SPRING CITY, Tenn. (WATE) – Watts Bar Lake will host a Major League Fishing event for the first time as some of the world’s best anglers return to East Tennessee next week as part of the 2022 Bass Pro Tour.

Watts Bar Lake will host the fifth stop on the 2022 MLF Bass Pro Tour June 4-9 as 80 of the world’s best compete for a total purse of more than $800,000, including a top payout of $100,000.

While the Bass Pro Tour has held several events in Rhea County, this event will mark the first event on Watts Bar Lake.

Notable participants include Knoxville native and 2019 Bassmaster Classic winner Ott DeFoe. Seven other Tennessee pros will hit the waters including Spring City natives John Murray and Wesley Strader.

“Spring City is very excited to host Stage Five of the Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour next week and we welcome anglers, staff and fans to our community,” said Woody Evans, mayor of Spring City. “Spring City is the home of Watts Bar Lake, and we are proud of the opportunity to show off one of our many natural treasures to the professional anglers that are participating, as well as the viewers from all across the media platforms that will be watching the tournament.” 

Anglers will launch each day at 7:30 a.m. from the Spring City Boat Ramp, located at 417 Toestring Valley Road in Spring City, Tenn. Each day’s takeout will be held at the ramp, beginning at 4 p.m.

Meet The Pros Day will be held on Saturday, June 4, from 4:30-6:30 p.m. All 80 Bass pro Tour anglers will be onsite at the Spring City Park, located at 448 E. Jackson Ave. in Spring City, to meet fans, sign autographs and talk fishing. The first 50 children ages 10 and under will receive a free Dora the Explorer rod and reel combo.

The champion will be crowned Thursday, June 9 at a celebration event at Spring City Park from 4-6 p.m. The first 50 middle school or high school anglers will receive a free Abu Garcia rod and reel combo valued at $100.

Visit majorleaguefishing.com for more information.