Bass Fishing Idaho: Top 5 Places For a Weekend Trip

What do you think of when you think of Idaho? Potatoes? Mountains? Bass fishing is probably not your first thought, but maybe it should be. The entire region is home to excellent fishing and it makes sense that one of the best bass anglers in the world, Brandon Palaniuk, learned how to fish in this beautiful state. Bass Fishing Idaho allows anglers to home their skills and set out on some incredibly scenic bodies of water!

There are several great fisheries in Idaho, but here are the top five in no particular order.

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Bass Fishing Idaho: Lake Coeur d’Alene

CDA as it is often referred to has garnered some national attention already when Bassmaster magazine listed it as one of the best lakes in the country. Even with the added attention, it still kicks out big bass.

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If you do not have a 20-pound bag at tournaments, your shot at winning is pretty low. What makes this body of water so special is that it can take either largemouth, smallmouth, or a mixed bag to make up that kind of weight.

The diversity and sheer beauty of the fishery would be enough, but the big bass make it even better.

Bass Fishing Idaho: Dworshak Reservoir

Another picturesque fishery with the potential for giant bass, Dworshak is full of smallmouth. The fish here are fat and healthy and eat loads of small kokanee salmon. The “Shak” stretches for 54 miles and covers 19,000 surface acres of water.

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The current Idaho state record smallmouth is 9.72-pounds and came from this giant reservoir. The lake is remote, big, and at times, treacherous. Be prepared for anything out there as cell service is limited just about everywhere you go.

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Bass Fishing Idaho: Lake Pend Oreille

The lake itself reaches depths of 1,150 feet and hosts U.S. Navy submarine research, but even with the deep water, it is home to big bass. Both largemouth and smallmouth can reach trophy sizes in the lake and connected river.

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Bass Fishing Idaho: Pend Oreille River

The river is mostly shallow with backwaters, vegetation and submerged wood. It can be a great place for just about any bass fishing technique. The lake itself is a big body of water with plenty of rocky points and perfect habitat for big smallmouth.

Bass Fishing Idaho: The Snake River

The Snake River “snakes” its way across the full width of the state and then heads north as it forms a barrier between parts of both Washington and Oregon. It is a large river and much of it is home to great bass fishing.

From fast moving sections in “Hells Canyon” to impounded sections like Brownlee or C.J. Strike Reservoirs, there is hardly a bad place to catch a bass on the Snake River. Some stretches are better than others, but the entire river is one of the best places for bass fishing Idaho.


This article was contributed by an ANGLR Expert

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Tyler Brinks

ABOUT Tyler

I work full-time in the fishing industry as an outdoor writer, social media and pro-staff manager, and as a Marine Specialist for Navionics. I've been tournament bass fishing for 20 years at various levels and was one of the co-founders of the Spokane Bass Club.

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