These are heady days for fishing in the Chattanooga area, especially Chickamauga Lake, and 2014 promises to be even better.
• In the spring, Chickamauga was named the sixth best bass lake in America by Bassmaster Magazine, with nearby Lake Guntersville in Northeast Alabama being ranked fourth in the nation. The list is compiled by analyzing catch rates, fish population studies and stocking schedules combined with input from the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society membership.
• For 2014, it was announced this fall that the Bassmasters Elite Series will feature a tour stop on Lake Chickamauga on June 11-15. The festivities will include a weeklong BASSfest festival for fans, leading up to the Elite Series' sixth stop of the 2014 schedule.
• The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Bass Fishing Club continues to produce a strong college fishing team that competes throughout the Southeast and serves as a host school for the Tennessee Bass Fishing Collegiate Trail series, with the 2013-14 season beginning this fall.
• More than 30 boats representing several colleges competed at TBFCT qualifying tournaments at Lake Nickajack in September, Lake Guntersville in October and Lake Chickamauga in mid-November.In June, the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Chickamauga saw Casey Martin win $125,000 as the top pro and hometown hero Andy Morgan earn FLW Angler of the Year honors and $100,000 in prize money.
• The Tennessee Wildlife Resources agency will begin its winter trout stocking of the state's streams and rivers in December, with Chattanooga's Lake Junior near Chickamauga Dam scheduled to be stocked on January 2.