For immediate release - Jan. 7, 2005
TAVARES — For the first time ever, the Bass Pro Shops Crappie Masters Team Tournament Trail will come to Lake County to host a nationally televised qualifier.
At least 70 anglers are expected to begin competition in the one-day tournament on Saturday, Jan. 15, at the Lake County Water Authority managed Hickory Point Recreation Facility, located on State Road 19 adjacent to Little Lake Harris in Tavares.
“We surveyed the area and the Harris Chain of Lakes is a good place for people from the North to get to,” said Ed Johnson, president of Crappie Masters Inc. “It’s a good fishery as it has a lot of water and we really liked the atmosphere around Leesburg. You have a small town atmosphere where you can feel the economic impact of the tournament.”
Local anglers are encouraged to register for the crappie tournament by calling (417) 718-4069 or (573) 280-8020. According to Johnson, most anglers will register between 5 and 7 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 14, at the Guest House Inn, 1308 N. 14th St., Leesburg. Following registration, a seminar with door prizes will begin at 7 p.m.
The purse for the crappie tournament is $20,000 including the grand prize of a new Tracker boat. The Bass Pro Shops Crappie Masters tournament on the Harris Chain of Lakes is the first of 14 national qualifiers held in 2005 to determine participants for the championship to be held on Old Hickory Lake in Hendersonville, Tenn.
The Lake County crappie tournament will be televised a month after the event on the Men’s Channel and The Sportsman Channel, Johnson said.
In addition to the crappie tournament, Crappie Masters is also hosting a kids’ fishing rodeo and outdoor activities event the same day at Hickory Point. Registration for the fishing rodeo begins at 9 a.m. and is for children 12 years and younger. The rodeo will end at 1 p.m. with free refreshments and a host of prizes. Outdoor activities at the event will include a climbing wall, archery, moonwalk, nature trail and supervised horseback rides.
Office: (352) 343-9609; Cell: (352) 455-0445