Fishing & Boating News
Part of the Oklawaha River Basin, the Harris Chain covers about 50,000 acres, including eight lakes — seven of which will be accessible to the bass fishing teams competing in the championship and connecting channels. Lake Yale, a 4,000-acre natural lake, is not accessible by boat from the other seven lakes.
In its 50-year history, B.A.S.S. has held 15 professional bass tournaments on the Harris Chain, including the first five B.A.S.S. MegaBucks tournaments, which featured a 10-hole fishing course where finalists competed for a $100,000 first prize. The Lake County network of bass lakes also hosted the B.A.S.S. Nation championships in 2006 and 2009.
“We love going to the Harris Chain, Leesburg and Lake County for events,” said Team Championship tournament director Jon Stewart, who also serves as B.A.S.S. Nation national director. The Harris Chain of Lakes should produce well in early December. The anglers might even come across a few early spawners, and when fishing in Florida, you always have a chance at catching the bass of a lifetime.”
One of the qualifiers for the event will be sure to have the tournament a lifetime, because he or she will earn a berth in the “Super Bowl of Bass Fishing,” the 2019 Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods at Knoxville, Tenn.
Founded in 2014, the Bassmaster Team Championship fields approximately 175 two-angler teams each year. The teams qualify by winning championships or performance points titles on one of dozens of B.A.S.S. sanctioned team tournament circuits. The teams compete for two days — Dec. 5-6 this year — to earn the title of top team in the nation. Next, members of the Top 3 teams fish solo for two more days, with the winner of that phase qualifying for the Classic.
Tournament headquarters will be Leesburg, Fla. It is hosted by the Central Florida Sports Commission and LakeBigBass.com – Lake County, Fla.
“We are thrilled to welcome Bassmaster back to Lake County this December for the 2018 Team Championship,” said Jason Siegel, CEO of the Central Florida Sports Commission. “CFSC and B.A.S.S. have enjoyed a long-time partnership of more than 10 years, and we look forward to working with them on this event and in the future.”
Tim Frederick, a Bassmaster Opens angler who is sponsored by LakeBigBass.com, predicts good action for big fish in early December, which could provide some heavyweight bass entering the prespawn phase.
“I am excited to welcome the anglers in the 2018 Bassmaster Team Championship to my home, the Harris Chain of Lakes,” Frederick said. “December is a great time of year to be on the water with the prespawn bass. If the weather is right and an angler gets lucky, there could be some big bags on the scale. This is going to be an exciting tournament.”
In the 2018 team tournament held on Norfork Lake in Arkansas, brothers Brett and Beau Govreau of St. Louis, Mo., representing the US Anglers Choice circuit, won the team title over 169 other teams from 57 trails, while Ryan Butler of Blue Eye, Mo., who qualified from the Joe Bass Trail, won the Classic Fish-Off and the right to compete with the pros in the 2018 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods at Greenville, S.C.
2018 Bassmaster Team Championship Premier Sponsors: Abu Garcia, Berkley, Huk, Humminbird, Mercury, Minn Kota, Nitro Boats, Power-Pole, Skeeter Boats, Yamaha
2018 Bassmaster Team Championship Supporting Sponsors: Academy Sports + Outdoors, Carhartt, Livingston Lures, Phoenix Boats, T-H Marine
B.A.S.S. is the worldwide authority on bass fishing and keeper of the culture of the sport, providing cutting edge content on bass fishing whenever, wherever and however bass fishing fans want to use it. Headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., the 500,000-member organization’s fully integrated media platforms include the industry’s leading magazines (Bassmaster and B.A.S.S. Times), website (Bassmaster.com), television show (The Bassmasters on ESPN2), radio show (Bassmaster Radio), social media programs and events. For 50 years, B.A.S.S. has been dedicated to access, conservation and youth fishing.
The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the most prestigious events at each level of competition, including the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Open Series, Academy Sports + Outdoors B.A.S.S. Nation Series presented by Magellan Outdoors, Carhartt Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops, Mossy Oak Fishing Bassmaster High School Series presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods, Bassmaster Team Championship and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods.
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