Fishing

The 8 Best US States for Bass Fishing

best bass fishing in the US

We’re blessed to have fishing in the US, and we’re even more blessed to have excellent bass fishing available throughout our country.

Every bass angler has a preference, and everyone always talks about their “secret” spots where they catch the most fish; I know I have mine. Unfortunately, I don’t know too many people who fish every state in their lifetime, so we have to rely on the information provided by others to learn.

I have personally fished four of the eight states in this list, so I’m going to provide a bit of experience as well as some research to help you learn about the eight best US states for bass fishing.

1. Michigan

The state of Michigan tops the list for me as the best state for bass fishing and the best state for fishing in general. Granting broad access to the Great Lakes alone makes Michigan the best state for bass fishing, but as you venture inland, you also find an abundance of lakes and rivers riddled with bass.

Make of the inland lakes and streams are full of smallmouth and this state almost puts every other on this list to shame.

Best Fishing in Michigan

Here are the favorite lakes and other spots to fish in Michigan.

Hubbard Lake – 85-foot deep lake stocked well with bass, pike, perch, and musky.

Gun Lake – Best lake in Michigan for walleye fishing

Coldwater Lake – This lake is the fisherman’s dream because you’ll reel in catfish by the bucket load. It also has an abundance of bass and pike.

Marble Lake – Known for being shallow, this lake is perfect for bluegills and large-mouth bass.

Houghton Lake – Residents know this lake for having the perfect fishing conditions, murky and muddy.

2. Alabama

 

Lake Guntersville Fishing

Alabama hosts a wide variety of fishing tournaments through the Alabama Bass Trail. Ever since anglers discovered Lake Guntersville, this state has been towards the top of everyone’s list.

Alabama is a great state for bass fishing due to the sheer abundance of highly populated bass fishing lakes. Within these lakes are not only a lot of bass, but the size of the fish in each lake is really what amazes.

Pro angler Brent Crow commented on fishing in Alabama and said: “You can catch a ten-pound largemouth, a six-pound small mouth, and a five pounder all within an hours drive.”

Best Fishing in Alabama

Here are some of the favorite spots to fish in Alabama.

Guntersville Lake – Of course, this lake makes the top of the list. It’s a 69,100-acre lake sitting right on the Tennessee River, and it always supplies ideal fishing levels and ample cover making it the perfect conditions for avid bass anglers.

Pickwick Lake – This lake is in an area known by locals as “The Shoals,” the lake spans 43,000 acres and is renowned for its density of small and large-mouth.

Lewis Smith Lake – You’ll find this one an hour north of Birmingham, and it’s a bit more of a challenge for the amateur angler. These waters are filtered, so their crystal clear which makes locating the bass more difficult. When you do, the payout is fantastic.

3. Texas

They say everything is bigger in Texas and that is also true for their fish. You’ll have a hard time ignoring all the incredible lakes, rivers, and streams as you make your way throughout the Lone-star State. Throughout the years Texas has continued to top the list of the best fishing in the country.

“For decades, people have been traveling to Texas in pursuit of ten-pound bass, and they have never gone home disappointed,” says local angler Chuck Reynolds.

Best Fishing in Texas

Here are the best bass fishing locations in Texas.

Lake Fork Reservoir – Lake Fork is known by locals as the best spot for large-mouth in the entire state, and if you ask them, they’ll tell you it’s the best spot in the country. This lake has plenty of cover, standing timber, and channels that attract bass upwards of 14 pounds.

Galveston Bay – This is the largest estuary in Texas and the seventh largest in the US. This location attracts anglers all year long.

Lake Ray Hubbard – If black bass is your game, Lake Ray Hubbard offers plenty of aquatic vegetation and bridge pilings.

4. Florida

This state is known for hosting numerous bass fishing competitions. Lake Okeechobee is the state’s central bass fishing spot, and it typically ranks towards the top of the Bassmaster top 100 lakes list.

Florida also has a variety of other lakes that make that list, and that’s why I couldn’t make a list of the best bass fishing states in the US without adding Florida.

Best Fishing in Florida

Here are some of the best spots to fish in Florida.

Lake Kissimmee – This lake spans 34,948 acres and is located 40 miles south of Orlando. It houses bass friendly conditions of natural grass communities, lily pads, and cattails. The lake has produced 497 trophy fish.

Rodman Reservoir – The US Army developed this 9,500-acre reservoir, and in the summer it attracts anglers of all kinds to its lower river channels. The bass retreats to these areas for cooler water so if you know how to fish it; you’ll catch plenty here.

Lake Okeechobee – This is the largest lake in Florida and the second largest freshwater lake in the United States. The reservoir gets used for irrigation water, and it boasts over 150 thousand acres of vegetation. These conditions are ideal for bass fishing.

5. California

California has hundreds of miles of some of the best trophy bass fishing available. In 2008 there is a story of a man catching a 22 pound bass in Spring Lake, and since then many 20-pound bass have graced anglers throughout the state.

California is known for there large bass and around the Delta area its common to catch 40-50 bass a day there.

Best Fishing in California

San Joaquin Delta – Big bass are well known to flood this area, and the waters run for hundreds of miles, so there’s plenty of fishing in well-vegetated natural environments. The delta houses some of the best conditions for bass fishing.

Clear Lake – Known as the second best place to find bass in California, this lake contains a lot of good bait-fish and a high population of sizable bass larger than eight pounds.

Castaic Lake – This picturesque location is an hour north of Los Angeles and attracts anglers from all over the country for its trophy bass. If you ask the locals, they’ll tell you this is the best bass fishing in the entire country.

6. Minnesota

Of course “The Land of 10,000 Lakes” should make the list of best bass fishing right? Minnesota is truly an anglers paradise because of the sheer number of bass fishing lakes and ponds. Lake Minnetonka is known well by the locals as well as Minnesota’s stretch of the Mississippi River.

In this state, you may not chase a whole lot of trophy fish which is common up north, but it’s not uncommon to head out and bag 25 or more bass in a single day.

Red Lake – This 107,800-acre monster is well known for its excellent ice fishing, and if you’re looking to bring in a few trophy fish this would be your lake of choice.

Steiger Lake – This small lake is a catch and release pond and when I hear that I get excited because I know the lake is full of sizeable bass as well as crappie and bluegill.

7. New York

People often forget that there is a whole state outside of New York City and it’s full of great bass fishing. Around the Finger Lakes and the rest of upstate New York, there are many lakes, ponds, and streams that attract anglers all year round.

As you venture up towards Lake Ontario, you’ll also find some serious large lake fishing as well with over 200 lakes housing plenty of small and large-mouth.

Best Fishing in New York

Hudson River – If river fishing is your thing you’ll want to head towards the Hudson to find large and small-mouth along the heavy brush and logs.

Oneida Lake – Great for both small and large-mouth.

St. Lawrence River – My personal favorite in New York state for bass as well as northern pike.

8. Pennsylvania

I couldn’t make a list of the best fishing in the US without including my home state of Pennsylvania. I grew up fishing these waters hard with my father and grandfather and let me tell you; these guys knew where to go, what to bring, and how to catch everything.

Pennsylvania, in my opinion, is a little harder to fish for people who don’t know the best places because they’re kept well hidden and you want to stay away from the most popular locations because they get fished so heavily. I’ll throw you a few of my favorite lesser known spots here.

Best Fishing in Pennsylvania

Susquehanna River – The ultimate bass fishing in Pennsylvania happens about 15 minutes outside of Scranton. “The Susky” is known for housing some of the best small-mouth fishing on the East Coast, but this river has suffered a disease epidemic over the years that has hurt the fishing a bit. Over time the population has grown, and fishing is alive and well again here.

Stillwater Dam – This is a spot I hit many times as a kid, and I still do. Here you’ll find tons of inlets that if you get here at the right time, the water level will be high enough for you to make it in with your boat. Take your rubber worms and go to town here.

Prompton Dam – Staying in Northeast Pennsylvania; the last place I’ll talk about is Prompton. This lake is one of the largest in the area, and it carries plenty of 12-pound bass and larger. This is also where I caught my first and last musky.


If you’ve fished any of the waters listed in this article drop a comment below and let me know what your experience was like. Also, help the readers out and throw in your favorite lake in your home state!

2 comments

  1. Avatar

    How does Red Lake Minnesota make a best bass lake list?

    1. Wade Thiel

      What would you put in its place?

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