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Eva Zimmerman fly fishing Colorado. Largemouth bass.

Eva Zimmerman fly fishing Colorado. Largemouth bass.

Bassmaster’s 100 Best Bass Lakes of 2014 announced

By James Hall
[dropcap]T[/dropcap]o create the rankings, we reached out to every state Department of Natural Resources agency in the country to find out which bodies of water are healthy and producing based on catch rates and shock data. Secondly, we surveyed 3,500 rabid bass anglers from every region of the U.S. to find out which lakes were red hot. Then, we surveyed all the B.A.S.S. Nation presidents and conservation directors from each state to get a sense of the accessibility and health of each fishery and to rate the overall experience of fishing any given body of water. And lastly, we asked the 500,000-plus Facebook fans of B.A.S.S. to chime in on which lakes deserve to be on this list, and which ones should be left off. All said, more than 6,000 people contributed to this feature.

Once the master list was created, a panel of Elite Series pros, fishing-industry insiders, writers and traveling anglers came together to agree on the final rankings. What you will notice is that some incredible bass lakes of years past fell off the list. Lake Amistad, which was once a Top 10 lake on this list, is gone due to its incredibly poor production recently (likely due to low water levels). Many Northern lakes have climbed this list because very good fisheries in the West and South are suffering from the drought that has plagued those areas. On the flip side, some new names grace the Top 100. Welcome California’s New Melones and North Carolina’s Randleman, to name just a couple.

Here’s a look at the top 5

Lake Okeechobee (#6) remains one of the greatest bass fishing lakes in the world.

Lake Okeechobee (#6) remains one of the greatest bass fishing lakes in the world.

  1.  Sturgeon Bay, Lake Michigan, WI [From Little Sturgeon Bay to Fish Creek
  2. Clear Lake, CA [43,785 acres]
  3. Lake Erie, Buffalo, NY [Most anglers focus on a 20-mile radius of Buffalo.]
  4. Lake Coeur d’Alene, ID [25,000 acres]
  5. Lake Guntersville, AL [70,000 acres]

To view complete 100 list click here . . .


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