ONAMIA, Minn. (AP) _ Mille Lacs Lake is known for its walleye fishing, but its reputation as an outstanding smallmouth bass fishery is on the rise.

The walleye fishing season at the lake is limited to catch and release this year and will be entirely off-limits for three weeks in July.

Reports say state officials and local business owners are working to keep anglers coming to the area despite the decline in the lake's walleye population by encouraging bass fishing.

In September, professional anglers from around the country will gather at the lake to compete in the Bassmaster Angler of the Year Championship for the second year in a row. Business owners have increased their stock of bass fishing supplies.

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