It is no secret that bass fishing is one of America's favorite pastime sports, and a million-dollar industry focused on the activity is proof in itself. However, the prevalence of bass fishing tournaments and the number of professional bass fishermen who compete for tens of thousands of dollars is further evidence that bass fishing is one sport many Americans enjoy, whether they do it for fun or sport.
Speaking of one's reasons for bass fishing, likely even with the professionals, the sheer fun of the sport is the top reason that people enjoy this hobby. According to research, there are at least fifteen million - yes, you read that correctly - fifteen million fishing enthusiasts who strictly devote themselves to angling for bass fish.
The bass is legendary for being a "fun" species of fish to attempt to lure in and capture. This is because they are known to put up quite a fight when hooked. They may jump out of the water, they may swim in the opposite direction, they have been known to break lines (and a few fishing rods too) due to these habits. They are also known to wrap lines around underwater stumps or to swim into thick weeded areas in an attempt to break one's line. Some say the bass can make a fisherman look like "a hero or a fool all in the same day." Many of the best fishing tales come from a bass that did almost anything to evade being caught.
Although bass fishing can take place most anywhere across America, there are a few select places across the country that offer prime opportunities to catch the best examples of bass fish.
1. The Great Lakes and Bass Fishing
One can find bass fish in any of the Great Lakes regions of the United States. In fact, Lake Michigan itself is said to contain some of the fiestiest bass fish in America. Come mid-spring, bass fishing is at its best. Green Bay, Wisconsin is home to some of the best smallmouth bass you'll find across the country.
Lake Superior is home to many healthy bass fish. Also in Wisconsin, Superior is a great place to set out in search of bass. Just five miles from Superior is Duluth, Minnesota, so you can be sure some of the same fish nest in both areas. When you set sail from either destination, you can find some of the best fishing in the clear blue waters of Lake Superior.
2. The West Coast and Bass Fishing
Clear Lake, California is home to some rather large bass. Clear Lake is one of the largest natural lakes in this state, and it is also home to some of the largest bass as well! It is not unusual to harvest bass weighing between ten and thirty pounds on any given day at this 43,785 acre lake.
Lake Berryessa, California produced the most recent American Bass tournament largemouth champion bass, a whopping thirty-seven pounder! This beautiful lake is home to largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass as well. You'll have your choice of bass at this location!
A final California location should be mentioned due to the record-holding bass caught here - New Bullards Bar Reservoir offered up a 11.25 pound spotted bass, caught by Nick Dulleck in 2015. This fish is the current world record holder, but many others - which ended up being disqualified due to technicalities, are found in abundance at this particular reservoir.
Lake Washington, outside of Seattle, Washington is home to a great number of smallmouth and largemouth bass. The lake offers numerous docks and piers for fishing, or you can troll out on the lake in your own boat. Described as a "real treasure trove for the keen fisherman," Lake Washington offers beautiful scenery for your bass fishing experience.
3. The Southern United States
One of the most popular places to bass fish in the Southern United States is on Lake Okeechobee (Florida). This beautiful freshwater lake that is a part of the Everglades is 730 square miles of fishing opportunity. In fact, Lake Okeechobee is regaled as the most popular freshwater bass fishing opportunity in the world. What's more, Lake Okeechobee residents provide visitors with multiple opportunities to enjoy the fishing on this lake! There are numerous fishing tours for tourists, and some can book flights out to popular fishing spots. Those interested can also hire a guide to take them to the best places on Okeechobee.
Pickwick Lake in Tennessee is touted by enthusiasts as "the best smallmouth ass fishery in the United States." Any season is a good time to fish on Pickwick, but in the spring, when the bass are preparing for spawn, is perhaps the best time to fish for bass in this area. During the summer, once spawning is complete, the bass then disperse to rocky areas throughout the lake. In the fall, bass return to tailwater areas of the lake to forage for food (and Pickwick Lake is full of the smaller fish that a bass loves to eat).
4. The East Coast and Best Bass Fishing
If you are on the East Coast and you're on the lookout for bass fishing, this Connecticut lake is one of the primary places to visit. Candlewood Lake is located in Western Connecticut, and it offers great bass fishing in the spring and summer. In fact, while the lake contains many species of fish, Candlewood is known for its propensity for smallmouth bass fishing. This is because there is a good bit of vegetation that bass will eat (the bass is neither a true carnivore nor a herbivore, opting for a varied diet).
The next lake on this list is located in Maine, and it is one of the select lakes chosen by Bassmaster as a top lake for fishing for this species. In fact, this man-made lake won honors during both 2018 and 2019 as onr of Bassmaster's Top 100 bass lakes in the United States.
While this is not an exhaustive list of the best places to fish for bass, you can bet if you venture out to one of these locations, you'll find great fishing in store! With fishing season approaching soon, consider one of these locations for your next bass fishing expedition.
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