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Weiss Lake a hot spot for fishing

Weiss Lake on the Alabama-Georgia border is known as a major fishing spot for anglers of all ages from all over the nation, said Joy Perry, events coordinator for the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce in Alabama.

"We have the lake, and we have the mountains," Perry said.

While the popular lake -- known particularly for its crappie fishing -- attracts plenty of anglers, many people don't know the area also is a destination for rock climbing enthusiasts, she said.

Betty Fann, who with her husband, Johnny, owns Pruett's Fish Camp and Cabins, said crappie fishing is the big draw for Weiss Lake and the fish camp.

"We saw more anglers this year than we did last year," she said. "They caught some nice fish early on in the spring."

Weiss Lake has four free public access areas and 37 privately run marinas. Accommodations include campgrounds, motels and rental cabins. Anglers need a state fishing license from Georgia or Alabama, depending on the fishing location.

AT A GLANCE

• Population: Cherokee County, Ala., 25,989.

• Best places to visit: Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce officials say one of the best areas to visit on Weiss Lake is the Little River Canyon, the deepest gorge east of the Mississippi.

• Miles from downtown Chattanooga: 85.

• Landmarks or geographic features: Weiss Lake covers 30,200 acres along the Alabama-Georgia border in Cherokee County. The lake on the Coosa River west of Centre, Ala., has 447 miles of shoreline and an average depth of 10 feet.

• Historic info: The lake was named for Fernando Weiss, pronounced "Wice," a Dallas native hired by Alabama Power in 1913.

• Unique traditions: Cherokee County's biggest annual celebration is Liberty Day, which is hosted by the town of Cedar Bluff, centrally located on the lake. The Independence Day fireworks show draws hundreds of boaters and thousands of visitors a year.

• Best-kept secret/fun fact: A hidden treat on the west side of Weiss Lake is Yellow Creek Falls, where people can reach large rock formations and waterfalls by boat.