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Bass fishing tournament to be held in South Dakota

PIERRE (AP) — Smallmouth bass from a lake in central South Dakota will take center stage next summer when an organization's series of national bass fishing tournaments hosts a competition in the state.

The tournament in Pierre will be held from June 29 to July 2 in 2018 and puts bass from Lake Oahe in the spotlight, the Pierre Capital Journal reported.

BASS spokesman Dave Precht said that the series will be the first time that a major, national bass tournament has been held in the state.

"We like to try different fisheries from time to time," he said.

The Bass Anglers Sportsman's Society Elite Series is an invitation-only series of tournaments founded more than a decade ago as a way to allow more than 100 of the best bass anglers in the country to compete against each other.

Pierre and Fort Pierre tourism officials are preparing for the large turnout at the competitions.

"This is going to be great for our area," said Lois Riess with the Pierre Conventions and Visitors Bureau. "They pretty much come in and if there's a good catch, you've got a great reputation."

Riess said she's been promoting and negotiating with BASS for more than a year to get the tournament to come to Pierre. The tournament also needed $50,000 from three different organizations to be secured.

"The thing that will make it interesting is that very few of the anglers in the tournament have ever fished Lake Oahe," Precht said.