one place for every four boats competing, plus big fish, so the bigger the turnout Sunday, the bigger the prize catch.
"Prize money is based on how many boats we have," Turner said.
Anglers who register for events at least five days prior receive five bonus points in the series, but sign-ups are taken day of, too. All tournaments run from safe light to 3 p.m., with launch and weigh-in at the same location.
For the Pro Series, which has been around seven years, the tournaments offer local anglers the chance to compete in divisions close to home, while also offering big paydays. Turner says that's what make these tournaments even more attractive.
"That's why we do our divisions like that," he said.
The series also offers charity and night fishing events. For more information about the series or to register, visit national-bass.com.
More area tournaments
• CATT: The Carolina Angler's Team Trail 2009 spring qualifiers continue, launching from Buster Boyd Access: March 7 and 14, and April 25. The spring final will be held May 16. The CATT Classic will be held May 30-31 on Lake Wateree. Visit carolinaanglersteamtrail.com.
• SAC: The Lake Wylie division of the Southern Anglers Challenge series continues on the following dates: March 21, April 18, May 9 and June 6 launching from Buster Boyd Access. For more information, call tournament director Jeremy Cabe at 803-322-1794 or visit southernanglerschallenge.com.
• BFL: FLW Outdoors' 2009 Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League, featuring more than $9 million in prize money, will make two stops again this year on Lake Wylie with the North Carolina Division on March 21 and South Carolina Division on March 28, both launching from Buster Boyd Access with weigh-ins at Wal-Mart, 1568 Alexander Love Hwy., York. Both North and South Carolina fishing licenses needed. Each division features four one-day qualifiers that offer top boater awards of $8,000 and top co-angler awards of $3,000, plus a two-day super tournament offering top awards of $11,000 and $4,500, respectively. Anglers finishing the season in the top 40 in each division advance to one of seven no entry-fee regional championships to fish for a Ranger 198VX powered by Evinrude or Yamaha and a Chevy Silverado 1500 as a boater and a Ranger 198VX powered by Evinrude or Yamaha as a co-angler. For the complete schedule, payout tables and entry information, visit FLWOutdoors.com or call 270-252-1000.
• CATAWBA CATFISH CLUB: Tournament will be held March 21 from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., with weigh-in at 3:30 p.m., March 21 at Lake Wylie, launching from Buster Boyd Access. The tournament series will return to Wylie for night fishing 6 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. Aug. 29 on Lake Wylie. For information, visit carolinacatfishclub.com or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.