Harford County’s tourism agency announced Thursday that there will be a new boat launch location for the Bassmaster Elite Series when the fishing tournament comes to Harford County this summer.
The new spot, Flying Point Park in Edgewood, will replace the Havre de Grace Yacht Basin. The new location was approved two days after the Havre de Grace City Council — citing concerns over the effect on slip owners in the city yacht basin and location of the weigh-in — failed to approve an application by Visit Harford! — the tourism agency for Harford County — to use the boat launch for the four days of the tournament, July 26-29.
“Bassmaster is not leaving Harford County,” Visit Harford! Executive Director Greg Pizzuto said.
Flying Point Park, on Bush River, is owned by Harford County and has a public boat launch.
The county is on board with the decision, Pizzuto said, and while there are a few loose ends to tie up, the new location is secured.
Organizers also are making arrangements for boaters who typically use that facility, Pizzuto said.
“We are making arrangements with other marinas, ramps for them to use those facilities during that time,” he said.
The impact on existing slip owners in the city-owned Havre de Grace Yacht Basin, which is near the mouth of the Susquehanna River, was one reason at least one council member did not make a move to approve the application. Other than leaving open four parking spaces in the yacht basin, no provisions were made for existing boat slip owners, Council President Dave Glenn said.
He also said he didn’t see much of an economic impact for the city from hosting the event, especially with the weigh-in, where most of the televised action would be, at Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen.
The change in location won’t affect the anglers in the tournament, Pizzuto said.
“It just gives them a different entry point for which to start the day and to end the day,” he said.
Fishermen can fish in a wide area during the tournament — anywhere in the upper Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries as long as the tributaries are not controlled by Aberdeen Proving Ground. They can go as far south as the Potomac River during the eight hours they’re given to reel in the heaviest five bass they can catch.
Some anglers have already been in the area checking it out, Pizzuto said.
They have until a dark period in mid-June to find the spots they think will be best for getting the biggest bass, Pizzuto said. From mid-June until the tournament at the end of July, competitors won’t be able to fish the waters.