National fishing tournament breaks record at Lake Murray in Columbia

A national fishing tournament has broken a registration record as it readies to kick-off on Lake Murray in Columbia.

The 2024 Yamaha Rightwaters Bassmaster Kayak Series will kick off its fifth season at Lake Murray on Feb. 24-25, according to a news releaase. The highly competitive tournament has already broken a registration record for the most anglers in a regular season tournament, topping over 230 participants.

“We are excited to host over 200 kayak anglers from across the country and know Lake Murray will deliver a challenging event with strong final numbers,” said Miriam Atria, president/CEo of Capital City/Lake Murray Country (CCLMC).

Tournament days are scheduled for Feb. 24-25 and will be the first opportunity for anglers to earn points toward the Dakota Lithium Bassmaster Kayak Series Angler of the Year title. Anglers will be able to launch from any of the published launches that will be released before the tournament.

The public is welcome to attend the registration meeting at Harbison Theatre at Midlands Technical College today, Friday, Feb. 23 from 4-6 p.m.

“The bass are going to start coming out of their winter patterns into their spring areas [most likely],” said Bassmaster Kayak Series angler Barry Davis in the release. “The weather is always iffy. There have been tournaments here this same time of year, and we have had some 100-inch bags per day to win. Some days, it is nowhere near that because of the weather,” said Davis.

Over the past couple of years, anglers across the country have learned that impressive numbers of giant bass live in Lake Murray, the release stated. Last year the lake was ranked No. 4 overall on Bassmaster Magazine’s 2023 100 Best Bass Lakes list, and No. 1 in the Southeast. That was proven several times just last year across multiple Bassmaster Tournament Trails. Kayak Bass Fishing visited the lake in late February 2023 for a pair of one-day events. On the first day, it took 98.5 inches to win, and on the second day, it was won with 97.5 inches. There is also the potential to catch a 24- or 25-inch bass this time of year.

Lake Murray provides opportunities for anglers to fish to their strengths, the release stated. There is a large section of a more river-like environment, which has a history of producing big bags. Davis predicts that this area will get the most attention. The bottom end of the lake is deep and wide, with a plethora of bass, stripers, and blueback herring.