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Lanier's ‘Go Fish’ tourney is a no-go

Lake level too low for bass anglers

POSTED: October 31, 2007 5:07 a.m.

With Lake Lanier now down 15 feet and dim prospects for a quick recovery, it came as no surprise Thursday when officials with the Professional Anglers Association pulled the plug on their planned fishing tournament.

The event, which was to be the signature event of Gov. Sonny Perdue's "Go Fish Georgia" initiative, had been planned for a possible date in November and another for next spring.

The Professional Anglers Association was formed in 2005 as an advocacy group of professional bass anglers.

The two other bass fishing organizations, the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society or BASS is now owned by ESPN, the sports cable network. The other, the FLW tour, is sponsored by Wal-Mart.

At a news conference in July, Perdue joined officials from the association to announce the tournament, which would have started next week.

At the event, an executive with Georgia Power Co. had pledged his company's support of the event.

While association officials blame the cancellation on the lake's drought plagued condition, there have been persistent rumors about the fledgling association's inability to land major sponsors.

Craig Lamb, general manager of the PAA, said it was only the lake's condition and the potential risk to fisherman that ended plans for the tourney.

"What's the bigger issue for the Department of Natural Resources?" Lamb said. "Is it to strive to get a bass tournament to Lake Lanier or is to recognize the fact that there is a water shortage in the lake and natural resources are in peril?"

Lamb said the association would revisit the idea of a tournament on Lanier when conditions improve.
He said there could also be problems for another major tournament, the Bassmasters Classic, which is to be held in February on Lake Hartwell on the Georgia-South Carolina line.

Hartwell is currently about six feet below full pool.



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