Lake Norman is heating up for a major fishing tournament which will be televised by ESPN.
The 2005 CITGO Bassmaster Tour will take place March 17-20 at Blythe Landing in Cornelius.
â€œThis is a big deal for people that keep up with bass fishing-it is the biggest event of the year,â€ said Gus Gustafason, with Lake Norman Ventures.
The event is a follow up to last yearâ€™s Bassmaster Classic, held at Lake Wylie and the Junior Bassmaster Classic on Lake Norman.
The tour stop is expected to bring in almost 1500 overnight stays and 2800 day trip visitors. Lake Norman has 2200 rooms in the area to accommodate the fishing fans, said the Lake Norman Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Beginning on Wednesday March 16, registration and a cookout will be held at SpecialFX Sports in Cornelius.
The tournament is part of a three-tournament circuit, presented by Busch Beer. It includes the Bassmaster Opens, which provides the opportunity for angles to advance to the CITGO Bassmaster Tour, the six-event Bassmaster Tour, which are tournaments for pros and amateurs and the four-event Elite 50 Series for the worldâ€™s best angles.
Want to Go?
The event will be held free for spectators, at Blythe Landing on N.C. 73, Cornelius.
Practice days are March 14-16 and the tournament is Thursday, March 17-20. Thursday and Friday the tournament will have a launch at 6:15 a.m., Saturday and Sunday the take off will be at 6:30 a.m. The outdoor expo is open on Saturday, March 19 from noon to 6 p.m. and Sunday March 20 from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Weigh-ins are 3 p.m. on Thursday and Friday and 3:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. On the last day of the tournament, the champion and five pro anglers will sign autographs at the sponsor booths.
Sponsors include CITGO Petroleum Corporation, Busch Beer, Toyota, Bass Pro Shops. Local sponsors include the Lake Norman Convention and Visitors Bureau, Camping Today and Mecklenburg County Parks and Recreation.
Want More Information?
Call the Lake Norman Convention and Visitors Bureau at 704-892-1992 or visit www.lakenorman.org.
by Amy Wadsworth