Chickamauga Lake reels in another accolade
Fishing is a tradition that runs through families and generations of the Tennessee Valley, and those from here know, that it doesn't get much better, than Chickamauga Lake.
"You know the old saying, it's still fishing not catching. They're not just jumping in the boat, you got to get out there and work at it. But when you do work and put in enough time, you have a really good opportunity to catch a really big fish on this lake," local pro fisherman, Brent Brady, said.
And you can catch this lake on Bassmaster magazines top bass lakes in the U.S. coming in at number two. And it's not a coincidence, it all started with 3-million Florida largemouth bass, since the year 2000.
"Those fish have bread with our preexisting population out here and they've produced a hybrid fish that really grows well. So, in 2015, we recognized a new state record of 15 pounds, three ounces and it broke a 60-plus year record," TWRA Region 3 Fisheries Manager/Biologist, Mike Jolley, said.
For Brent Brady, he's been fishing on this lake for 50 years, and says if you caught a 10 lb. fish 25 years ago, people heard about it, now, it can be anyone's day.
"Whether it's a father and son or father and daughter, or family coming out here, and they say, you know what, I can't compete with some of these guys who are on the tournament trails that spend all the time on the lake. Anybody, one cast, and you catch a big fish, and that's what Lake Chickamauga has going for it, we have a lot of big fish," Brady said.
Big fish, in a big pond, putting the Tennessee Valley on the map.
"We're seeing people from all over the nation. It's really lent itself well to municipalities like Chattanooga and Dayton, who are on Chickamauga. Allow them to get in on the economic engine of this thing right here," Jolley said.