Smith Mountain Lake was the host the ESPN’s Blue Ridge Brawl this year. 95 top fishing profesionals compete for a total purse of $640,000 with the winner reciveing $100,000. The Blue Ridge Brawl is the third of eight series tournaments and the first of its Southern swing. Events in Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee are scheduled to take place from late April to early June with the regular-season finale set for June 17-20 in Oklahoma.
Skeet Reese, an angler competing in the tournament, darted across Smith Mountain Lake looking for his last few catches. Local anglers like Matt Adkins and Jason Harris from Danville were also tailing Reese in their boats to pick up new fishing techniques. Reese’ final day’s catch of 19 pounds, 14 ounces drove his winning weight to 78 pounds, 1 ounce. For his effort, he pocketed $100,000 and enhanced his lead in the Angler of the Year standings. Each of the top six finishers brought 60 pounds or more to the scales for four days.