10 Best Bass Fishing Lakes For Trophy Bass

The following lakes are some of the best bass fisheries in the US. If you live near them, then great!; just don’t rub it in. If not, it might be worth taking a look at a nice lake vacation to check out these awesome fisheries.

1. Sam Rayburn Reservoir, Texas

Located seventy miles north of Beaumont, the Sam Rayburn Reservoir takes number one on the list for several different reasons.

There is a plethora of habitat for bass to hang out in. This can however change based on the time of year and the water level. When the water is high you can find bass located in flooded trees and bushes.

You can catch largemouth bass year round in Sam Rayburn, but spring, winter and fall will be the most productive months. The reason: the bite in the summertime cools off because of warm water temperature.

The warm water means the bass are going to be most active during the early morning, evening, and night time.

2. Lake Mille Lacs, Minnesota

Lake Mille Lacs

Mille Lacs is regarded as one of, if not the best, smallmouth fishery in the nation. It was once known as one of the better walleye lakes, but now smallmouth have taken over in a big way.

The best time to get out and look for smallmouth is during the end of summer. The date range for this is typically from June until the end of September.

The reason for this is because of more predictable weather conditions; the fish will become more predictable as well by hanging out near structure.

The second best time to get out is during the fall. This is the time when fish are starting to load up on food in preparation for a long, cold winter. This time of the year smallmouth will turn to smaller bait fish and away from their usual meal of crawfish.

3. Lake Okeechobee, Florida

Lake Okeechobee

Lake Okeechobee might be one of the most well known bass fishing lakes in the world. Amateurs and professionals come from across the country to come and fish for the giant bass located in this lake.

Due to its sheer size, the fishing can be a little intimidating. It is important to break down the lake and think small when first getting out there. It helps to also pick out a season and have a gameplan.

The post spawn can be a great time to attack this lake. The fish are active and looking for food after spending time on their beds. This typically will occur in April, which means it’s a perfect opportunity to get out the house and head down south where the water and weather are nice and warm.

4. Clear Lake, California

The oldest natural lake in California produces some of the best west coast bass fishing as well. It produces fish year round, and has more bass in the 3 to 7 pound range than any other lake in the state.

There are also several fish caught each year weighing over 10 pounds with a lake record of 17.5 pounds. Remarkably, fish in the 2 to 4 pound range are considered average.

The majority of the shoreline is privately owned, so either get landowner permission, or launch your boat from one of the boat ramp locations. The lake will produce fish year round. It doesn’t really matter what season it is, so pick feel free to fish whenever you have the opportunity.

5. Falcon Lake, Texas

Falcon Lake, Texas

Look to fish this lake during the spring, fall, and winter months. Similar to Sam Rayburn the bite on this lake will slow down during the hot summers. During peak fishing seasons you can throw spinnerbaits, crankbaits, texas rigged soft plastics, and carolina rigged plastics to points, flooded brush, and any offshore structure.

Because of the summer heat, it is best to fish during the early morning, evening, and at night. Topwaters work especially well during these times of the day.

6. Lake St. Clair, Michigan

Lake St. Clair, Michigan

Another great smallmouth fishery, St. Clair produces large fish time and time again.

In late April and early May you’ll find smallmouth up shallow in their pre-spawn mode. They are aggressive this time of year and can be caught on crankbaits, swimbaits, and spinner baits.

In late May the fish will begin to move more shallow and will start to spawn. They can be caught off their beds by throwing drop shots and other soft plastics.

During the summer the fish will be spread out and will be hanging around areas that have sandy bottoms. Again, drop shots, and other soft plastics will work well here.

7. Santee Cooper Lakes, South Carolina

Tour of Lake Moultrie Tuesday, April 11, 2017. Paul Zoeller/Santee Cooper

Santee Cooper is a lake system that consists of two different lakes. Marion, which is 110,600 acres, and the smaller Moultrie, which is 60,400 acres.

The lake system currently holds state records for 9 different fish. Including a 16.5 pound largemouth. There are several different types of bass that can be caught in this lake system. This includes, largemouth, white bass, and striped bass.

Springtime is a perfect opportunity to go out and try to catch all three of these different types of fish. The largemouths will be in their spawning mode and they’ll be easy to target on their beds.

The stripers will also be on their spawning run and the best way to catch them will be to use cut bait or live herring. The white bass will be schooled up and will be located in open water areas over sandy bottoms.

8. Chickamauga Lake, Tennessee

Chickamauga Lake

The tailwaters at Chickamauga offer some of the best year round fishing in the country. Thanks to warmers waters in the winter and cooler waters in the spring, this fishery is loaded with good fish. The tailwater section also offers the best opportunities for bank fishing.

The state record was caught there in 2015 and weighed 15 pounds and 3 ounces.

When fishing here you’ll want to target deeper water that has structure on it. Such as humps, bluffs, bushes, and any other wooden structure. smallmouth and striped bass can be caught here as well.

9. Lake Guntersville, Alabama

Lake Guntersville

Guntersville is known across the country as one of the best bass fishing lakes. This thanks in part to so many nationally televised tournaments and the large catches.

If looking for big bass, late winter is the time to go. Many fish over ten pounds get pulled out of the lake during this time of the year. The larger fish like to hold in structure in shallow water during the cooler months.

If some thick grass can be found try casting a heavy weighted texas rig or jig into it. Or try ripping a jerkbait in the grass line to entice strikes.

10. Diamond Valley Lake, California

Diamond Valley Lake, California

This lake is home to largemouth, smallmouth, as well as striped bass. There is a small section that can be accessed for shore fishing, but the lake is better suited to be fished from a boat.

Spring and fall will bring the best times for fishing, while summer can be slow. If there during the summer months focus on bass that are holding in deep water. Check around the 20-30 feet mark. The hottest bite during the summer will be the morning and evening.

Soft plastics, crankbaits, jerkbaits, and spinner baits will all be effective and will help you catch fish in just about any condition.

The Best Bass Fishing Lake in the World

In terms of the quantity and quality of the fish caught it’s hard to beat Lake Guntersville in Alabama. It’s not uncommon to go down there and catch the limit with a total weight of 25 pounds or more.

Many professional anglers win tournaments by catching 100+ pound bags over a weekend tournament. There are a lot of big fish in this lake where less than 10 pounds is not considered a trophy.

A novice can easily come here and with a little help catch monster fish throughout the day.


All of the above lakes should be spots that an angler should hit up before they sail off on that giant bass boat in the sky. These are premier fisheries; an angler has the possibility of catching their personal best with every cast.

So take some time off of work, take a trip,and pack your rod. There are some fish to be caught!