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Lake lands big fishing event in 2010

POSTED: December 24, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Gov. Sonny Perdue announced Tuesday that Lake Lanier will be the site of the 2010 Forrest Wood Cup.

This championship fishing tournament, which is scheduled for Aug. 5-8, 2010, will draw top bass anglers from across the country to compete for the $2.5 million purse.

The weigh-ins will be at the Georgia Dome, and the Family Fun Zone and Outdoor Show will be held at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta.

"It’s the Super Bowl of bass fishing," said Greg Walker, director of Hall County Parks and Leisure Services.

The tournament will be held at the Go Fish Georgia mega ramp currently under construction at Laurel Park.

The Go Fish program was introduced by Perdue to promote and enhance boating and fishing tourism in Georgia.

The 78 pro anglers competing for the title qualify through the Walmart FLW Tour, Walmart FLW Series and Stren Series and include the champions of the Walmart Bass Fishing League and the National Guard FLW College Series.

The tournament will bring national exposure and a huge economic impact to Hall County.

Resident and nonresident anglers in Georgia currently spend $1 billion each year, with a $1.9 billion in economic impact, according to state figures. It is estimated a tournament the size of the 2010 Forrest Wood Cup can have an economic impact of $20 million.

"We look forward to working with FLW Outdoors and the state to make this a successful tournament," said Hall County Commissioner Steve Gailey, whose district houses Laurel Park.

The Laurel Park ramp is being widened to four lanes and extended to 350 feet in length. It will allow boats to launch as long as Lake Lanier’s water level is at least 1,048 feet above sea level, allowing access during drought conditions.

The project also will include construction of a fishing tournament staging area, restrooms and additional parking.

Laurel Park is one of 10 mega ramp sites on a bass fishing trail designed to lure large fishing tournaments to the state.

"We’re just ecstatic to be able to showcase our new mega ramp," Walker said. "This is the crown jewel of fishing tournaments."

The work being done at Laurel Park will cost approximately $1.1 million, with the Department of Natural resources contributing $400,000.



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