For members of High Voltage Bass Anglers, northern Georgia means small lakes, fierce largemouth bass and an exciting tournament schedule. The club's recent event was sponsored by Elco and held in Rutledge, Georgia, at Hard Labor Creek, an electric-propulsion-only reservoir. Nineteen two-person teams vied for the top honors, with anglers Scott Edwards and Josh Kaufman winning in a 17-foot RockProof Boats aluminum center console powered by an Elco EP-50 electric outboard motor.
One of the many lakes that were created when Georgia expanded its drinking water reserves in the 1990s, Hard Labor Creek Reservoir is nearly five miles long and off limits to gasoline-powered boats. The water-cooled, clean-running Elco EP-50 provided a competitive advantage to Edwards and Kaufman by delivering propulsion comparable to a traditional 50 hp outboard.
Paired with lithium-ion batteries, the powerful motor drove the fully-rigged center console at over 25 mph, getting the team to their hotspot and wetting their lines before the competition arrived. "We blasted off at 7 a.m. and were fishing less than 10 minutes later, four miles away—as far as you can go from the boat ramp," said Edwards. "We caught a really nice fish on our second cast and had our five-fish limit by 8:30, long before we even saw another boat."
The Hard Labor Creek tournament saw stiff competition. Edwards and Kaufman brought in five bass with a total weight of 17.83 lbs., a mere 11 oz. more the second-place finishers. They had one fish weigh-in at 5 lbs. while another team landed a trophy largemouth bass over 8 lbs.
Edwards, also one of the organizers of the Hard Labor Creek tournament, recognizes the importance of Elco's support of tournament fishing and their involvement in High Voltage Bass Anglers. "Sponsoring this event meant a lot to local anglers," he said. Elco provided food for the event and an array of prizes.