Bassmaster Magazine Crowns 100 Best Bass Fishing Lakes in U.S.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Bassmaster magazine, the official publication for members of B.A.S.S., announced Tuesday the 100 best bass fishing lakes in the U.S. The list was compiled in a months-long process that included research from state fisheries agencies, nominations from B.A.S.S. Federation Nation tournament organizers and a panel of widely traveled professional anglers, fishing writers and others.

Despite its reputation as a dangerous place to fish, Texas’ Falcon Lake ranked in first place. The 58-year-old impoundment straddles the Rio Grande and is shared by Texas and Mexico. The 83,000-acre reservoir has been in the news as much for drug cartel-related crime as for its enormous catches of largemouth bass.

Falcon produced the record winning catch for the Bassmaster Elite Series circuit when Paul Elias caught 132.5 pounds of bass during four days in 2008. Although the Bassmaster Elite Series tournaments have not returned to the lake since, it regularly gives up tournament-winning catches averaging more than 8 pounds per bass.

Texas tops the list of states with eight lakes or rivers in the Top 100, followed by Florida, which has seven fisheries on the list, including No. 2-ranked Lake Okeechobee. Rounding out the Top 10 are Lake Guntersville in Alabama, Lake Erie in Michigan/Ohio/New York/Pennsylvania, Lake Champlain in New York/Vermont, Lake Amistad in Texas, Lake Minnetonka in Minnesota, San Joaquin Delta in California, Lake Coeur d’Alene in Idaho and Clear Lake in California.

According to Bassmaster editor James Hall, the idea for ranking the best lakes emerged at a B.A.S.S. tournament during a lively discussion among outdoor writers with definite ideas about the nation’s top performing lakes. Hall decided the debate warranted a more in-depth investigation.

“Instead of just having opinions, we wanted to put science behind the opinion to rate the ’100 Best Bass Lakes,’” Hall said. “The method was as scientific as we could make it. The result is a list of outstanding fisheries. I think it will be fun for people to consider where their favorite lake stands compared to the best in another state.”
The 100 Best Bass Lakes list was ranked using a variety of qualifiers. Department of Natural Resource representatives provided the five most productive lakes in each state based on electroshock surveys and angler catch rates. B.A.S.S. Federation Nation presidents offered top lake recommendations based on tournament catches, while conservation directors supplied details on lake accessibility and best fish stocking practices.

A blue ribbon panel of outdoor writers, editors, Bassmaster Elite Series professional anglers and fishing industry veterans ranked the final list based on current fishability of each lake, considering its history, big fish and overall quantity potential and aesthetic surroundings of the area.

The list is slated to appear annually. For full details about each of the lakes ranked, as well as more details about each one, visit http://www.bassmaster.com/news/100-best-bass-lakes.

Bassmaster Magazine 2012 100 Best Bass Lakes in the U.S.

1. Falcon Lake, Texas
2. Lake Okeechobee, Florida
3. Lake Guntersville, Alabama
4. Lake Erie, Michigan/Ohio/New York/Pennsylvania
5. Lake Champlain, New York/Vermont
6. Lake Amistad, Texas
7. Lake Minnetonka, Minnesota
8. San Joaquin Delta, California
9. Lake Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
10. Clear Lake, California
11. Rainy Lake, Minnesota
12. Pickwick Lake, Alabama/Mississippi/Tennessee
13. Lake St. Clair, Michigan
14. Oneida Lake, New York
15. Toledo Bend, Texas/Louisiana
16. Kentucky Lake/Barkley Lake, Kentucky/Tennessee
17. Grand Lake, Oklahoma
18. Kezar Lake, Maine
19. Sam Rayburn Reservoir, Texas
20. Columbia River, Washington/Oregon
21. Kissimmee Chain Of Lakes, Florida
22. Candlewood Lake, Connecticut
23. Santee Cooper lakes, South Carolina
24. Roosevelt Lake, Arizona
25. Lake Winnebago, Wisconsin
26. Lake Fork, Texas
27. Louisiana Delta, Louisiana
28. Lake Ouachita, Arkansas
29. Lake Konawa, Oklahoma
30. Lake Of The Ozarks, Missouri
31. Potomac River, Maryland/Virginia
32. Shasta Lake, California
33. Lake Havasu, Arizona
34. Lake Michigan, Wisconsin/Illinois/Indiana/Michigan
35. Mille Lacs Lake, Minnesota
36. Florida Everglades, Florida
37. Lake Charlevoix, Michigan
38. Lake Mead, Nevada
39. Choke Canyon Lake, Texas
40. Lake Seminole, Georgia/Florida
41. Congamond Lakes, Massachusetts
42. Table Rock Lake, Missouri
43. Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire
44. Falls Lake, North Carolina
45. Umpqua River, Oregon
46. Okoboji Lake, Iowa
47. Red River, Louisiana
48. Pueblo Reservoir, Colorado
49. DeGray Lake, Arkansas
50. Trap Pond, Delaware
51. Bull Shoals Lake, Arkansas/Missouri
52. Spirit Lake, Iowa
53. St. Lawrence River, New York
54. Squam Lake, New Hampshire
55. High Rock Lake, North Carolina
56. Arbuckle Lake, Oklahoma
57. Lake Tarpon, Florida
58. Apache Lake, Arizona
59. Lake Powell, Utah/Arizona
60. Perry Reservoir, Kansas
61. Chickamauga Lake, Tennessee
62. Lake Wawasee, Indiana
63. Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia
64. Lake Conroe, Texas
65. Noxon Rapids, Montana
66. Diamond Valley Lake, California
67. Summit Reservoir, Nebraska
68. Lake Hopatcong, New Jersey
69. Rend Lake, Illinois
70. Lake Pleasant, Arizona
71. Lake Audubon, North Dakota
72. Flaming Gorge Reservoir, Wyoming
73. Harris Chain Of Lakes, Florida
74. Cobbosseecontee Lake, Maine
75. Ute Lake, New Mexico
76. Susquehanna River, Pennsylvania
77. Wilson Reservoir, Kansas
78. Elephant Butte Lake, New Mexico
79. Lake Oahe, South Dakota
80. Gull Lake, Minnesota
81. Kerr Reservoir/Buggs Island, N.C./Virginia
82. Dale Hollow Lake, Tennessee/Kentucky
83. Lake Gaston, North Carolina
84. Bullards Bar Reservoir, California
85. Dworshak Reservoir, Idaho
86. Tygart Lake, West Virginia
87. Keith Sebelius Reservoir, Kansas
88. O.H. Ivie, Texas
89. Lake Wallenpaupack, Pennsylvania
90. Lake Murray, South Carolina
91. Lake Sammamish, Washington
92. Lake Eufaula, Alabama/Georgia
93. Enid Reservoir, Mississippi
94. Old Hickory Lake, Tennessee
95. Fort Peck Reservoir, Montana
96. Manasquan Reservoir, New Jersey
97. Lake Mohave, Nevada
98. Lake Lanier, Georgia
99. Sebago Lake, Maine
100. McPhee Lake, Colorado

About B.A.S.S.
For more than 40 years, B.A.S.S. has served as the authority on bass fishing. The organization advances the sport through advocacy, outreach and an expansive tournament structure while connecting directly with the passionate community of bass anglers through its Bassmaster media vehicles.

The Bassmaster brand and its multimedia platforms are guided by a mission to serve all fishing fans. Through its industry-leading publications – Bassmaster Magazine and B.A.S.S. Times – comprehensive website Bassmaster.com and ESPN2 and Outdoor Channel television programming, Bassmaster provides rich, leading-edge content true to the lifestyle.

The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Open Series, Carhartt Bassmaster College Series, Cabela’s B.A.S.S. Federation Nation events and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the Bassmaster Classic.

B.A.S.S. offers an array of services to its more than 500,000 members and remains focused on issues related to conservation and water access. The organization is headquartered in Birmingham, Ala.

Contact:
Cara Clark, 205-313-0955, cclark@bassmaster.com, or Dave Precht, 205-313-0931, dprecht@bassmaster.com

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