The coronavirus impact is being felt far and wide, including the competitive bass fishing circuit.
Amid the global pandemic of the COVID-19 coronavirus, B.A.S.S. has officially announced the postponement of the 2020 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops event scheduled for this weekend at Lake Hartwell.
Bassmaster.com reports that the Series event, scheduled for March 26-28, 2020, will hopefully be rescheduled, but no word on when that might happen or how the postponement will affect the overall standings have been released.
With universities across the nation cancelling classes and essentially closing up shop, it seemed likely that college athletic events and competitions would follow.
Several of the participating schools had informed B.A.S.S. that they would not be allowing their college anglers or wider teams to travel to or take part in sporting events and tournaments, including those held outside without huge numbers of spectators.
If there's no NCAA Basketball Tournament, it was unlikely a bass fishing event like this was going to go off without a hitch. The crowd numbers wouldn't have compared, but parts of these events, like registration, launch, and weigh-ins, do attract people and bring them together inside close quarters.
"B.A.S.S. is monitoring the situation with local officials," said the organizing body, "and following precautions and advice outlined by the CDC and World Health Organization." They are also working with the local hosts to determine if a reschedule is viable. If and when that happens, the news will be shared promptly.
Lake Hartwell, which sits on the South Carolina-Georgia border, was set to host the event, and has long been known as a prime bass fishing water body. Last weekend's 2020 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk, held on Lake Guntersville with events in Birmingham, Alabama, was the last large-scale event under the B.A.S.S. umbrella, which at this point seems to have gotten in just in time.
With college fishing carrying so much momentum (even earning the season's winner a coveted wild card spot in the following year's Bassmaster Classic bracket, like Cody Huff), it's a shame that an event of this scale needed to be postponed.
But in hindsight, it's the right thing to do to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. The largemouth of Lake Hartwell will get a break that weekend, as no college bass fishing team will launch in search of a five-bass limit.