GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. - If you're driving through the Lake Guntersville area, you'll start to notice a lot more anglers out on the water. "February kind of kicks off the fishing season here at Lake Guntersville," says Katy Norton of Marshall County Convention and Visitor's Bureau.
This is considered the most ideal time of year to catch some of the best fish in the lake. "They're at their largest, if you want to say. They want to catch the big fish," says Norton.
During these early months of the season, the City of Guntersville hosts several fishing tournaments. "Most of the tournaments that we bring average about 200 boats, so 400 anglers in each of the tournaments."
Norton says Lake Guntersville and the tourism department as a whole employs the majority of the city. "When the anglers come to town, they spend the night. They eat in our restaurants. They gas our boats and our trucks." Retailers say the lake during this time of year has a huge impact on their sales. "We see, I would say, anywhere between 25% to 50% more traffic starting in the month of March."
This has a huge impact on the economy. "We're just glad to have them. We're just glad that they come and share our lake and that we're able to benefit the tax revenue that comes from them," says Norton. An annual season that tourism officials hope will reel in big bucks for the area.