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Hundreds of kayak bass anglers from more than 40 states launched into Lake Guntersville early Friday morning. They are vying for the title of the fifth annual Kayak Bass Fishing National Champion.

2020 is the first year the competition is being held on Lake Guntersville.

“What attracted it to me was tons of access, a lot of different types of accommodations from Airbnb’s, to hotels, to campgrounds and access points. We have to have a lot of access because guys don’t launch from one location like they do in a standard bass tournament, so with 69,00 acres and hundreds of accesses and world class fishing, Guntersville is literally just one of the most perfect choices for a Kayak Bass Fishing National Championship” said Kayak Bass Fishing founder and president Chad Hoover.

Like other large events this year, the coronavirus has had a major impact on the contest.

Before the pandemic, nearly 700 anglers were signed up. Now, there are only 305 competing in the contest.

Bruno Casagrande is one of them.

“I was mainly fishing docks and it’s got a little wind too so it’s going to mess up a little bit,” said Casagrande.

The Massachusetts resident tolds News 19 that fishing on Lake Guntersville is different from what he is used to.

“Massachusetts we have just clear water, most of them it’s a clear water lake and it’s just a pond, it’s not a river going through and all the weeds too because we only have lily pads and stuff like that but here you’ve got it all and you just have to figure it out,” explained Casagrande.

Despite a lower turnout, Hoover said the expected economic impact from this event is anywhere from $250,000 to $750,000.

The winner of the championship will be announced on Friday night at an awards ceremony starting at 7 p.m.

It will be live streamed here.