It isn’t Lake Wylie, but upstate South Carolina is again set to host the largest event in bass fishing.
BASS announced Wednesday the 2018 Bassmaster Classic will return to Lake Hartwell, hosted in Greenville and Anderson counties. The Classic was there in 2015 when South Carolina angler Casey Ashley won.
“The opportunity to host the Bassmaster Classic for the second time in four years solidifies the upstate of South Carolina as a destination, nationally, for bass fishing,” Neil Paul, executive director of Visit Anderson, said in a release.
Hartwell also hosted in 2008. Lake Wylie hosted its Bassmaster Classic in 2004, won by Emory, Texas angler Takahiro Omori while Lake Wylie angler Jason Quinn finished sixth. The announcement of the 2018 Classic comes as the FLW Tour, the biggest competitor to BASS, hosts its premier event the Forrest Wood Cup Aug. 11-13 on Lake Murray in Columbia.
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Lake Wylie angler Todd Auten finished third in the most recent Forrest Wood Cup, good for more than $50,000.
Last year’s Bassmaster Classic winner, Oklahoma’s Edwin Evers, took home $300,000. This year’s Classic comes March 24-26 in Houston, Texas.
The announcement gives South Carolina anglers a goal, as only top qualifiers make the field. This year’s Classic includes, along with Ashley, anglers Andy Montgomery from Blacksburg and Jason Williamson from Wagener. It also includes Maiden, N.C., angler Hank Cherry, one of a handful of regional pro anglers who regularly fish series on Lake Wylie.
The Bassmaster Elite Series, the most common way of qualifying for the Classic, includes Lake Wylie angler Britt Myers and several others with Lake Wylie ties. It also includes rookie Jamie Hartman who just finished second in his first ever Elite Series event. Hartman is a New York native whose parents live in Fort Mill.