How much advantage will local fishermen Andy Wicker of Pomaria and Harold Turner have when the FLW College Fishing National Championship opens Friday on Lake Murray?

Well, they're the only fishermen from South Carolina, but the way this spring has gone – fish appear to be doing things several weeks earlier than usual – who knows?

 

 

Wicker and Turner fish for Clemson, the only team from South Carolina in the field of 25 that will fish three days for a first-prize package of $75,000 in chase and a fully-rigged Ranger bass boat.

 

 

Daily blast-offs will be at 7 a.m. at Park Site No. 8 (North) at 2101 N. Lake Drive in Columbia, with weigh-ins at 5 p.m. on Friday, 2:30 on Saturday and 4 p.m. on Sunday adjacent to the Carolina Baseball Stadium at the corner of Blossom and Williams streets on the campus of the University of South Carolina in Columbia. Sunday's weigh-in will immediately follow the Gamecocks' scheduled baseball game.

 

 

The winning team will take home $50,000 in cash, a fully-rigged ranger boat wrapped in the school's colors for the school's bass club and $25,000 for the school they represent. The winning team will also qualify for the FLW's Forrest Wood Cup on Georgia's Lake Lanier in mid-August.

 

 

Teams qualified through four regular-season events in five conferences. The top five teams in each regional will be in Columbia.

 

 

Six states are represented by multiple teams: California with five, Texas with four, Georgia three and Virginia, New Jersey and Illinois with two each.