Anglers in Lake County are determined to reel in A lunker largemouth bass this weekend on the waters of the Harris Chain of Lakes.
The 80,000-acre web of nine lakes connected by canals hosts the first Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Southern Open on Jan. 19-21. The tournament kicks off the 2017 B.A.S.S. season and is expected to attract 200 professional anglers plus an additional 200 co-anglers.
At stake is a first-place prize of over $51,000 and an invitation to the following year’s Geico Bassmaster Classic championship, with completion in all three Open tournaments in the division. Professional anglers can weigh in five bass at least 12 inches long. Co-anglers can weigh three bass of the same length for a separate prize.
The vast chain of lakes may be in prespawn season when bass are often in groups. Anglers will be searching for grasslines in the lakes which can indicate great spots to cast.
Takeoffs for the tournament are from Venetian Gardens in Leesburg at 7 a.m. After today, the field of competitors is cut to the Top 12 anglers. The public is invited to the final weigh-in will beginning at 4:15 p.m Saturday at the Bass Pro Shops in Orlando.