Lake Norman has become a favorite lake for many fishing tournaments. The economic impact of these events are very important to our area: Thousands of anglers, event staff and fans will be spending time and money around Lake Norman.
Here are the major events coming up this spring:
The 29th Annual Jim Ledbetter Cast Out Cancer Tournament, Queens Landing, Mooresville. Sponsored annually by the Balls Creek Bassmaster Fishing Club, it has worked hard and raised more than $830,000 since the event started. This is the largest charity bass tournament in the Southeast. Last year, more than 200 anglers competed for a Ranger Boat package and other prizes.
For information and an entry form go to anglerschannel.com.
The Carhartt Bassmaster College Eastern Regional Bass Tournament will take place at Blythe Landing, Cornelius. Come cheer for your favorite college. Bass fishing is one of the fastest-growing sport in the college world. More than 600 colleges and universities have bass fishing clubs and competitive fishing teams. Just six years ago, the number was between 50 and 75. Details: www.bassmaster.com/news/carhartt-bassmaster-college-series-sets-dates-2015.
An important note: The UNC Charlotte team won the College Bass Fishing Classic at Lake Keowee, S.C., Feb. 22. This is like winning a bowl game.
The 36th Annual Lake Norman Shrine Club Dogwood Bass Tournament, Midway Marina, Terrell. Funds raised go to the Shriners Children’s Hospital. This is the longest-running charity tournament on Lake Norman. For details, contact William Cork at 704-516-0506 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The first annual Top Shelf Fishing Festival for wounded warriors and disabled veterans will be held at Pinnacle Landing and the Berea Baptist Church in Mooresville. Operation North State is sponsoring this event for 75 disabled veterans. This not a tournament; it is an great opportunity for veterans to enjoy a day of fishing. Volunteers will provide boats and fishing gear for the participants. A cookout at the church will follow the weigh-in. For information, email Mailbox@operationnorthstate.com
The Oakley Big Bass Tour returns to Queens Landing for a two-day big fish tournament. Hourly weigh-ins for cash prizes, and the big bass of the weekend wins the angler a brand new Nitro Z7 bass boat package from Bass Pro. This is a great event for the average weekend angler. Anglers may start at their favorite spot.
Six years ago, 147 anglers entered the first event and a whopping 572 signed up last year. Lots of local anglers will be joined by competitors from more than 12 states. Details: www.oakleyfishing.com.
The Bass Federation, will hold the Southern Division Tournament at Blythe Landing, Huntersville. TBF is part of the Walmart Fishing League Worldwide fishing league. Details: www.flwoutdoors.com/bassfishing/tbf.
The Student Angler Federation High School State Championship Tournament, at Blythe Landing, Cornelius. High schools do have bass fishing clubs and teams. Students from grades 9 to 12 compete to advance to the national championship and scholarships up to $10,000. Details: www.highschoolfishing.org.
Several marinas and boat dealers sponsor ongoing bass fishing trails throughout the year. In addition, there are lots of small local club tournaments held almost every week.
Lou Mintzer is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Lou? Email him at email@example.com.