Bassmaster’s Top 100 Lakes for 2017 features a new pond on top of the leaderboard.
Mille Lacs Lake, Minnesota.
Measuring 132,516 acres, locals refer to it as “The Big Pond.” It hosted the 2016 Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year Championship, and did not disappoint. In fact, it’s safe to say that Mille Lacs thoroughly impressed the bass fishing world.
Here are the current top 10 best bass lakes from Bassmaster’s list:
1. Mille Lacs Lake, Minnesota [132,516 acres]
2. Sam Rayburn Reservoir, Texas [114,500 acres]
3. Clear Lake, California [43,785 acres]
4. Shearon Harris Lake, North Carolina [4,100 acres]
5. Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, California [1,153 square miles]
6. Lake Berryessa, California [20,700 acres]
7. Lake Erie, New York [30-mile radius from Buffalo]
8. Santee Cooper Lakes, Marion and Moultrie, South Carolina [110,000 acres and 60,000 acres, respectively]
9. Lake St. Clair, Michigan [430 square miles]
10. Falcon Lake, Texas [83,654 acres]
Last year’s champion, Seth Feider, tipped the scales with a 3-day limit of 76 pounds-5 ounces. Seth, a Minnesotan himself, no doubt benefited from his local knowledge and experience, but the rest of the top 5 anglers also averaged over 20 pounds a day throughout the tournament. These insanely heavy bags were filled with trophy smallmouth bass, making it that much more impressive.
Although the 2016 tournament was historic, it was not the only reason for Mille Lacs’ top ranking on the Bassmaster’s list. During other previous contests on the lake, much heavier limits were caught. Multiple 30-pound bags were weighed in, and even a couple 36-pound marks were hit. Can you imagine averaging 5 pounders, and not winning the tournament?
“Research reveals that about half of the bass in this fishery measure longer than 17 inches, with 10 percent surpassing 20 inches.” -Bassmaster Magazine
Smallmouth of this size are a rarity throughout the country. Only a handful of lakes are capable of producing such quality fish on a consistent basis.
Mille Lacs has proven time and time again that it has the ability to do so. Along with climbing to the top spot of the latest Top 100 list, it has also been selected for an encore appearance in this year’s Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year Championship.
Will the bass world witness an 80-pound limit this coming September? Only time will tell.
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