Bass fishing takes not just time and ample experience, but also a clear understanding of what a bass is going to do based on seasonal factors, as well as knowing about all the different types of places bass like to hide in and why they tend to choose those specific spots. Even if you happen to have all the latest gear, you likely won't catch any bass if you don't know where to look, and often times, it’s actually finding the fish that’s the most difficult part. These freshwater creatures move quickly about any given lake, pond, reservoir, or stream as the seasons and water conditions change-- so time of year, water levels, water temperatures, weather, light, and the availability of food, are all contributing factors to their migrating patterns.
Luckily we’ve got you fully covered to reel in that big one with this handy dandy compilation of the greatest bass fisheries around the globe. For many, smallmouth and largemouth bass are two of the most entertaining species of sportfish to catch. So go ahead and get something good on the end of your line at these specific locations. Here are the seven best places to catch bass.
Where To Catch Bass: 7 Top Places for Bass Fishing Worldwide
Ranked as one of the top bass lakes in North America by Bassmaster, this Detroit-area fishing hot spot sits on the border of Michigan and Canada as part of the Great Lakes ecosystem. It’s nestled in between Lake Erie and Huron, and may not be as famous as its neighbors due to its much smaller size-- but ask any avid angler and they will tell you that it's just as "great" a fishing lake as anywhere else. There are humongous size fish to be found throughout all four seasons, not to mention super clear blue waters. Needless to say, it’s one amazing sight-fishing destination, especially for smallmouth bass, which flourish all along the shoreline, averaging at about three pounds each. There’s always some awesome fish action at this saint of a lake.
Though picking the very best largemouth bass lake can often be open for debate, it’s hard to deny this lake’s status as the ultimate go-to for smallmouth bass anywhere in the world. All throughout this great body of water, impressively sized fish can be found, especially near the Niagara/Buffalo region. Plus, if you happen to visit during the pre-spawn and find yourself coming across a rocky structure with a drop-off, there are more than likely to be schools of bronzebacks swimming freely around for you to reel in.
It’s safe to say that no other lake produces as well as Erie, where it's more than possible to catch as many as a couple hundred three-to-four pound fish in a single day! Seven-pound babies aren't all that uncommon as well. Make sure to head there in the fall season between September and October, which are arguably the best times to catch some of that good old bass.
It’s a popular destination for both smallmouth and largemouth anglers, with about 112 long miles of fantastic bass fishing spots for everyone to stop at. Fishers can either chase monster largemouths all along the shore, or for more consistent results, find schools of smallmouth bass along the northern part of the lake, especially on the Vermont side.
The quality found at this combined fishery has helped it become the go-to-destination for big-league tournaments like B.A.S.S. and FLW, and like with Lake Erie, autumn is the best time to visit the magnificent Lake Champlain, as bass tend to follow the baitfish into the shallows as the water begins to cool. Nearby Burlington is filled with great shops and restaurants to entertain those in your group who don't fish.
You may not find as many bass here in a day as the previous lakes on this list, but you can be sure that the fish you do get are going to be big—huge, in fact. It’s a true trophy smallmouth destination, with smallies swelling over eight pounds caught here on an annual basis. Just think about it: you’ll be taking home plenty of five-fish bags approaching 30 pounds and more. Plus, all the clichéd structure and cover you’d expect from a smallmouth bass-plenty body of water can be at Simcoe – rocky points, shoreline timber, shoals, docks, and all. It’s located only an hour-and-half north of Toronto, so for all those bass anglers hoping to score some big fish, get on up there!
By itself, the lake already enjoys an iconic status among anglers as home to some of the International Game Fish Association’s (IGFA) world record smallmouth bass catches: an 11-pound, 15-ounce smallie reeled in by David Hayes back in 1955, as well as John Gorman's 10-pound, 14-ouncer back in 1969. It is also the lake that is linked with the name Billy Westmorland, famed smallmouth angler of Celina, Tennessee.
These days, getting fish of that enormous strength and size isn't all too common at this flood control reservoir—one of four in the Cumberland River area. But Dale Hollow stills prides itself as being a world-class smallmouth bass fishery that contains enough quality bass during all four seasons to make it worth taking a trip to. The lake and the surrounding rivers, including Cumberland River and the Obey River, also contain a large variety of species from crappie, muskellunge, and walleye, to catfish, trout, gar, and of course, bass.
Sitting halfway up Green Bay in the Wisconsin Peninsula within Lake Michigan, this one boasts plenty of huge smallmouth bass to be found. Plus, they're always relatively easy to find. Anywhere along the shoreline of this 100-by-30-mile bay, you’ll be able to find huge bites, thanks to an abundance of rock formations and reefs that smallies tend to love. The June spawn is considered the best time to find fish, as well as the fall season, when bass move in the shallows to chase baitfish. Also be sure to take a stab at one of the local tournaments. You may very well just win the title of "Big Bass" with that eight-pound fish of yours!
7. The Kissimmee Chain of Lakes - Florida
Not far from the wonders of Orlando's theme parks, anglers can revel in their very own fantasyland of fishing — an ecosystem of more than two dozen lakes that is a known home to record bass-fishing tournament catches. It’s made up of the popular East and West Lake Tohos, as well the Conway and Butler Chain of lakes, making it a trophy destination for those looking to catch some largemouth bass.
What’s more is that the cool swamps surrounding the area make trips to this Old Floridian favorite even more amazing, as you’re likely to be surrounded by lush marshes and wet prairies filled with water birds, alligators, as well as the most enormous schools of bass to ever be found. In past years, it’s been the site of world class competitions such as the Walmart FLW Tour and the Bass Southern Open, and to this day, is a reliable resource for reeling in catches of not just largemouth bass, but bluegill, shellcracker, and black crappie as well.
This article was written by Pamela Chan.