Bassmaster Classic returns to Lake Hartwell for fourth time
March 4, 2022
The world’s most prestigious professional bass tournament has returned to Lake Hartwell for the fourth time in 14 years, and literally thousands of people are eagerly embracing the “Super Bowl of Fishing.”
The Bass Anglers Sportsman Society (B.A.S.S.), along with VisitAndersonSC and VisitGreenvilleSC are sponsoring the 2022 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk at scenic Lake Hartwell, March 4-6, with takeoffs from Green Pond Landing & Event Center. Daily weigh-ins will be held at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena and the annual Bassmaster Classic Outdoors Expo will take place at the Greenville Convention Center, both in nearby Greenville. All events are free to the public.
“Hosting our fourth Bassmaster Classic on Lake Hartwell is significant to our community because no other fishery will have hosted more Bassmaster Classic events,” said Neil Paul, executive director of VisitAndersonSC. “Having hosted this great event in the past, we can speak first hand to the significant economic impact it will have on the Upstate of South Carolina and the impact of residual tourism that will be felt in Anderson County and in Greenville for years to come.”
Lake Hartwell, listed as a Top 100 Bass Lake in America, has hosted the Bassmaster Classic three times: 2018, 2015 and 2008. The 2018 Classic, with fishing on Hartwell and weigh-ins and Expo in Greenville, set a record attendance of 143,323. It’s been topped twice since, and tourism officials in Anderson and Greenville counties hope it’s broken again this year.
The S.C. Department of Natural Resources’ (SCDNR) Freshwater Fisheries Section handles safely returning bass caught during the tournament to Lake Hartwell once the weigh-ins are complete at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena.
Lake Hartwell has been the site of a significant habitat enhancement project undertaken by SCDNR. After a feasibility study and funding procurement, SCDNR began its Lake Hartwell habitat enhancement efforts in 2014. Through 2021, the agency has enhanced eight areas with about 105 concrete culverts/structures, 1,300 stumps, 560 tons of broken concrete slabs, 180 tons of riprap, five tons of pea gravel, 120 PVC artificial fish attractors, 150 bamboo fish attractors, 815 trees cut/cabled from the shoreline and 1,200 maidencane plants.
The Lake Hartwell enhancement efforts, which will continue as long as funding allows, have two main objectives: 1) provide cover for various sizes of fish; and 2) fish concentration sites for anglers.