EDGEWOOD, Md. (WJZ) — Excitement is building in Harford County as some of the best fishermen in the country will soon hit the water for the Bassmaster Elite Tournament of the Chesapeake Bay.

“This is a very large event. We’re very excited to have Bassmasters come to town. We’re expecting $3 to $4 million of economic impact to Harford County by the time you talk about hotel rooms and people eating in our restaurants and shopping in our stores. Fans will be coming in from the mid-Atlantic and across the country,” said Greg Pizzuto, executive director of Visit Harford.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources will work to keep the fish alive during the competition in what’s known as catch and release.

“These guys have a strong conservation ethic. It started decades ago and it’s proliferated until now where we see a lot of money being invested into keeping these fish alive because they recognize the importance of that resource for their future generations of anglers,” DNR bass program manager Joe Love said.

The four-day competition will begin in the waters at Flying Point Park in Edgewood on July 26.

“This is a lot of fun. One-hundred-eight of the top anglers in the world will be coming here to compete. They’ve already been here over the previous months practicing. They’ll start showing up on Monday the 23rd,” Pizzuto said.

The top prize in the tournament is $100,000 and coveted points in the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year standings. The first two days the weigh-ins will be held at Flying Point Park. The last two days there will be weigh-ins and a free family fun fest at Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen.

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