Nation's top anglers at SML for pro bass fishing tournament - FOX 21/27 WFXR Roanoke/WWCW Lynchburg News, Weather

Nation's top anglers at SML for pro bass fishing tournament

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BEDFORD COUNTY, VA -

Hundreds of fishermen from across the country are casting off on Smith Mountain Lake for a major pro-amateur bass fishing tournament.

The FLW is the largest bass fishing tournament organization in the US. For the first time ever, they're hosting an EverStart Series (similar to NASCAR's Nationwide Series) at Smith Mountain Lake.

"This is a lake that has some really big fish in it," said Ron Lappin, Tournament Director. "Virginia may be for lovers but it's for fishermen too and we're going to see it this week. They're really going to catch them."

Nearly 300 fishermen took off from the Parkway Marina in Huddleston at 7:00 Thursday morning for the first day of competition.

All contestants will get to compete Thursday and Friday. On Saturday, the field will be whittled down to the top 10 pros and co-anglers.

The pro champ will win $40,000, a new boat, and a chance to compete in FLW's top tournament later in the year. The co-angler champ also gets a new boat and $5,000.

"There's a lot at stake here," said Lappin. "This is a great place to come. Our anglers have been wanting us to bring a multi-day event to Smith Mountain Lake for a long time. We're very, very tickled to be here."