Pro bass tourney to draw hundreds to Chickamauga Lake - WSMV Channel 4

Pro bass tourney to draw hundreds to Chickamauga Lake

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Hundreds of the nation's best bass anglers will soon descend on Chickamauga Lake. They're coming for a four day pro-fishing tournament that many say is comparable to an NFL game in football.

The FLW tour event is creating a buzz in the area. Local officials said they're thrilled to see Chickamauga Lake get recognized for its fishing potential, and locals said they can't wait to see their favorite pro anglers in action.

"We've had some big tournaments here already, but this is the first professional, big tournament of this magnitude. Of course, all the motels are full, all the restaurants are being eaten at, all the gas stations are selling food," said Dayton Mayor Gary Louallen.

FLW officials estimate an economic impact of $1.6 million for Dayton and the surrounding area. The city will soon play host to about 300 bass anglers, some claiming professional titles.

Local fishing fans packed the First Baptist Church in Soddy Daisy on Saturday to meet a few of the pros in person.

Atlanta's Glenn Chappelear was one of them. He said he looks forward to getting his boat in the water.

"Got a lot of fish in the lake and lots of places to fish. You can fish out deep, you can fish the grass, you can run way up the river, and so it ought to be an incredible event this week," he said.

Local fisherman Jim Cross said he's thrilled his home is holding an event that draws some of the biggest names in bass fishing.

"These big guys that we watch on the weekends on television, and we see their cars and their trucks and their boats being pulled through the area, and know their out here on our lake, it's awesome," he said.

After a top ten ranking by Bassmaster Magazine, city officials suspect this tournament won't be the last pro event on Chickamauga Lake.

"The lake is on fire. The lake has really been producing a lot of big fish, big stringers, and it's rated number six in the United States right now, so that's the draw is the lake itself. It's what's pulling the people here," Louallen said.

The tournament runs Thursday through Sunday. The winner will get a prize of more than $100,000 dollars.
It will be nationally televised on the NBC sports network, but you're encouraged to come check out the pro anglers in action. Click here to learn more.

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