Last week, we started counting down our Top 15 Bass Fishing Lakes. Check out which lakes we ranked #11-15. Now, to continue our quest for the best bass fishing lake in North America, we start with #10.
10. Coeur d’Alene – Idaho
Coeur d’Alene is often known for its fantastic smallmouth fishing, and the largemouth fishing is often overlooked, as the lake record is close to 11 pounds. Head there during May-June and you will find almost every fish in the lake up shallow. Into the hot summer months, you’ll be catching them in up to 30’ of water, so that’s a great time to get out there with a drop shot and your Garmin Panoptix sonar to do a little video game fishing.
9. Lake Okeechobee – Florida
The “Big O” can be your best friend or your worst nightmare. In the swamp, everything wants to eat you, including those giant 10+ lb. bass. But honestly, anglers commonly catch five to 10 pounders, so for those seeking a trip of a lifetime or a personal best, Lake Okeechobee is the perfect place to go. Whether you’re throwing a giant swimbait or punching grass mats, every cast has the potential to net a giant. FLW and Garmin pro Scott Martin is a guide at Lake Okeechobee, so make sure to contact him to book your next adventure.
8. Lake Erie – New York, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Ontario
Lake Erie can be downright nasty. If there’s any sort of wind, be prepared to get soaked to the bone, but the second you hook into a five-pound smallmouth, it will be all worth it. Use Garmin Panoptix and your GPSMAP 7610xsv combo units with included BlueChart g2 and LakeVu HD mapping to help find those schools of giant smallies. Areas of Lake Erie can net largemouth that will average over three pounds, but when you get on the right school of smallmouth, every one of them can weigh more than five pounds.
7. Pickwick Lake – Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi
Pickwick is one of many fantastic ledge fishing impoundments on the Tennessee River. From mid-May to the end of summer, you will find fantastic fishing for both largemouth and smallmouth out on the ledges and shell beds. If you get tired of fishing ledges or are having trouble finding fish out deep, head for the grass or shallows and you can still pick up some quality fish. Twenty-pound limits are very common in the spring and summer, and in the late winter and early spring, several 10-pounders are usually caught. We can’t think of many better places to take your family out for a great day of fishing.
6. Clear Lake – California
If throwing 8-12” swimbaits is your thing, it doesn’t get much better than Clear Lake in California. There aren’t many places in the world where you have a better chance to catch five-pound largemouth all day long. The lake record largemouth weighs over 17 pounds, but with the way Clear Lake has been fishing the last several years, we won’t be surprised if this is broken in the next several years. Our tip to you: throw an oversized swimbait!