When I was asked to do an article on the five best bass fisheries in Indiana, I have to be honest, I cringed a little. Not because I didn’t want to write an article, but due to the fact that, quite honestly, I wasn’t sure I would have five “good” lakes for bass fishing Indiana to write about.
You see, Indiana is one of the toughest states in the US for bass fishing, in my opinion. I’ve spent the majority of my life in Indiana and of course fishing here, but I’ve been fortunate to live and travel across the US and fish some of the best waters in America. So I feel fairly confident in saying Indiana is one of the more difficult states for bass fishing because I have experienced so many other waters.
Though, what I can say with certainty, is the tough fishing conditions and pressured waters in the Hoosier state have made Indiana a breeding ground for high caliber anglers for many years now.
Anglers such as FLW Cup Champion and now MLF Pro, Jacob Wheeler. Photo Credit: MLF
The 2019 KBF National Champion, Mike Elsea, also calls Indiana home.
Along with FLW Tour Pros, Todd Hollowell and Bill McDonald, and many other anglers from across the industry. With all that being said, if you live in Indiana, or are planning a fishing trip here, don’t get too discouraged yet. I tend to under-promise and over-deliver, so here we go!
Here are Indiana’s top five bass fishing destinations, starting with number five.
Bass Fishing Indiana: #5 Lake Monroe
Lake Monroe, Indiana’s largest lake, coming in at a whopping 10,750 acres of fishable waters. Photo Credit: Visit Bloomington
Lake Monroe is host to some of the biggest bass fishing tournaments in the state. Monroe offers a variety of structures and vegetation to fish. Everything from backwaters, grass, wood, rock, bluff walls, deep offshore structure, boat docks, marinas, and many more targets are available for anglers targeting largemouth bass. Spend any amount of time here and you are sure to leave with more than a handful of waypoints and dings on your ANGLR Bullseye.
Bass Fishing Indiana: #4 Geist Reservoir
Most of the bodies of water that made this list are nestled into the Indiana countryside. Geist Reservoir, however, is completely developed, smack dab in suburbs just north-east of Indianapolis in Fishers, Indiana… fitting, right?
This privately-run lake has some hefty launch fees, but provides 1,890 acres access of great fishing and is known to produce some big bags. Photo Credit: Ucindy.com
Giest was put on the map back in 2013, when MLF pro, Jacob wheeler, boated a whopping 30-pound bag (5-fish) in a weeknight tournament and since then, Geist has produced numerous 20+ pound bags.
Geist is best known for its grass and dock fishing. It’s also notorious for a seriously good frog bite in the late summer and early fall. Though it’s had more pressure in recent years and seen a slight decline in numbers, overall, it still remains one the top fisheries in the state.
Bass Fishing Indiana: #3 Waveland Lake
Coming in at number 3, one of Indiana’s best bass lakes known to produce quantity and quality is Waveland Lake.
This lake can be a true bass anglers dream when the conditions are right. Photo Credit: Roverpass.com
Another privately run lake, Waveland comes in at just 358 acres. But every inch of it is jam-packed with fishable cover. With seemly endless ambush points for largemouth bass, it’s no wonder this lake produces so many quality fish throughout the year. If you enjoy fishing around wood, you will feel right at home here – from stump fields to laydowns, you will have plenty of targets to choose from. With all of the wooded cover, it can be easy to miss some of the offshore gold mines here, with grass and rock! As a final note, make sure to not overlook the dam as it is known to produce some giant bass, especially in the pre-spawn.
Bass Fishing Indiana: #2 White River
The White River is arguably one of, if not the best, smallmouth fishery in the state. Located in the heart of Indiana, it stretches an impressive 362-miles and has two forks, though some of the more popular stretches are from North Indianapolis to just north of Noblesville.
Many of Indiana’s best anglers cut their proverbial fishing teeth on the flowing water of the White River. Photo Credit: City-Data.com
This small but mighty river is perfect for small boats, kayaks, and wading. The white river is know to regularly produce 16 to 19-inch smallmouth and 20 to 23-inch trophies are always within reach. Making it one of the gems of our state.
To this point, this fishery has stayed largely unknown and untapped, but in recent years with the explosion of kayak fishing, it has become increasingly popular and likely will see another spike thanks to the recent Hobie Bass Open Series Satellite event that was held in conjunction with Indian Kayak Anglers Trail. This event had an impressive 90 anglers competing for top honors and a Tournament of Champion’s birth. Local angler Cole Garland landed 88.5-inches of smallmouth to claim the top spot. He also landed big bass with a beautiful 20.5-inch smallmouth.
Bass Fishing Indiana: #1 Bluegrass FWA
So if you’ve made it this far, you probably have an idea that most waters in Indiana are relatively small in comparison to most other states. Well, that holds true in our last and final stop.
Located in the south-west corner of the Hoosier state, near Evansville, Indiana, Bluegrass offers 600-acres of fishable waters.
Made up of 29 separate pits, Bluegrass FWA has long been known by locals to consistently produce some of the biggest bass in Indiana and do so on a frequent basis. These small waters are a kayak anglers dream but don’t be surprised if you see a 21-foot bass boat out there hunting big bass too. If you like flipping, punching, and frogging – you won’t be disappointed here.
There you have it! Indiana’s Top 5 bass fisheries. So the next time you think about Indiana, maybe it won’t be for racing, basketball, or cornfields… because we have some good fishing too. More importantly, the skills sets learned by anglers fishing some of these pressured waters have proven to be crucial when fishing at the highest levels of our sport.
This article was contributed by an ANGLR Expert
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