Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Georgetown County’s Department of Parks and Recreation is gearing up for the first of three major fishing tournaments set to take place over the next year at the county’s Carroll A. Campbell Marine Complex on the Sampit River.
The Cabela’s King Kat Tournament Trail, will stop in Georgetown for a two-day super event this Friday and Saturday. Anglers will compete for cash prizes up to $5,000, with a guaranteed payout of $10,000.
The tournament kicks off at 6:30 a.m. Friday. Entrants will spend the day fishing the Santee, Sampit, Waccamaw, Pee Dee and Black rivers before returning to the marine complex for weigh-in at 4
The schedule repeats on Saturday with the addition of kids fishing rodeos. Children ages 12 and under can compete. The kids rodeos will include two divisions: one for ages 7 and under and one for ages 8-12. Each child who participates will receive a prize. Top winners in each
division will win rod-reel combos, as well as being entered for a chance to win a $1,000 scholarship.
Registration for the kids fishing rodeos is free and will take place from from 8-9 a.m.
Saturday at the marine complex, with the event following on the dock from 9-11 a.m. Live bait is allowed. Kids should bring their own fishing poles, and each child must be accompanied by an adult.
The county will also play host to the Inshore Fishing Association Redfish Tour and Kayak Tour this year from Aug. 15-17, and the weeklong B.A.S.S. Nation Southern Divisional Championship next year from April 19-25.
The county’s wealth of water resources, in conjunction with the Campbell complex – a 20-acre facility with six boat launch ramps, outdoor event stage, courtesy docking and parking for 200 vehicles with trailers – were imperative in securing the King Kat, IFA and B.A.S.S. Nation tournaments, said Beth Goodale, the county’s director of parks and recreation.
Goodale and her staff, along with County Administrator Sel Hemingway have been working hard over the last couple of years to get national tournaments to take an interest in Georgetown County. The catfish tournament was booked last year when Goodale attended the National Association of Sports Commissions conference in Kentucky.
“An integral component of the development of the Carroll Ashmore Campbell Marine Complex was to attract nationally-recognized tournaments to our area, and to expose the participants and their guests to our waterways and quality of life, in hopes of their returning for future tournaments or perhaps vacations or even home purchases,” Hemingway said. “The immediate economic benefits of these tournaments will certainly make a large impact on our communities, but our goal is to develop a longstanding relationship with these organizations and their participants.”