Big Fishing Means Big Economic Impact

From XVI World Bass Championship to Bassmaster Elite Series,
and Major League Fishing’s Bass Pro Tour – Lake Murray is The Top Fishing Destination

Photo Credit: Major League Fishing

Columbia, S.C. – Over the last 6 months Capital City/Lake Murray Country Regional Tourism Board (CCLMC) has hosted the biggest and the best in international and national fishing competitions on Lake Murray. In October of 2022, Lake Murray became the first location on U.S. soil to host the XVI Black Bass World Championship – the tournament designed to propel bass fishing to the Olympics. Recently, picturesque Lake Murray was the backdrop to the best in professional bass fishing competitions in April of this year, as CCLMC hosted the Bassmaster Elite Series (B.A.S.S) and Major League Fishing’s Bass Pro Tour. Both tournaments were live-streamed, and include national television air dates this fall, further promoting the region.

Big fishing means a significant impact on the local economy from hotel room nights to dining at restaurants, and gallons of gas purchased at local gas stations. B.A.S.S. estimates up to 2 million dollars in economic impact alone from the Bassmaster Elite Series. Hotel bookings were up across the region from Lexington to Newberry as anglers often arrive early to practice fish and get a lay of the land, then stay after to enjoy the region’s offerings. An estimated audience of 180 million tuned in to watch the Bassmaster Elite Series at Lake Murray on Bassmaster.com, Livestream, social media, and FS1. According to B.A.S.S, Saturday’s live coverage from Lake Murray went up 44% over last year’s Saturday Elite average on FS1 and Sunday’s national coverage lasted for 5.5 hours!

“Capital City/Lake Murray Country is proud of the results from these three major fishing events that have produced over 6 million dollars in tourism impact and $52 million in marketing value,” said Miriam Atria, President/CEO of CCLMC. She went on to say that “with our national appeal and positive message, we see an increase in foot traffic and revenue sales at local fishing and sporting-related businesses.” Major League Fishing’s Bass Pro Tour generated 20.9 million live stream minutes and 6.2 million social media impressions during the tournament coverage – national television coverage will include airing on the Discovery Channel in the fall.

CCLMC has been very successful over its 42 years in luring these regional, national, and (international events to our region. These tournaments gain and deliver national television exposure for the Jewel of South Carolina and further serve to amplify the organization’s designation of “Top Southern Destination” (Forbes). October’s XVI Black Bass World Championship earned Lake Murray the title of “Best bass fishing lake in the world”, saw 25 international teams, and brought in over 21.5 million dollars in economic impact. In April, CCLMC wrapped up a momentous 6 months of elite-level professional fishing competitions with the Big Bass Tour, where over 920 amateur anglers competed on the waters of Lake Murray.

CCLMC’s marketing continues to attract these high-caliber events with the staff already reviewing contracts into 2027. The professional anglers have stated vehemently, “We want to come back!” – and that’s the plan. Through partnerships with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources and Dreher Island State Park, CCLMC ensures that the water is pristine, and the fish are healthy and plentiful. Visit LakeMurrayCountry.com for more event details and big news coming to the region!

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