Steeped in bass fishing history, Florida’s Harris Chain of Lakes has been selected to host the 2018 Bassmaster Team Championship Dec. 5-8. Part of the Oklawaha River Basin, the Harris Chain covers about 50,000 acres, including eight lakes — seven of which will be accessible to the bass fishing teams competing in the championship and connecting channels. Lake Yale, a 4,000-acre natural lake, is not accessible by boat from the other seven lakes.
In its 50-year history, B.A.S.S. has held 15 professional bass tournaments on the Harris Chain, including the first five B.A.S.S. MegaBucks tournaments, which featured a 10-hole fishing course where finalists competed for a $100,000 first prize. The Lake County network of bass lakes also hosted the B.A.S.S. Nation championships in 2006 and 2009.
“We love going to the Harris Chain, Leesburg and Lake County for events,” said Team Championship tournament director Jon Stewart, who also serves as B.A.S.S. Nation national director. The Harris Chain of Lakes should produce well in early December. The anglers might even come across a few early spawners, and when fishing in Florida, you always have a chance at catching the bass of a lifetime.”
One of the qualifiers for the event will be sure to have the tournament a lifetime, because he or she will earn a berth in the “Super Bowl of Bass Fishing,” the 2019 Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods at Knoxville, Tenn.
Founded in 2014, the Bassmaster Team Championship fields approximately 175 two-angler teams each year. The teams qualify by winning championships or performance points titles on one of dozens of B.A.S.S. sanctioned team tournament circuits. The teams compete for two days — Dec. 5-6 this year — to earn the title of top team in the nation. Next, members of the Top 3 teams fish solo for two more days, with the winner of that phase qualifying for the Classic.
Tournament headquarters will be Leesburg, Fla. It is hosted by the Central Florida Sports Commission and LakeBigBass.com – Lake County, Fla.