Best bass fishing in Lakes America
Largemouth bass is the most exciting fish for American anglers. We’re fortunate to have great fishing in almost every state, from small ponds all the way to the Great Lakes.
There are many great spots to fish. If you know where you look you will find fisheries that consistently produce trophy bass.
Is that enough to make your heart beat a little faster? Continue reading!
Below are 12 top locations for bass fishing in the United States. We also have some insider tips that will help you get in on the action.
12 Top Bass Fishing Spots In America
Clear Lake – California
California is known as the King of the West by bass anglers all across America. It may be the best spot for bass fishing right now.
Clear Lake, which covers 68 miles, provides unbeatable habitat and climate for largemouth bass. This has resulted in a fishery that has been dominant over the past decade.
Clear Lake’s current record is 17.52 pounds. This can be attributed to thoughtful stocking. The Lake County Record Bee states that largemouth bass in Clear Lake are either Florida-strain, or a mixture of northern and Florida strains. Florida-strain bass live longer than northern largemouths and grow larger. Clear Lake was stocked with Florida-strain bass in 1969 by the Department of Fish and Game. 139 of these fish were added to the lake. The Department of Fish and Game then stockpiled 242 more fish in 1970, followed by another in 1971 with 58 additional fish.
This paradise is made possible by the combination of excellent habitat, good genetics, and careful management.
Lake Guntersville, Alabama
Lake Guntersville, Tennessee River dam, is home to 69,100 acres. This lake is a favorite destination for bass anglers. It is home to the Berkley Bassmaster Elite 2021, and offers tournament-grade fishing at its best.
Lake Guntersville is home to aquatic vegetation, which provides habitat and ambush areas for hungry bass. The lake’s bottom is covered with stumps, which are the remains of a forest that was submerged to make it. This is the perfect recipe for big bass fishing.
As you can see, the fishing pressure can be intense especially in pre-spawn so it is best to go out on a weekday.
Lake Erie – Michigan. Ohio. Pennsylvania. New York
Although Lake Erie is best known for its smallmouth bass, the southern shoreline of Lake Erie and its vegetation-rich canals are home to a surprising number.
Capt. Swartz, a local fighting guide, explains that some of the participants will bring in 20-pound limits (5 fish) when they participate in largemouth tournaments out of the Port Clinton area. Capt.
Although large specimens are rare, consistent size and unwary attitudes make Lake Erie an excellent bass fishing spot.
Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta – California
This sprawling estuary erupts into San Francisco Bay in Northern California.
The edges are dotted with docks, grasses, and branches that create a labyrinthine network, which provides largemouth bass and their prey a perfect habitat. This maze-like network can be difficult to navigate and may require some time to get used to, but it is a great bass fishing spot.
Cranks and Worms are great options for working vegetation. A good chatterbait is a good option if you’re able to pitch under a dock.
The Delta’s shallow water allows for early spawning, which results in large, healthy bass. They are not shy, so be aggressive!
Toledo Bend – Texas/Louisiana
Toledo Bend has been a hotspot for bass since I can remember. Its 181,600 acres are home to a surprising number of big bass, despite being under heavy pressure.
Because the weather is hot and humid for most of the year the growth rate and replacement rates are extraordinary. This scorching climate allows for extremely slow spawning, which is something that pros are well aware of.
Bassmaster Elite pro Greg Hackney rates Toledo Bend as one his favorite lakes. “It’s not that it’s better than any other lake during the spawn — it’s that there are so many fish there… [it is that]… There are fish that spawn there from February through May.”
Indian Creek, Housen Bay and Negreet Creek are all magical spots on Toledo Bend prespawn. But nearly any cove or creek ingress can house a monster.
Sam Rayburn Reservoir – Texas
Sam Rayburn’s 114.500 acres are fed year-round by the Angelina River. This produces one of the best bass fishing areas in the country.
Although you might not feel it in the sun the Reservoir has a warm climate that allows for bass growth and replacement. Careful management has also enhanced this natural effect.
You can also add a forest of preimpoundment timber, hydrilla, and other aquatic vegetation to create a powerful combination of habitat and ideal weather that produces incredible bass year after year.
This is a fact that anglers across the region know well. The spawn has areas such as Harvey Creek, Buck Bay and Deer Stand crowded with boats and anglers. Expect heavy pressure to come on weekends.
Sam Rayburn is known for its popularity with jerk baits and chatterbaits as well as frogs and big Zara Spooks.
Falcon Lake – Texas
Falcon Lake’s 83.654 acres can recede when there is not enough water. When it does, it submerges acre after acre of mesquite, providing unrivaled habitat to big bass.
This is not to suggest that Falcon is not a great fishery year-after-year – it is. But, it does offer something unique when it submerges itself in water for extended periods.
Its southerly location bordering Mexico on the Rio Grande means that the bass grows in mild winters as well as warm springs, and falls.
Falcon lake is the place to go for many anglers looking for their personal best.
What does this mean?
To win a tournament on Falcon you will need to have a fish total of 5 to 40 pounds.
Soft plastics reign supreme in this country, so make sure you have plenty.
Lake Coeur d’Alene – Idaho
The lake’s nearly 50-miles of water conceal a largemouth population that is unusual for such a northern lake.
While the northern shore of Coeur d’Alene has clear, deep water that is rocky and clear, the southern shore offers plenty of vegetation and backwater lakes. This is the best place to be before spawn. The fishing is great with low pressure for largemouth.
Spring is slow in Idaho. The spawn does not move until the end of April or May, as you would expect. The water temperature is crucial. Use your electronics to locate hot spots and fish at the highest temperatures.
Largemouth of Lake Coeur d’Alene depend on the kokanee as a food source. You’ll be able to catch a bass that weighs at least 5 pounds if you match your lures.
Lake Okeechobee, Florida
Lake Okeechobee’s 730-square-miles of water can present a challenge for new anglers. The sheer size of the lake can make it difficult to know where to start. This fishery has it all, from shallow, reed-choked waters to islands.
Locals are aware of a secret: water clarity is key to big bass. Scott Martin, a local guide insists that you must be able see down at least one foot. Wherever you can, the bass is feeding. But where you cannot, don’t expect much.
According to wildlife biologists, the health and quantity of the submerged aquatic vegetation is directly related to bass size. In 2017, Hurricane Irma destroyed many of the best spots for bass feeding in Okeechobee.
Capt. Nate Shellen reports. “Now that the lake level is up, we can see the floating vegetation move with the wind direction.”
The bass has had the same time as the grasses, other plants, to recover.
The 2021 Pro Circuit results from Tackle Warehouse are a testament to this. Skeet REESE, the winner, won the top spot with an incredible 82-pound, 14.-ounce total of 20-fish!
Lake Champlain – New York and Vermont
Lake Champlain covers 514 miles of lakeshore. It is large and has a variety of topography. This includes islands, deep water, shallows, and coves.
Big water can be overwhelming for beginners because there is so much of it.
Pro tip: Look for the shallows rich in milfoil on the Ticonderoga side. This will bring you largemouth. The lake’s deep sides, often bordered by mountains, are too deep and too fast to support bass. While the north end may offer some decent opportunities, I still prefer the “Ti” side.
When the water temperature is above spawning temperature in April and May, it is almost certain to find a piece of rock or another heat sink that will allow you to feed your fish with locally warm water.
St. Lawrence River (Thousand Islands), – New York
The St. Lawrence, which is the only river that drains the Great Lakes, is simply enormous, measuring more than 2 miles in width and running deep for large stretches. This means that the water doesn’t warm quickly in spring and it is best to treat St. Lawrence as a lake.
Pay attention to the water temperature and the spawning will begin around mid-April.
Although smallmouth are the main draw, there is plenty of mature largemouth in the river, particularly around the Thousand Islands.
Bass anglers often visit Lake of the Isles. However, any shallow with plenty of aquatic vegetation is also a good choice. These shallows heat up faster than the main channel so it is worth making a few scouting trip in April.
Pickwick Lake – Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee
Pickwick Dam is the fishing paradise of 43,100 acres shared by three states. Warm spring weather draws anglers to this water like a magnet. When fishing pressure is high, weekdays can be more productive.
Brandon Lester, Bassmaster Elite Series Pro, suggests that you look for hydrillas in creeks. This is where prespawn largemouth will stage, spawn, and feed on young baitfish.
You can fish hot in the weedy ingress points, which are basically an underwater buffet for hungry bass.
Pickwick has ideal conditions for bass growth and replacement. An excellent climate and close-to-perfect habitat make Pickwick a great place to grow big bass. The top 20 pickwickers on the 2021 Alabama Bass Trail had five fish totals exceeding 20 pounds!