Best Largemouth Bass Fishing Destinations (Lakes & Rivers)



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line-3Here are Some of the Very Best Largemouth Bass Vacation Destinations

Central Florida is home to some excellent bass fishing.  With KissimmeeLake County and the Orlando area, you have plenty of places to go fish for largemouth bass.  The Kissimmee Chain of Lakes get the most attention in this area, but there are so many lakes to fish within an hour drive or so from Walt Disney World.  With the theme parks and so many other attractions, the family will have plenty to do and you can sneak away with whoever wants to do some fishing with you.

Lake Okeechobee (FL) offers some of the best largemouth bass fishing in the country.  It is possible to catch bass up to and over 10 pounds.  Most of the fishing guides target these real big bass with live shiners, but artificial lures are also very productive.

Lake Fork (TX) has gained the reputation of being one of the best, if not the best bass lake in the country.  There are so many huge bass caught here every year that many of the fishing guides consider 5 pound bass “dinks.”  Of the top 20 State Record Largemouth Bass of Texas, the majority of them were caught from Lake Fork.

Lake Guntersville (AL) is one of the best bass lakes in the country.  This lake is known for good numbers as well as quality fish.  Largemouth bass in the 7 to 8 pound range are caught every year and bass up to and above 10 pounds are possible.  

Toledo Bend Reservoir – coming soon

St. Johns River (FL) – Located in the Northeastern part of Florida and stretching nearly half the state’s length, the St. Johns River is one of the best largemouth bass fishing destinations.  Due to its large size, (over 300 miles) this body of water holds a huge population of largemouth bass ranging from just a couple of pounds all the way up to the high teens.

Santee Cooper Lakes (SC) – The Santee Cooper Lakes have been turning some heads with the tournament weights recently.  Big bass are loaded in these lakes, so if you’re looking to find a place with lots of bass in the 4 to 7 pound range and some bigger fish too, The Santee Cooper Lakes are a good place to visit.

Kentucky Lake (KY & TN) – It’s tough to beat Kentucky Lake for bass fishing from mid-April through the end of May.  This time of year, you can expect to catch good numbers of bass to go along with some nice bass in the 4 to 7 pound range mixed in.  This lake can attract lots of boaters, but there’s enough water here to get away from the crowds if that’s what you choose to do.  There have been stockings of Florida strain bass on the Tennessee portion of the lake, so expect some very big largemouth bass to come from that part of the lake in the future.

Lake Barkley (KY)  – Similar fishing to Kentucky Lake.  Very good fishing, just not as many options for lodging, marinas, etc.

Clear Lake (CA) is known for its trophy bass fishery.  A good number of anglers come here for the chance to catch a bass 10 pounds or more and it’s definitely a possibility if you’re fishing in the right areas with bigger baits.  You can have success all year long on Clear Lake, but the spring and fall seasons are definitely the best if you’re looking to target big bass and hopefully catch a bunch of them.

California Delta (CA) – More information coming soon.

Bemidji, MN Area – The Bemidji area lakes provide many recreational opportunities.  With over 400 lakes in a 25 mile radius, there are plenty of options for boaters and fishermen. There are plenty of resorts and lodges as well as other accommodation for you to choose from.  There are plenty of lakes in the Bemidji area that have good largemouth bass fishing.  Bass are often overlooked because of the walleye, muskie and northern pike fishing, but you can find some very good bass fishing with 2 to 3 pounders being fairly common on several different lakes. 

Brainerd Lakes (MN) – The Brainerd Lakes Area is located in northern Minnesota.  With 465 lakes in the area, this area is loaded with recreational opportunities.  The Brainerd Lakes area is known more for its walleye, northern pike and muskie fishing, but largemouth bass can be found in many of the area lakes as well.  Good numbers of largemouth bass are catchable and trophy bass in the 5 pound range are not uncommon. 

Leech Lake (MN) is a very good lake for largemouth bass fishing.  Largemouth bass are usually way down the list in order of priority for most anglers that come to Leech Lake.  Since there are so many species of fish to catch, there is usually very little pressure for largemouth bass.  Anglers have a lot of options if they want to target largemouth bass.  The bays provide excellent action in the spring and early summer as they move into these areas to get ready for the spawn and this lake has plenty of rice beds, cabbage beds and bulrush beds that are great areas to target largemouth bass.  Fish up to 5 pounds are fairly common on this lake, which is outstanding for a bass fishing lake in the northern part of the country.

Thousand Islands (NY) – The Thousand Islands are a group of over 1,700 islands that straddle the United States – Canada border in the St. Lawrence River.  The Canadian islands are in the province of Ontario and the islands in the United States are located in the state of New York.  This area is known more for its smallmouth bass fishing, but there are plenty of shallow coves with weed growth that are home to some very nice-sized largemouth bass and they are under-fished.

Table Rock Lake (MO) Table Rock Lake is an excellent lake.  You will find largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and spotted bass in this lake, so expect to catch a variety of bass no matter what species of fish you are targeting.  Largemouth bass can be found throughout the lake.  With all the shorelines, docks and coves to fish here, the only thing you’ll want more of is time because you’ll never have enough time to fish all of the spots that look like they’d hold a largemouth bass.  

Lake Champlain (VT & NY)  Lake Champlain is a huge lake located mostly within the borders of Vermont and New York, but a portion of the lake is also located across the border into Canada.  The cool waters provide excellent fishing for salmon, lake trout, rainbow trout, brown trout, perch, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass and northern pike. Largemouth bass are underfished here, but if you choose to target them, there are good numbers of them to go along with some big bass too.  Smallmouth bass are more prevalent, so feel free to target some smallies as well when you visit.

View the Best Largemouth Bass Fishing Destinations by State

With so many places to fish for largemouth bass, we can’t possibly list them all.  Take a look at some of the other great places to fish for largemouth bass in each state.

Alabama:  Lay Lake, Lake Guntersville, Neely Henry Lake, Lake Eufaula, Pickwick Lake, Mobile Delta

Arizona:  Lake Havasu, Lake Powell

Arkansas:  Beaver LakeBull Shoals LakeNorfork Lake, Lake Dardanelle

California:  Clear LakeCalifornia Delta, Diamond Valley Lake, Lake Berryessa, Lake Oroville, Lake Casitas, New Melones Lake, Shasta Lake

Colorado:  Pueblo Reservoir

Connecticut:  Candlewood Lake

Florida:  KissimmeeLake CountyLake OkeechobeeOrlandoRodman ReservoirSt. Johns River, Stick Marsh

Georgia:  Clarks Hill Lake, Lake Lanier, Lake Seminole

Idaho:  Lake Coeur d’Alene

Illinois:  Carlyle LakeLake ShelbyvilleRend Lake

Indiana:  Patoka Lake

Iowa:  West Okoboji Lake

Kentucky:  Barren River Lake, Green River Lake, Kentucky LakeLake Barkley

Louisiana:  Mississippi River Delta, Red River, Toledo Bend

Maine:  China Lake, Cobbosseecontee Lake

Maryland:  Upper Chesapeake Bay

Minnesota:  Bemidji, MN Area, Brainerd LakesLake Minnetonka, Leech LakePelican Lake

Mississippi:  Ross Barnett Reservoir

Missouri:  Lake of the OzarksBull Shoals Lake, Mozingo Lake, Table Rock Lake

New Hampshire:  Lake Winnipesaukee

New York: Lake ChamplainLake George, Oneida Lake, Thousand Islands

North Carolina:  High Rock Lake, Lake Hickory, Randleman Lake

Oklahoma:  Fort Gibson Lake, Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees, Lake of the Arbuckles

South Carolina:  Lake Jocassee, Lake Murray, Santee Cooper Lakes

Tennessee:  Chickamauga Lake, Kentucky Lake

Texas:  Falcon Lake, Fayette County Reservoir, Lake Austin, Lake Bastrop, Lake Fork, Ray Roberts Lake, Sam Rayburn Reservoir, Toledo Bend

Vermont: Lake Champlain, Lake Memphremagog

Virginia:  Smith Mountain Lake

West Virginia:  Stonewall Jackson Lake

Tell us what you think.  Feel free to leave a comment about a great destination that we may have overlooked.

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