These are the ten best bass fishing locations in the U.S.
So you’re looking for a place to go bass fishing, but you’re a little clueless as to where you should start.
Since everyone’s goals are different, we’ve devised a list that covers everything. Some like size, some chase numbers, some prefer smallmouth and some care more about scenery. This list has it all!
When you’re ready for some real bass fishing, consider some of these locales to home in on the best of the best.
10. Great Lakes
The legendary Great Lakes region is home to some smallmouth behemoth lakes. Lake Michigan has huge smallmouth, up to and exceeding six pounds, and tournaments can bring in 25-pound stringers to win.
Erie may be even more noteworthy for the biggest of brown bass; go in May and catch a seven-pounder. If you hit Presque Isle Bay you’ll find shelter from the bad weather that can easily slash big, open water.
9. Tennessee River Lakes
Lake Guntersville is one of the most loved and most despised fisheries in the country, as she is a two-faced witch. Heavy pressure with outstanding potential, the best days will top nearly any other body of water. A four-day tournament recently took 92 pounds to win. And of course there is Chickamauga, where an other-worldly 49-pound sack of fish came in one day.
Throw Alabama rigs in early spring here and hold on.
8. California Delta
Many of these legendary lakes have been struck by legendary drought, but the California Delta is still putting out fish with a 30-pound stringer recently.
Then there is Clear Lake, which has also seen anglers put away 30-pound bags.
Bring the big swimbaits for the biggest bass.
7. Arizona Desert
Arizona is another less-likely destination with plenty to offer. Apache Lake surrenders plenty of 15-pound limits with its amazing scenery.
Then there’s Havasu’s clear waters full of spring-breakers, smallmouth and largemouth.
6. The Midwest
Some call Lake St. Clair the best lake in Michigan, which says a lot. If you’re tournament fishing Minnesota’s Mille Lacs Lake, you had better have five smallmouth at four pounds each, or dump ’em out because it’s not worth weighing.
5. The Northwest
Some would say it’s an odd choice for the best bass fishing in the U.S., but there are worthy destinations here, with possibly the best scenery of the list.
Lake Coeur D’Alene has everything a bass angler could want: four- to five-pound brown or green bass by the handful, biting shallow or deep. And Noxon Rapids Reservoir offers the best bass fishing in Montana, with snow-capped peaks to boot.
Not to be left off the list, the Columbia River and tributaries contain nearly endless opportunity, with smallmouths stacked like cordwood throughout.
You’ve heard the tales and know the names already. Lake Fork has the fish, but also plenty of competition for them.
Sam Rayburn might get you a sack full of seven-pound fish. And Toledo Bend is 185,000 acres of tremendous habitat, and big bass, making it Bassmaster’s top lake of 2015.
3. Deep South
The Red River in Louisiana typifies the deep south style of stained water fishing, bumping spinnerbaits on stumps.
Florida’s Kissimmee Lakes are worth a trip as well; Tohopekaliga is the best, taking 25+ pounds to win lately, and of course this is where Dean Rojas broke the BASS tournament record with a four-day total of 108 pounds. ONE ZERO EIGHT!
2. New England
Lastly, another northern-latitude sleeper. The St. Lawrence River holds incredible scenic beauty along with numbers and size in truckloads of five-pound smallmouth. Champlain has the big brown footballs as well, but also holds emerging largemouth numbers.
Take your pick: High Falls Lake, home to some 15-inch-plus monsters; Lake Allatoona, where you’ll catch them for days; or Lake Seminole, where tournaments routinely bring in 25-pound stringers.
If you haven’t determined where to head for the ultimate U.S. bass fishing, this list either helped, or made it even more difficult. Here’s hoping for a little of both.