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Record 470 Anglers Compete on Watts Bar Lake

May 5, 2017

On Saturday, April 29, the Morristown Marine Team Trail Invitational was held on traveled to Watts Bar Lake out of Tom Fuller Boat Launch in Rockwood, with a record number of 235 boats and 470 anglers.

More than 24 pounds of fish won the tournament for Brant Grimm of Church Hill and Bobby Drinnon of Rogersville, TN. The one-day total of 24.43 lbs won them $10,000 for the 1st place check plus $500 for the Highest Finishing Lowrance.

Several local anglers also won big money - $2,500 was awarded to Dale Pelfrey of Rockwood and Jonathan Bowling of Harriman for 3rd place; while $5,000 was awarded to Jamie Lawson of Oakdale and Michael Fickey of Harriman for 4th place and being the Highest Finishing Skeeter/Yamaha team.

For complete results see:

“We would like to thank The Roane Alliance and the City of Rockwood for sponsoring the tournament,” said Tournament Director Sam Phillips, Morristown Marine. And a special thanks to Becky Ruppe, City of Rockwood; Chase Clem, Rockwood City Parks and Recreation; Rockwood Fire and Police Department; and especially to Donna and Jerry Cox, Jerry's Bait Shop, for hosting the Rockin’ on the River registration event on Friday – what a great turnout!”

“The direct economic impact for Roane County from this tournament was at least $150,000,” said Tourism Director Pam May, The Roane Alliance, “and in just three years, the number of anglers participating nearly doubled. I hear many times from tournament directors how bad their participants want to compete on Watts Bar Lake – and I think this tournament clearly proves that. This is definitely one of the largest tournaments I am familiar with and it is exciting to know that these efforts are paying off and we are already working with Sam (Phillips) and Becky (Ruppe) to bring it back next year.”

The Roane County Visitors Bureau, a partner of the Roane Alliance, works to attract travelers who seek unique heritage and the best outdoor recreational experiences. The Roane Alliance is the comprehensive resource in anything and everything concerning businesses, tourism and economic development in Roane County, which includes the Industrial Development Board, Visitors Bureau and Chamber, and programs such as Education Matters and Retire Roane. Our mission is to create an environment and a unified voice that promotes job creation, economic development, enhanced quality of life, education and workforce. To learn more about the Visitors Bureau or the Roane Alliance please call 865.376.2093 or visit or