For the 2015 Bassmaster Classic, B.A.S.S. is heading back to South Carolina...
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...to Lake Hartwell and the host city of Greenville. The lake borders on South Carolina and Georgia.
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The Bi-Lo Center is now known as Bon Secours Wellness Arena. It will once again host the biggest event in bass fishing.
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The crowd watches at the 2008 Classic in Greenville as B.A.S.S. crowns the champion.
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Hartwell has been host to three previous B.A.S.S. events: the 1996 and 1998 Georgia Eastern Invitationals and the 2008 Bassmaster Classic won by Alton Jones.
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Jones dredged deep creek channels and ditches with jigs and jigging spoons for his winning catch in 2008.
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Cliff Pace, the 2013 Classic champ, finished second on Hartwell in 2008. Both Jones and Pace figure to be factors when the Classic returns in 2015.
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Due to drought conditions, Hartwell was about 15 feet below normal pool for the 2008 Bassmaster Classic. It should be much higher — and likely fish much differently — in 2015.
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The 2008 Classic offered a roller coaster of weather conditions. Air temperatures ranged from the low 30s to the high 60s, there was rain, sleet and sunshine, and at times the wind blew 20 mph out of the north — and that was just during the three days of competition!
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The big bass from the 2008 Classic was a 6-pound, 7-ounce largemouth caught by Fred Roumbanis on the second day of competition.
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It'll likely take solid catches of largemouth bass to win the 2015 Classic, but spotted bass could also be a factor. Spots weighing better than 4 pounds are taken on Hartwell. Smallmouth bass — also present in the lake — tend to run small, so few anglers will target them.
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Hartwell covers 55,900 surface acres and offers 962 miles of shoreline — plenty of room for Classic qualifiers to spread out and escape crowds.
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Charlie Hartley led the first day of competition in the 2008 Bassmaster Classic on Hartwell. It was his first and (thus far) only Classic appearance. He'll be eager for another chance to fish the Super Bowl of bass fishing, where he did so well.
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At 2 pounds, 9 ounces, the average bass from the 2008 Hartwell Classic was the fifth heaviest in championship history. They should be big and healthy again in 2015.
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Greenville has a very interesting feature in the middle of the city- waterfalls!
Photo: CantoV Yousef Abdul-Husain
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The Liberty Bridge is a pedestrian walkway that travels over the Reedy River in downtown Greenville.
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B.A.S.S. can't wait to come to Greenville and Lake Hartwell in 2015. See you there!