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Lake Bemidji lands college fishing national championship

BEMIDJI, Minn.—Lake Bemidji and the Greater Bemidji area will serve as the host for a major national fishing championship later this year.

The 2017 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops will be held on Lake Bemidji and surrounding lakes from Thursday, Aug. 10, to Saturday, Aug. 12, officials announced this week.

Visit Bemidji and Bemidji State are hosting the event, which will feature the best collegiate fishing teams from across the country, a release said.

"Bemidji State University is proud to join with regional and industry partners as host of this high-caliber competition," Mike Mulry, BSU's director of engagement marketing, said in the release. "We will seize the opportunity to showcase our lakeside campus as an ideal destination for competitive fishermen and all students who love the outdoors."

During the Bassmaster tournaments, two-person teams try to catch the heaviest five-bass limits on each day of the competition. BSU has recently had some success in Bassmaster tournaments: One teams from the university has already qualified for the national tournament with success in a regional tournament earlier this year.

Brothers Thor and Mitch Swanson placed 13th out of 132 teams in the annual Midwest Regional Bassmaster competition March 29—31 in Osage Beach, Mo.

The Swanson team finished 20th out of 80 teams in the 2016 nationals, which were held in Kentucky.

The top four teams in this season's nationals will be in the running to compete in the professional 2018 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK'S Sporting Goods. The Classic will be held March 16-18 in Greenville, S.C., with fishing competition taking place on Lake Hartwell in Anderson, S.C.

"Visit Bemidji is excited to partner with B.A.S.S. and BSU in development of the 2017 Bassmaster College Series National Championship," Susan Goudge, executive director for Visit Bemidji, said in the release. "Bemidji, First City on the Mississippi, looks forward to welcoming the fishing teams, families and B.A.S.S. staff to our beautiful community."

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