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A fisherman motors through Chickamauga Lake in Lakesite, Tenn., in 2015.

Chattanooga's top rated fishing lake continues to climb national rankings. 

Chickamauga Lake placed second in Bassmaster Magazine's annual rankings of the 100 best bass lakes in the U.S., rising 10 spots from last year's list.

The local lake narrowly finished behind Texas's Sam Rayburn Reservoir, which topped the list.

Here's what the magazine had to say: 

"Tennessee's Chickamauga Lake, which takes the No. 2 slot this year, made a strong argument for No. 1, as it also produced 40-plus-pound limits this spring. Yes, that was plural — two five-fish limits exceeding 42 pounds were landed this year. Although this 36,240-acre fishery hasn't produced quite as many big fish as Rayburn, there were two bass over 10 pounds recorded here since February, the biggest weighing 11.21 pounds."

North Alabama's Lake Guntersville also returned to the top 10, ranking ninth. 

"Other highlights include the comeback of Lake Guntersville, which has finally turned the corner on several subpar years of production for the stalwart fishery," according to the magazine. 

The ranking process takes about three months, according to a release from a magazine spokesperson. State fisheries across the U.S. send data which is coupled with information collected from tournament organizations over the past 12 months. A panel of members within the bass fishing industry then reviews the data and discusses the strengths of each lake before settling on final rankings.

The list ranks the 10 best lakes in the U.S. regardless of location, as well as the 25 best lakes in each of the four geographical divisions. 

"By dividing the Top 100 into four regions, anglers have perspective on fisheries nearby," James Hall, editor of Bassmaster Magazine, stated in the release. 

Contact staff writer Mark Pace at mpace@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6659. Follow him on Twitter @themarkpace and on Facebook at Chattanooga OutdoorsTFP.

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