The Tennessee River Valley is home to many world-class bass fisheries, and with TVA's commitment to keeping its reservoirs healthy, the region is attracting some of the nation's top bass tournament, bringing with it thousands of competing anglers in search of winning it all.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn., Aug. 2, 2019 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- Known for their aquatic weeds, a.k.a. grass, Tennessee River Valley lakes have become sought after destinations for bass fisherman across the nation. Many of the top bass fishing organizations have taken notice, and each year, more and more high-profile national bass tournaments are making their way to the Tennessee River chain's 650,000-acre fishery.
Earlier this year, B.A.S.S. announced that once again the Super Bowl of bass fishing will be held on one of the Tennessee River Valley lakes. Alabama's Lake Guntersville will be the host lake for the 50th annual Bassmaster Classic. The bass fishing tournament draws thousands of fans each year. In March, the event was held on the Tennessee River in Knoxville and generated more than $32 million in economic impact for the city, breaking both attendance and economic impact records.
Lake Guntersville is no stranger to huge bass fishing tournaments. According to B.A.S.S., the 68,000-acre Tennessee River fishery has hosted 22 major B.A.S.S. events, including the Bassmaster Classic in 1976 and 2014. The pros have also taken note of the outstanding fishery. Nearly a dozen pro anglers now call Guntersville home including three Classic winners. Randy Howell, Chris Lane and Boyd Duckett have all relocated to Guntersville to live on the lake.
Several of the Tennessee River Valley lakes have made quite an impression on anglers and fishing experts. This year, fishing industry insiders at Bassmaster ranked Lake Guntersville as second and Tennessee's Chickamauga Lake sixth on its top 100 list of bass lakes in the nation for 2019. The Tennessee River Valley lakes also dominated the list of Bassmaster's Top 25 Lakes in the Southeast for 2019. Here are the rankings:
6. Pickwick (Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee);
15. Watts Bar, Tennessee;
19. Wheeler, Alabama; and
20. Cherokee, Tennessee.
Chickamauga Lake boasts the state record largemouth, which was caught by angler Gabe Keen in 2015 and weighed 15.20-pounds. Another notable statistic recorded at Chickamauga is a one-day, five-fish tournament limit that tipped the scale at 44.31 pounds, which is only 13 ounces from the national record.
According to Garry Mason, founder of the Legends of the Outdoors National Hall of Fame, "Kentucky Lake and Pickwick Lake are two other Tennessee River Valley lakes that are much sought after destinations when it comes to great lakes for tournaments." Kentucky Lake has been the host location for the Bassmaster Elite Series several times out of Paris Landing State Park and the Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) offices are located in Benton, Ky. Bassmaster also recently announced that their College National Championship will be held on Lake Chickamauga and their College Bracket Series will be held on Watts Bar. Both events will take place this month.
"Over the past ten years, many of the nation's top bass fishing organizations have put this great chain of Tennessee River Valley lakes as a top priority when it comes to picking locations to host their major fishing events. Other lakes in the Tennessee River Valley are beginning to make a name for themselves as tournament destinations as well," added Mason. The Bassmaster Classic also made an appearance on Douglas Lake earlier this year, and the lake will host the Cabela's Big Bass Tour at the end of September.
"Wheeler Lake and Wilson Lake both have great facilities set up for huge tournaments as well as for local anglers or boaters and many other Tennessee River Valley lakes are welcoming anglers and tournament organizers with open arms," said Mason. Located on approximately 21 acres on the banks of Wheeler Lake near downtown Decatur, Ala., Ingalls Harbor has quickly become one of the best fishing spots in the nation, attracting many national fishing tournaments including the Bassmaster Elite, Wal-Mart FLW Series and American Bass Anglers.
The year 2009 was the first year for Bassmaster Elite Series to hold three tournaments on one reservoir of water, the Tennessee River. That year, the third stop took place on Wheeler Lake, fifth stop was on Lake Guntersville and the sixth stop followed on Pickwick Lake.
The lakes of the Tennessee River Valley are managed by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). TVA goes to great lengths to ensure a healthy fish habitat for today's anglers and for future generations to enjoy. Tournament organizers and industry leaders have taken note of TVA's commitment to its reservoirs, from keeping grass under control to managing water levels. TVA recently joined forces with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency to create a thriving fish habitat in the Tennessee River Valley's reservoir system by adapting an innovative technology originally created to help regenerate coral reefs in salt water. Reef balls are pH-neutral, fibrous concrete balls surrounded by holes. The concrete aggregate makes an attractive home for microorganisms to roost, supporting the lowest links on the food chain. About 30 balls will be placed in Cherokee and Douglas lakes this year, and additional artificial reefs are on tap for TVA reservoirs in Tennessee including Ft. Loudoun, Tellico, Melton Hill, Norris, Ft. Patrick Henry, Boone, Watauga, Wilbur and South Holston.
For more information on TVA, fishing on its lakes or other outdoor recreation, check them out online at https://www.tva.gov/Environment/Recreation/Fishing-the-Valley, https://www.tva.gov/Environment/Recreation/Where-the-Sport-Fish-Are, https://www.tva.gov/Environment/Recreation, https://www.facebook.com/TVA, https://www.facebook.com/TVA, https://twitter.com/tvanews, https://www.instagram.com/tva/ and https://www.youtube.com/user/TVANewsVideo.
Learn about fishing hot spots in the region told through the stories of people and places by visiting the Tennessee River Valley Mapguide. All listings have been nominated by local people who know the region best and offer visitors the most unique, fun and interesting experiences. For more information, visit http://www.exploreTRV.com.