B.A.S.S. revealed today that Lake Chatuge, which straddles the Georgia-North Carolina border, will host the 2018 Elite Series Angler of the Year Championship.
The tournament, being held outside the smallmouth-rich waters of Michigan, Minnesota or Wisconsin for the first time, is scheduled for Sept. 20-23, 2018. The top 50 anglers in the 2018 Elite Series points standings will be eligible to participate.
In addition, B.A.S.S. also announced the 2018 Classic Bracket will be Oct. 23-26 at Carters Lake, a 3,200-acre U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lake near Ellijay, Ga.
There will be $1 million handed out at the AOY Championship with $100,000 going to the AOY and the tournament winner receiving $25,000. The top 36 finishers in points following the tournament will be locked into the 2019 Bassmaster Classic.
Chatuge is a 7,500-acre Tennessee Valley Authority impoundment that hosted Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Championship tournaments in 2013 and '14. Weigh-ins and other activities will be at the Towns County Conference and Recreation Center in Young Harris, Ga.
“We are excited to be hosting a tournament of this caliber, and we look forward to showcasing the beauty of our small mountain community to people from all over the world,” said Candace Lee, president of the Towns County Chamber of Commerce. “We want to put Lake Chatuge on the map as one of the best fishing lakes in the Southeast – as well as the most beautiful.”
The four-day Classic Bracket tournament is a final opportunity for one Elite angler to qualify for the 2019 Classic. Conducted entirely in front of Bassmaster LIVE cameras, the Classic Bracket follows a catch-weigh-release format. Anglers compete head-to-head, trying to compile a heavier five-bass catch than their opponents, until only one is left standing. Qualifiers are the first eight anglers in AOY points below the cut to the Classic.
Carters Lake is an impoundment of the Coosawattee River in Gilmer and Murray counties in the Blue Ridge Mountains of north Georgia. With a maximum depth of 547 feet, it’s the deepest reservoir in the state, and one of the most scenic.