the top 100 bass waters
1. Falcon Lake, Texas
On the Texas side of the lake, all species are managed under current statewide regulations. For recreational anglers fishing Mexican waters, a Mexico fishing license is required for everyone in the boat. Mexico boat permits are no longer required. For information on Mexico's fishing regulations, visit the National Aquaculture and Fishing Commission (CONAPESCA) website. Mexico licenses can be purchased in Zapata at Robert's Fish N' Tackle (2425 S. Highway 83, 956/765-1442) or from Falcon Lake Tackle (2195 S. Highway 83, 956/765-4866.)
Angling OpportunitiesSeveral fishing guides are available at Falcon Reservoir. A list is available from the Zapata Chamber of Commerce. Falcon has long been regarded as one of the best largemouth bass lakes in the state. To win a bass tournament at Falcon, it often takes a 5-6 pound average/fish for your stringer. Channel catfish provide additional opportunities, with an occasional blue or flathead catfish. Recent drought conditions have adversely impacted the white bass and crappie populations.
2. Lake Okeechobee, Florida
Lake Okeechobee, locally referred to as The Lake or The Big O, is the largest freshwater lake in the U.S. state of Florida. It is the seventh largest freshwater lake in United States and the second largest freshwater lake contained entirely within the lower 48 states. Okeechobee covers 730 square miles (1,890 km²), approximately half the size of the state of Rhode Island, and is exceptionally shallow for a lake of its size, with an average depth of only 9 feet (3 m). The lake is divided between Glades, Okeechobee, Martin, Palm Beach, and Hendry counties. Maps of Florida show that all five of these counties meet at one point near the center of the lake.
The most common fish in this lake are largemouth bass, crappie and bluegill. Pickerel have been less commonly caught.
- Wildlife Viewing
3. Lake Guntersville, Alabama
Lake Guntersville is located in north Alabama between Bridgeport and Guntersville. Alabama's largest lake contains 69,100 acres and stretches 75 miles from Nickajack Dam to Guntersville Dam. Free boat ramps and private marinas dot the lake's perimeter. Fishing, boating, camping, hunting and eagle watching are popular sports in the area. Eagle watching centers on Guntersville State Park and the dam during the winter, though some bald eagles stay all year. Guntersville Lake fish habitat includes milfoil and hydilla weed beds from which big bass explode on topwater baits.
Though most noted nationally for large bass, Lake Guntersville is home to quality angling for a variety of fish. Historically, about two-thirds of the anglers on Guntersville target largemouth bass, although bream (bluegill, redear sunfish, and longear sunfish), crappie, sauger and catfish attract their fair share of anglers. Southern Sporting Journal labels Lake Guntersville as one of the six best largemouth bass lake to fish in the winter.
4. Lake Erie, Michigan/Ohio/New York/Pennsylvania
Lake Erie is the fourth largest lake (by surface area) of the five Great Lakes in North America, and the tenth largest globally. It is the southernmost, shallowest, and smallest by volume of the Great Lakesand therefore also has the shortest average water residence time. It is bounded on the north by the Canadian province of Ontario, on the south by the U.S. states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York, and on the west by the state of Michigan. The lake is named after the Erie tribe of Native Americans who lived along its southern shore. The outflow from the lake provides hydroelectric power to Canada and the U.S. as it spins huge turbines at Niagara Falls.
- Bird Watching
- Wildlife Viewing
5. Lake Champlain, New York/Vermont
Lake Champlain is a natural, freshwater lake in North America, located mainly within the borders of the United States (states of Vermont and New York) but partially situated across the Canada—United States border in the Canadian province of Quebec.
The New York portion of the Champlain Valley includes the eastern portions of Clinton County and Essex County. Most of this area is part of the Adirondack Park. There are recreational opportunities in the park and along the relatively undeveloped coastline of Lake Champlain. The cities of Plattsburgh and Burlington are to the north and the village of Ticonderoga in the southern part of the region.
- Wildlife Viewing
6. Lake Amistad, Texas
Amistad Reservoir is a reservoir on the Rio Grande at its confluence with the Devils River 12 miles (19 km) northwest of Del Rio, Texas, USA. The lake is bounded by Val Verde County on the Texas side of the international border, and the state of Coahuila on the Mexican side of the border. The reservoir was formed in November, 1969 by the construction of Amistad Dam to provide flood control, water conservation, irrigation, hydroelectric power, and recreation to the area. The dam and lake are managed jointly by the governments of the United States and Mexico through the International Boundary and Water Commission. The name of the dam and lake is the Spanish word for "friendship". The lake is also referred to as Lake Amistad.
Angling OpportunitiesLargemouth bass are the most popular and most abundant sportfish in the reservoir. Channel and blue catfish are present in good numbers with an occasional flathead showing up. Striped bass are popular and sought by anglers due to their strong fighting characteristics and their potential for trophy sizes. Frequent stockings by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department maintain the striper population because they have not successfully reproduced in this reservoir. White bass provide popular seasonal fishing during spring spawning runs. Smallmouth bass are present; anglers report better success with this species in the Devils River arm of the lake.
7. Lake Minnetonka, Minnesota
Lake Minnetonka is a 14,528-acre (59 km2) lake in the U.S. state of Minnesota. Throughout its recorded history, the lake has been a resort destination. It is located west-southwest of Minneapolis-St. Paul. The lake is an irregular shape with numerous bays and islands which make up about 125 miles (200 km) of shoreline. The lake is located almost entirely within Hennepin County; however, its southernmost extension, at Smithtown bay, reaches into the city of Victoria, in northeastern Carver County.
The lake contains black bullhead, black crappie, bluegill, bowfin, carp, green sunfish, hybrid sunfish, largemouth bass, muskellunge, northern pike, pumpkinseed, rock bass, walleye, white sucker, yellow bullhead, and yellow perch. Some fish consumption guideline restrictions have been placed on the lake's bluegill, carp, largemouth bass, northern pike, and walleye due to mercury contamination.
According to a popular legend, a sturgeon in excess of 10 feet (3 m) in length has been sighted on more than one occasion in the lake. These sightings have persisted over the last 30 years. The sturgeon is often referred to as "Lou."
8. San Joaquin Delta, California
The San Joaquin River, 330 miles (530 km) long, is the second-longest river in the U.S. state of California. The average unimpaired runoff of the main stem of the river at Millerton Reservoir is about 1,800,000 acre·ft (2.22 km3) per year. The San Joaquin and its eight major tributaries drain about 32,000 square miles (83,000 km2) of California's San Joaquin Valley. Water from the river is used to irrigate 1,500 square miles (3,900 km2) of highly productive farmland on the east side of the Central Valley where 200 kinds of produce are raised from oranges to cotton.
It originates high in the Sierra Nevada and drains most of the area from the southern border of Yosemite, south to Kings Canyon National Park, making it the second largest river drainage in the state. The San Joaquin River's tributaries include the Stanislaus River, Tuolumne River, Merced River, Calaveras River and Mokelumne River.
9. Lake Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
Lake Coeur d'Alene, like other lakes surrounding the Spokane Valley and Rathdrum Prairie, was formed by the Missoula Floods, most recently 12,000 to 15,000 years ago. The Purcell Lobe of the Cordilleran Ice Sheet flowed south from Canada, carving the basin of present-day Lake Pend Oreille and damming the Clark Fork river. The impounded river repeatedly filled to form Glacial Lake Missoula and broke through the ice dam, resulting in massive floods that filled the Rathdrum Prairie area with sand, gravel, and boulders. Large eddy bars formed downstream from bedrock obstructions, thereby damming tributary valleys and creating lakes. Lake Coeur d'Alene is fed primarily by two rivers, the Coeur d'Alene River and the Saint Joe River. The outflow is via the Spokane River.
The elevation of the lake varies from 2,128 feet (649 m) above sea level in the summer to up to 7 feet (2.1 m) lower in the winter, controlled by the Post Falls Dam 9 miles (14 km) below the lake on the Spokane River.
Lake Coeur d'Alene is a popular tourist site for many people during the summer, offering great beaches and scenic views. A seasonal hobby of some local residents is viewing the bald eagles as they feed on the kokanee in the lake, mainly from the Wolf Lodge Bay.
10. Clear Lake, California
Clear Lake is the largest natural freshwater lake entirely in California, and has the largest surface area of any freshwater lake entirely in California, the tenth largest by capacity. It is located in Lake County and is fed by runoff flowing into many streams as well as springs in Soda Bay. Its sole outlet is Cache Creek. There is a dam on Cache Creek to increase the lake's capacity and to regulate outflow.
There are 11 free boat launch ramps around the lake that are open to the public. Individuals may rent boats and personal water craft from many businesses around the lake.
Clear Lake is sometimes called the "Bass Capital of the West." Largemouth bass, which are farmed and planted in the lake by California Department of Fish and Game, crappie, catfish, bluegill, and rainbow trout can be found in the county's lakes. Fishing boats can be rented, and many stores and facilities around the lake specialize in fishing equipment. Numerous fishing tournaments and derbies are held through the year.