Smith Mountain Lake ranked as a top bass fishing spot - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Smith Mountain Lake ranked as a top bass fishing spot

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SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE -

The late start of spring is proving to be trying for businesses at Smith Mountain Lake.

But sunny skies are helping shift the focus from spring to summer, which means fishing tournaments are getting underway.

Smith Mountain Lake has long been known for its fishing and last week Bassmaster Magazine ranked it 25th in its list of the best bass lakes nationwide.

The Smith Mountain Lake Chamber of Commerce expects the recognition will mean more tourists to the area.

"When these people come in, whether they are here vacationing or here for a tournament, they are staying in the hotels, they're dining at our restaurants, they're traveling around," said chamber president Vickie Gardner. "They truly do help our economy tremendously."

While excited about the tourism possibilities, Bridgewater Marina Co-Owner Roy Enslow said he's looking forward to the long term boost the rankings could provide.

"I think people out there are looking for new homes, they're looking for places to relocate," Enslow said. "Someone who wants to retire and is looking at fishing, that will play into it. Maybe look at Smith Mountain Lake when they may have overlooked it before."

ESPN will be at the lake this weekend for the high school bass fishing championship.

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