Bass Fishing Ohio: Top 5 Places for a Weekend Trip

When the state of Ohio is brought up, football is the first sport that comes to mind and what most people associate the Buckeye state with. But, what a lot of people do not know is the hidden secret of the quality bass fishing Ohio has to offer!

Ohio is home to quality College fishing teams, numerous high school and youth fishing programs, many fantastic tournament series like the Fishers of Men series and the Great Lakes Largemouth Series. It is also home to Bassmaster Elite Series Professional Hunter Shryock and MLF Bass Pro Tour Professional Fletcher Shryock. While overshadowed by some of the great fishing that can be held in the state just south of the Ohio river, bass fishing Ohio can and still produces big bass, so here is the Top 5 ‘need to visit’ destinations in Ohio for a weekend fishing trip.

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Bass Fishing Ohio: Alum Creek Lake

This Columbus area lake kicks off our list at number 5 in Ohio. Alum Creek is a very fun lake in my personal opinion. The lake can be broken down by north and south sections using the Cheshire Road bridge running just about mid-way through the lake. The northern half of the lake forks off into the river and is a more stained, shallower part of the lake. The southern part of the lake is deep, clear, rocky water. Generally speaking, the northern part of the lake holds more largemouth and the southern part of the lake holds more smallmouth. This creates a lot of diverse opportunities at this fishery.

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One can finesse smallmouth in the southern half and decide to turn their engine north and go flip the banks for largemouth.

This is a lake I have had a lot of experience on and really is a unique lake that gives anglers from all backgrounds a chance to flaunt their abilities or improve on techniques they may have never tried or have lower confidence in. This lake provides an enormous amount of offshore structure for the deep-water fishermen as well as plenty of lay downs and submerged vegetation for the shallow water guys. With the large population of both large and smallmouth and the diverse fishing opportunities, this lake is a great destination for a weekend getaway trip. And with Columbus mere minutes away, there are plenty of opportunities for things to do while you’re not on the water, or at least that’s what you can tell your significant other.

Bass Fishing Ohio: Knox Lake

Knox Lake is a… well it’s an interesting lake in Ohio. The reason this lake rolls in number 4 on the list is because Knox Lake is rather small. Knox is only 469-acres and is one of the few lakes in Ohio that have a higher minimum catch length for keeper bass than other bodies of water. This makes Knox Lake Ohio’s ‘Trophy lake’. This is because the minimum catch length is 18-inches. This also is why Knox Lake records more catches over 18 inches than any other inland lake in Ohio.

The lake itself is not very big or very deep and only just recently allows idle speeds with engines to get around the lake, but if you’re looking to go to Ohio and catch a big bass, then Knox is a great place to spend your time. With 11.4 miles of shoreline and various bottom compositions loaded with endless amounts of flooded cover, this lake is made for the fisherman who likes to just put down the trolling motor and throw a jig at everything in sight.

Bass Fishing Ohio: Portage Lakes

Coming in at number 3 on our list is actually a chain of lakes. Portage lakes is made up of 5 lakes in Summit County, Ohio (Akron, OH). The “lake” in total is 1681 acres and has 38 miles of shoreline. This makes for a great weekend bass fishing destination as you can dissect a few of the lakes in the chain on one day and then finish off the rest the next day out.

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With varying depths and different habitats throughout the lakes, this is a great lake to go fish your strengths.

ODNR has the numbers and size of fish in the lake listed as “Excellent” and with good catch rates reported by anglers this is just a lake to go to just fill the boat with fish. Jerkbaits, crankbaits, chatterbaits, and Texas rigs are strong options to keep tied up and prepare you for the diverse fishing situations you will find on the Portage Chain of Lakes.

Bass Fishing Ohio: Mosquito Creek Lake

Mosquito Lake rolls in at number 2 on this list as the best inland lake in Ohio (in my humble opinion). Mosquito is a 7,421 acre lake, making it one of the larger inland lakes in Ohio and it is located in Northeast Ohio. Mosquito lake is a shallow grass fisherman’s dream. Weed beds, lily pads, standing structures like docks, and submerged timber and stumps hold quality largemouth for most of the year. In 2018, Mosquito lake showed out at bass tournaments where it regularly took 16-pounds or more to win.

For a lake in Ohio, this is a pretty good statistic as many lakes in the state take around 10 to 12-pounds to win a single day bass fishing tournament. So, if you enjoy shallower water grass fisheries or have a smaller boat, then Mosquito is your perfect storm! Mosquito lake is known as a very productive topwater lake, more specifically, a fantastic frog fishing lake. With grass beds and seas of lily pads, this lake sets up perfectly for throwing topwater and gives bass a variety of ambush points.

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These same areas are favorite targets for flipping and punching baits as the topwater bite dies off, or to throw spinnerbaits or vibrating jigs over and around the weed beds. This lake is somewhat of a mirror opposite to our top ranked lake, but shows that Ohio is home to a variety of fisheries. In 2016, this lake was even featured as one of the host lakes for the Major League Fishing Summit Cup qualifying rounds. So, if you’re interested in some great shallow water grass fishing and want to see the best Ohio has to offer, then Mosquito Lake is a must visit.

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Bass Fishing Ohio: Lake Erie

Finally, we saved the best for last. When composing a list of the best lakes in Ohio, I believe it is impossible to leave out Lake Erie. Honestly, Lake Erie could probably make this list as number 1 and 2 by separating main Lake Erie from the bays and harbors. Lake Erie not only ranks on top of my list of best lakes in Ohio, but also ranks nationally as one of the best bass lakes in the country. Lake Erie, while known for its unbelievable smallmouth fishing, has a large secret that gets overshadowed by its hard-fighting bronze back brother.

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Lake Erie has phenomenal largemouth bass fishing.

I was even tempted to list Lake Erie Harbors and Bays as number 2 on this list, but for a weekend trip you can have a dream of a day catching endless amounts of 3-5 pound smallies then turn around the next day and put a 20-pound sack of largemouth bass in the box. Lake Erie even has its own tournament series dedicated just to the green fish, the Great Lakes Largemouth Series. In east and west Harbor, it is not unheard of to throw green pumpkin shaky heads and sexy shad crankbaits in the springtime for a 50 to 60 fish day. Then the Sandusky bay, which is large enough to be considered a lake of its own, does not have the outstanding numbers like the harbors, but it makes up for it in size. But, don’t let all of this talk fool you for one second.

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The smallmouth bass fishing on Lake Erie is only rivaled by a few juggernaut fisheries in the world!

Ohio provides numerous areas with easy access to the main lake where you can target these insane schools of smallmouth. Ohio sits in one of the best parts of the western basin and is home to Kelly’s Island and the Bass Islands which are known for historically attracting and holding large populations of smallmouth, and the occasional brute largemouth, on the shoals that sit between the surrounding the islands. Be prepared to have to dig through the massive sheepsheads that are mixed in with the smallmouth and hold on the same structure. For your weekend trip to Erie, your keys baits are dropshots and tubes for the main lake smallmouth and black and blue and green pumpkin colored flipping baits for the shallow watered bay and harbor largemouth. Lake Erie is an elite fishery and has countless reasons as to why you need to give this lake a visit if you are in Ohio. This is why Lake Erie is and will forever be the number 1 lake in the state of Ohio.

You can watch an episode from the ANGLR Tour on Lake Erie below!

Bass Fishing Ohio: Final Thoughts

Ohio, can be a tough state for bass fishing, yet it still has some fantastic fisheries that are a lot of fun to fish. From catching largemouth in 6-inches of water to dropshotting smallmouth in 30-feet, Ohio provides all the opportunities an angler needs to really develop all of their fishing abilities as well as just fall in love with the sport of fishing. Just remember your licenses, and the rules and regulations for each lake! Good luck, take a kid fishing, and tight lines!

Bank Fishing for Bass With Live Bait

When someone approaches the fishing community with largemouth bass catches of 9.04-pounds, 9.45-pounds, 9.54-pounds, 10.42-pounds and 11.83-pounds most would be enamored and thrilled for the angler, but when approaching the bass tournament fishing community this one phrase seems to be their go-to.  

“Live bait don’t count when bass fishing!”  

I’ve lost count how many times I’ve heard this statement when presenting my trophy catch to the bass tournament community here in Southeast Tennessee. It is all too familiar and in all honesty it stings a little but I am quick to respond with a few interesting but very true facts especially since I am a bank fishing angler 99% of the time.

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Beginning My Journey of Bank Fishing for Bass With Live Bait

The main fact that seems to be overlooked is that this is not Mr. Smith’s farm pond or a 200 acre private lake at a gated resort where I catch the same fish over and over and get accolades like some do.

These fish were caught on a pair public reservoirs along the Tennessee River with almost 50,000 acres of real estate and nearly 1,000 miles of shoreline to filter through.

For 10 years, I traveled the Southern U.S. as a co-angler and competed in multiple local tournaments and did very well but as the years went by, so did the excitement. I always kept up with the local fishing scene through an online forum and stumbled upon a pair of individuals (Sam and Rich) who toted coolers of live shad up and down the bank at our local dam and had some of the nicest catches that I had ever seen. My interest peaked and I began asking questions and gathering info from the pair and a few other guys on the forum. Not long after, I decided I needed to go get a cast net and set off on a new endeavor.

Stepping into the local tackle shop I made my way to the cast nets and to my amazement the price was far greater than I had thought. With my confidence and brash attitude I said, “What the hell, it can’t be that hard to throw one of these things!!” Then at the drop of the hat I was $120 in debt and well on my way to a new found addiction.

My First Trip Bank Fishing for Bass With Live Bait

Arriving at the dam, I began assessing the bait situation as it ran along the rocky shore and wing wall, I figured a few practices throws in the parking lot was all that a pro like myself needed to fill my cooler with a fine bounty of shad. The visions of grandeur filled the air as I made my first throw of the net and from the looks of the toss I was less than the pro I assured myself I was.

I gathered myself and thought, “I’m going to sling the heck outta this thing and redeem myself in a single flip of the wrist!”……. Wadded up the net, took a look at the area I wanted to throw and then slung her with all my might.

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The next thing I see is my net fly, my tow line as well(forgot to put around my wrist), and all my hopes sink into the rocks about 15 feet off the bank…

Needless to say the onlookers were less than impressed and I hung my head in shame as I walked away as my net and my pride found their way to the bottom. That first year, I managed to lose a total of 7 cast nets to the rocks at the tail-waters of Chickamaugua dam and learned more than I thought possible.

Fast forward 10 years and now I have amassed a collection of 15 nets that range in size from 3.5-foot to 14-foot and every mesh size you could imagine to match the bait I’m targeting. I have a 250 gallon home system and an array of portable bait tanks that I use to haul shad in excess of 150 miles in order to target the giant largemouth that I have grown to love.

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The Facts About Bank Fishing for Bass With Live Bait

Rewind to the beginning of the article, let’s discuss a few of the “very true” facts that I mention when tournament anglers “shluff” off on me for using live bait and discredit my catch due to that very fact. So, I’d like to shed a little light on the subject and I’ll let you guys and gals make your own conclusions.

Every day heading to the water, I set out without a boat in tow and I pattern the bait and fish without the use of $10,000 in electronics.

I do not have a trolling motor or net to help assist me in the fight to land a lunker, nor do I have a limitless amount of water to fish. I use my sight, looking for birds and water disturbances, look up water flow and weather patterns, and study notes that I have collected over the years. I use this combination to pour into a great day of fishing. Unlike the tournament guys, I have only a handful of key locations that I can get to and do not have the luxury of carrying 10 or more rods and reels with an almost endless supply of baits in storage.

Heading Out Bank Fishing for Bass With Live Bait

Each trip starts either the day prior, or hours before daylight. I load up my gear and select what nets I need for the conditions to catch my bait and size of bait I am targeting. I load up the bait tank on my hitch-n-haul checking that my external batteries are charged, bait basket is strapped, and that I have my salt, filters, and chum (normally dog food) all in order. Gizzard shad, threadfin, and golden shiners are my go to and in some situations if the bait is just not cooperating I will use live bream.

I travel to a set of pre-determined locations that I know shad accumulate at various times of the year and I do my best to fill my tank with the water from where the shad will be caught. In most instances the bait can be caught in about 10 throws but in some cases I have spent up to 4 hours in order to catch a dozen decent sized baitfish.

Once I have made multiple trips to gather enough bait to fill the tank, I make sure all filters are clear and that my salt additives are in spec to help calm my fishy little friends. If the location I plan to fish is close, I will not clean the filters or change the water but if I am exceeding a distance of say 40 miles, I will carry and additional 5 gallon bucket of water and stop to wash and clean out my filters because they will shed scales in the tank clogging filters extremely quickly.

The shad are a very finicky species and under stress they go through a thing called osmoregulation where they are forced to expend more energy unless salt is added to the water. The addition of salt inhibits this process and helps them sustain their energy levels and creates an anti-parasitic effect by maintaining their blood chemistry. Now that the salt ordeal is settled, the next thing I verify when I arrive at my location the tank temperature to help insure the shad maintain good health and reduce their stress levels. As little as a 10 degree change in water temperature can cause trauma so I keep a thermometer in the tank and an external one I test the waters with where I decide to fish.

If it is within 10 degrees, I will not add water to the tank from my fishing spot but if it isn’t, I will bucket water from the location into my tank until the water is within range. Now, onto the final steps before I can settle in to fish for the day. My bait basket is an 18-inch diameter by 15-inch deep cylindrical mesh floating basket that I carry with me to keep my bait in to allow them to acclimate to the water temp. I fill up a bucket with water and dip a few shad, shiners, or bream for testing out of the tank and take them with me in my floating basket. If I do not get a taker within the first few casts I will load up and move, if I am successful, you guessed it, I will haul a bucket of water back to my tank and fill it up with enough bait for the day.

Now, Who Said Bank Fishing for Bass With Live Bait Was Easy?

My go-to gear for targeting these gentle giants are spinning reels with braided line and fluorocarbon leaders paired with a variety of hooks. I have two main set-ups that I most frequently use. My first combo is a Penn Spinfisher V 4500 reel paired with 30-pound 8 strand braid and an 8-foot Penn Legion rod with an extra fast and extra-heavy action. Gamakatsu 4x strong live bait hooks. My second combo is a Pflueger President reel paired with 10-pound braid with Shimano Convergence medium-heavy 7-foot rod, and Owner mosquito hooks.

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I normally use a free line method and hook the bait through the nose since I fish current below hydroelectric dams most of the time.

I DO NOT hook the bait through the underside of the jaw through the nose because this restricts flow across the grills and the bait does not stay as active and dies quickly. Simply hooking through the nostrils keeps the bait lively and doesn’t create line twists, it also allows the bait to swim freely. If I am fishing in slack water, I will hook the bait through the back and use a bobber to help create resistance when the bait pulls on the float and I feel that resistance attracts the bigger fish. Each condition calls for slight changes just like any other type of fishing and as I have found over the years, there is something new to learn every day. I some cases I have used drop shot and Carolina rigs, but the most effective is the free line or float method.

Bait size is the most important factor that plays into catching big bass and the saying “Big bait, big fish” is 110% accurate based on my experience. I have thrown gizzard shad up to 13.25-inch and had largemouth demolish them and I have used 6-8-inch gizzard shad which get destroyed by smallmouth.

In the last three years, I have caught largemouth ranging from 9.54-pounds in August 2015, 9.04-pounds in June 2016, 9.45-pounds and 10.42-pounds same day in March of 2018, and recently my PB of 11.83-pounds in January of 2019 all off the banks of the Tennessee River. There are countless numbers in the 5 to 8-pound range that are all but forgotten as well and even a fun day with a Disney’s Olaf kid’s fishing rod where I recorded a 25-pound and 9-ounce 5 fish limit in less than 10 casts.

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All in all these are the lengths I go to and have went through in order to be able to target these giants from the bank.

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.

Lake Mead Fishing Tournament Recap With Mark Lassagne

You may ask yourself what information might be derived from a guy who only caught one fish in two days of a Lake Mead fishing tournament?

Well, first let me say that tournament fishing occurs during a sliver of time when an angler’s only goal is to best the other competitors. And there are two schools of thought during a day of tournament fishing to achieve that goal: catch numbers of bass to fill a limit or catch quality fish (and hopefully fill a limit). I chose the latter—and hindsight being what it is, perhaps it wasn’t the best decision. Nonetheless, the choice I made was based on what I had discovered during practice.

The weather upon my arrival at Mead was post-frontal with an ambient air temperature of 28 degrees, but a warming trend was forecasted to be on the way. The lake was fishing very tough, so much so that merely catching a single bass was difficult.

The only recent information I had was that the fish were staging in the main lake, just outside of coves that contained spawning flats in the back.

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Lake Mead Fishing Tournament: Day One Practice

As I launched, I measured the water temperature and clarity. The water in the main lake had about 20 feet of visibility. It was flat, calm, and cold.

I proceeded to hit points on the main lake leading into coves as described above which I assumed would be high percentage areas. Starting with reaction baits such as a crankbait, spinnerbait, and jerkbait, I then switched to finesse presentations. I tossed a Yamamoto Hula Grub, wacky rigged Senko, and drop shot, targeting depths from a couple feet down to 25-feet.

I fished nearly a dozen points before making a move and targeting the back end of these coves with the same reaction and finesse baits.

After fishing the ends of another dozen coves without a bite, I decided to try the steep side of big boulders. Voilà! I caught a 1.5-pound smallmouth. Believing I had found something, I then tried another dozen areas with similar features, without any luck.

Knowing that I needed to find something resembling a pattern, I ran into ‘The Wash’ which is an area with stained water and is well known for good bags. It looked decent. The water temperature was 52-degrees and there was a ton of cover. I tossed a crankbait in and around the flooded brush before trying an umbrella rig and a Senko. Still no bites. Knowing the weather was at the beginning of a warming trend, I decided to come back on the last day of practice, hoping the fish would have moved in by then.

Lake Mead Fishing Tournament: Day Two Practice

I began my day by running to Overton, which is about 20 miles from where I started on day one, fishing the area the same way as I had in the main lake on the first day of practice. This arm looked good as well, with 52-degree stained water and a ton of brush. I tossed a crankbait, chatterbait, and jig around the brush without a bite. Not one single bite on day two of practice.

Lake Mead Fishing Tournament: Day Three Practice

Launching at Temple Bar, I decided to focus on this area as I had done well there in the past. I knew precisely where the bass would spawn and assumed I could work the staging areas nearby. But again, I didn’t get a bite working 10 to 15 different spots.

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At this point I ran to the end of the lake and again found flooded brush. I started with a crankbait and caught a largemouth. Finally!

I went down the bank catching several more bass around the 2-pound mark. Now that I had a clue, I worked several similar areas while moving toward the main lake and caught nothing more.

Believing this to be a “move-up area” – a place to which fish with spawning on the mind will locate – I knew I could return and catch some fish.

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Lake Mead Fishing Tournament: Day Four Practice

Launching close to ‘The Wash’, today’s goal was to check the area again, hopefully validating my theory that the fish would have moved in during the recent warming weather. The day dawned with a good amount of wind and got me thinking that it might be a reaction bait kind of day.

Fishing wind-blown points near the ramp, I started catching bass—good bass in the 3- to 4-pound class.

After working a couple of coves, I felt I had a good thing going. I then went out to the main lake, directly into the wind, looking to expand this pattern. I started with the umbrella rig and caught a number of 3- to 5-pound bass. The first day of the event called for the same strong winds and based on everything I had found to this point, I needed to pursue that pattern. If I could get two to four bites a day, it would be possible to win.

Lake Mead Fishing Tournament: Day One of the Tournament

The tournament organizers decided to make off-limits the area I had chosen to be my starting spot (only to later open it for day two after several anglers had fished there on day one). Though my first spot was off the table, I still had the area where the umbrella rig had produced during practice, and the wind was howling as it needed to be. I was working a two-mile section of points on the main lake and just knew I could catch a few fish.

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By 9 a.m., with zero bites, I started mixing in the crankbait and landed a 4-pounder.

I decided to recycle through the entire area twice more and only got one more bite. Unfortunately, the fish jumped at the boat and came unbuttoned.

Lake Mead Fishing Tournament: Day Two of the Tournament

With the wind laying down and knowing that the umbrella rig bite would be done, I ran 50 miles to the end of the lake where I figured it would be easy to catch a limit of bass. I arrived and proceeded down the bank, tossing the crankbait in and around the brush. I hooked up once, but the fish came off. My non-boater ended up catching three bass from the area on a small worm, moving him into 11th place. I ended the day without catching a bass.

Knowing what I do now – that most of the anglers who cashed a check, including the tournament winner, were fishing in the Overton area – I should have worked that area more thoroughly with reaction baits during windy periods, and flipped in the brush on the one calm day.

Fishing and catching is all based upon the information an angler has at hand. At the end of the day I feel I made the best decisions based upon the information I had at the time. With tournament fishing, decisions are not always the easiest to make, especially when there’s a good chunk of money on the line. The best takeaway from this recap is to continue to try new baits and new areas when tournament fishing.

Bass Fishing Pennsylvania: Top 5 Places for a Weekend Trip

Whether you’ve been bass fishing your whole life, or you’re just getting started, there is nothing more exciting than fishing new bodies of water. Fishing new areas can help you develop your skills and make you a better all around angler. So, with that in mind, let’s run through the top 5 places for bass fishing Pennsylvania!

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Bass Fishing Pennsylvania: Cowanesque Lake

Cowanesque might not be well known, but it has some incredible fishing opportunities. For example, last season I participated in a 3-day bass fishing tournament held by The Tackle Shack in Wellsboro, Pennsylvania. We were suppose to fish a different lake each of the three days for the tournament, but mother nature had other plans for us, flooding out two of the three lakes. So, we were confined to Cowanesque for the tournament.

The dam held back the water until one day before the tournament, and when they opened the gates you could see the current from the main channel running through the lake. The water got incredibly dirty from all of the rain and the fish I had located before the tournament moved with the influx of rising water and current. When we located them, they were using offshore rock piles and structure to feed with the current. It was a blast, but the teams that found the best current breaks caught some giants. They won the tournament with a couple of giant bass weighing over 6 pounds.

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A beautiful 6.5-pound largemouth from Cowanesque lake. Image Credit: Jennifer Lynn

Cowy, as the locals call it, is a beautiful body of water in North-Central Pennsylvania. You can catch bass using shaky heads, chatterbaits, and jigs around the rock piles and structure. The best time of the year to chase the bigger bass is right as the post-spawn kicks into gear and the fish move out to the deeper water.

Bass Fishing Pennsylvania: Raystown Lake

Raystown Lake will always be on the list for the top lakes to fish for bass in Pennsylvania. It is the state’s largest inland body of water and has about every possible structure and cover imaginable along with different supplies of bait fish for largemouth and smallmouth to feed on! Although many anglers find Raystown to be tough to find fish throughout the year, there are plenty of bass to be caught.

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Raystown is always about fishing your strengths. With long underwater points, bluff wall’s, and shoreline timber and stumps, there are plenty of techniques you can lean on.  Raystown lies in the South-Central part of the state, so if you’re ever in the area, be sure to give it a try!

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Bass Fishing Pennsylvania: Joseph-Foster Sayers Dam

Although this is a small body of water in Central Pennsylvania, the bass are really big!

With many different offshore rock, roadbeds, and submerged timber, these bass can be caught on a variety of techniques depending on the time of year. With multiple bass weighing over 7-pounds in the last few years, this lake gives anglers the feeling that their next cast could be one that gives them a shot at the fish of a lifetime.

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A fish of a lifetime, 9.8-pounds, caught in the springtime. Image Credit: Nature Inn

The best baits are normally crawfish imitators like jigs, crankbaits, and texas rigged creature baits. Spinnerbaits and chatterbaits will also land some great fish in the spring and fall.

Bass Fishing Pennsylvania: Hammond Lake

Just down the road from Mansfield university is a little secret smallmouth lake. With plenty of shallow cover and some deep offshore structure in the way of humps and stumps, these smallmouth can be caught in a variety of ways!

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The best advice I can give, versatile and keep in tune to what is going on around you. Fish the conditions. There are plenty of smallmouth in the 4-pound range which are normally targeted with moving baits and Carolina rigs. As the water temperatures rise, target the offshore structure until the smallmouth pull up shallow to stage for the spawn. This is the best time to target them with moving baits along the shallow cover.

Bass Fishing Pennsylvania: Lake Erie

We’ve saved the best for last. Lake Erie out of Presque Isle Bay features the best smallmouth fishing the state of Pennsylvania has to offer. Whether you’re targeting the bay, or headed out into the big water, there are monster smallmouth to be caught, and plenty of them to go around! The bay also offers numbers of largemouth in three 3 to 5-pound range.

Be sure to watch the weather closely if you’re planning on running out into the main lake as it can get nasty pretty quickly, but on calm days, dropshots and tubes work wonders. For the bay, any style flipping bait in the grass can lead to some great bites as well. If you’re looking for an inside scoop, be sure to check in with MLF Pro, Dave Lefebre, who actually lives on the lake!

You can watch an episode from the ANGLR Tour on Lake Erie below!

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  • Line Cutterz Zipper Pull
  • FREE Lanyard

The recessed Zipper Pull blade is mounted in a redesigned cutting slot for even closer cuts. The heavy-duty ABS plastic body with textured non-slip grip provided long-lasting dependable use. It can cut braided line, monofilament, and fluorocarbon – right from your zipper.

The ANGLR Bullseye is the easiest and fastest way to mark waypoints and catches without ever pulling out your phone or tapping around on a graph. Wear, stick, or hang this small, simple, and convenient button anywhere. Click Bullseye and automatically record catch locations, editable way points, conditions and more. At the end of the day you’ll have all the information in as little or as much detail as you need.

ANGLR Experts Are Sharing Fishing Intelligence In a Brand New Way [NEW FEATURE]

So, your new fishing app has finally finished downloading. Your expectations soar as you open it up on your trusty smartphone.

Will this be the app that actually helps you catch more fish?

After exploring the features on your newest fishing app that promised you the world, you get the message…

You know the one.

It’s the discovery that the app is selling its users’ fishing locations for one sinfully low price. As soon as you start saving catches, your spots will also be added into its premium offering.

It’s your confirmation this app that was too good to be true really is too good to be true.

It’s a tragedy because mobile technology is an incredibly powerful tool that has the potential to grow and protect our sport instead of trying to prey on unsuspecting anglers.

It’s a tragedy because a corporation is lining their pockets because of your hard work and not giving you any piece of it.

It’s a tragedy because it puts prime fishing locations on precious and fragile fisheries in the crosshairs of app users who are just looking for instant gratification and are willing to pay for it with no limits or control mechanisms in place.

This story is all too common. As anglers, we believe it’s time to change it.

ANGLR Experts Are Writing a New Story

It’s time to rebuild trust in fishing apps as a tool you can securely use and rely on. It’s time for anglers to be fairly compensated for their valuable fishing intelligence.

We set out to build a fishing app that would act as a positive force in this fight and progress the sport. More specifically, we wanted to build a groundbreaking feature that would help anglers protect and offer intelligence that goes well beyond the simple notion of “spots” while maintaining complete control over their content, spots, data… their intelligence that they are trusting us to secure on our platform.

Relying on the direct guidance of our experts, we were able to build a feature that we hope can help turn the page.

We asked our community what we should call the feature and you helped us name it “Intelligence Packs.

Now, with Intelligence Packs as part of their toolset, our ANGLR Experts are re-writing this story on their terms.

Introducing ANGLR Intelligence Packs [NEW FEATURE]

ANGLR Intelligence Packs are complete breakdowns on specific waterbodies that Experts are offering to anglers through our platform. They are blueprints for finding success. Intelligence Packs contain GPS locations, detailed notes, tips, and other educational intel to help other anglers be successful. And, they’re doing it on their terms; their spots, their limits, their content, their price.

Today, the first chapters have been inked by James Elam (Four-time Bassmaster Classic qualifier, two-time Bassmaster Open tournament champion, 2018 Bassmaster Elite Series Angler of the Year Championships champion, and 2019 MLF Bass Pro Tour Competitor) and Gene Jensen (Aka. Flukemaster, creator and manager of one of the most popular fishing channels on YouTube focused on teaching the world to fish).

The first Intelligence Packs to ever be released into the wild:

Enough from us. Let’s hear from these pioneers…

“I can’t physically go fish with every single one of my subscribers on any given lake, but this is as close to having me with them on their boat that they can get.”

– Gene Jensen

“I am constantly approached by anglers who wonder how a professional breaks down a body of water and establishes a plan for game day. ANGLR Intelligence Packs finally provide a way for people like me in the sport who fish for a living to share exactly how this looks while maintaining control over the content and truly help other anglers catch more fish.”

– James Elam

“Information is power, and when it comes to detailed fishing information, nothing comes close to intelligence packs.”

– Dave Lefebre

Why does this matter?

Why? Because there’s nothing better than seeing other people catch a fish. This is why ANGLR Experts do what they do. This is what they live for. This is what it’s all about.

Intelligence Packs are a whole new way to make these magical moments happen more often and scale it in a way that improves and grows the sport instead of damaging it.

With Intelligence Packs, these Experts are transcending the physical limits of mentorship in this great sport. This is a key connection in this industry that has been missing for generations.

Above all, we exist to help anglers constantly improve. We feel this is a meaningful new manifestation of this mission that will truly help our fellow anglers enjoy their sport and share it at a new level. Let us know in the comments what you think!

Important Questions and Honest Answers [Q&A]

At this point, we hope you have some questions. Here’s a few that we’ve already received and answered. We’ll be updating this section as we continue to usher in this new era with the fishing community.

What are ANGLR Intelligence Packs?

Intelligence Packs are exactly what they sound like, a package of intelligence. This intelligence consists of various types of waypoints that are created and organized by trusted and verified Experts within the ANGLR platform. Experts add photos, notes, patterns, baits, tips, tricks, techniques, and other instructions to append to these waypoints. When purchased these “packs” live right inside your ANGLR account where you can toggle them on as you need them for guidance and learning.

Think of packs as virtually guided trips. This is an entirely new way for expert anglers to help others learn tips and tricks that further the enjoyment of being on the water with confidence. They will act like a digital guide next to you the whole time you’re on the water.

How do Intelligence Packs work?

Experts use ANGLR to track their days on the water. They set the prices. They control the volume of packs sold and the duration it is available on ANGLR. We’re giving our Experts a platform to share fishing intelligence with other anglers who want to improve and learn on their home bodies of water or a brand new body of water! You just select the pack you’d like to purchase, log-in or register, and enter payment details.

To locate your purchased pack, you simply log-in to and click on purchased packs. From there, you can toggle on any packs you have purchased and see them in Map View! You can select any waypoint or catch to open the details and insights related to it.

Isn’t this just a new way to burn spots?

Intelligence Packs are to spot burning what iTunes was to music piracy. The goal is to decrease the abuse of spots and the erosion of their value by providing a marketplace that helps sustain their value. And, it’s not about spots. They contain various types of waypoints that are designed in a way to help anglers approach a body of water and fish a certain pattern. These packs are a controlled product by our Experts on our platform. We work with the Experts and allow them to set quantity limits and their own pricing in a way that responsibly shares this information with a limited audience. This makes sure these spots are preserved and shared on a controlled level. Contrast this with the current scenario where a fishing app takes everyone’s spots and shares them with everybody.

Do I have to use Intelligence Packs to use ANGLR?


ANGLR is completely free to:




How else is ANGLR different from other Fishing Apps?

We track your fishing trips from start to finish. 

We automate your logbook. No more manual data entry!

All of your data is private by default.

We help anglers plan, record, and improve with each and every fishing trip. This includes full reports and insights along with an entirely free web application.

Connected devices make recording your trips practically hands-free!

We are anglers helping anglers improve.

Can you guarantee that if I purchase an Intelligence pack I will catch fish?

Even if the Expert was on your boat staring down into the water at a giant largemouth waiting to eat a bait that you drop in the water, then they hand you the perfect rod and reel combo, the perfect bait, and show you the perfect technique to get that fish to bite, there’s still no guarantee that you’d get bit.

That’s why we love this sport so much.

Our Experts hope you understand that all these packs can do is provide you expert advice, data, and insights that they’ve worked hard to learn and package for you to give you the best chance possible.

Fishing Intelligence Podcast Ep. 19 | The Fishing Story of Ben Milliken

On this special episode of the Fishing Intelligence PodcastI am talking with Ben Milliken who runs the YouTube channel, Milliken Fishing. Ben is one of YouTube’s most watched fisherman and takes his camera wherever he travels. As a full time YouTuber, you get a look not only into his fishing trips, but his life through his channel. All of us at ANGLR are happy to say that we are partnering with Ben to help give him another tool to teach his subscribers how to become better anglers. With such a heavy focus on teaching, it makes sense to work together and maximize how much information his viewers can pull out of a single video.

We started out the Podcast talking about how this year’s ice fishing season went. Ben had a pretty serious situation on the ice this year when he fell off of a dock and spent nearly 20 min hanging on in the freezing water. Luckily there were two gentleman that heard his yells for help and rescued him before it was too late. He said that this was an eye opener for him about safety on the ice, especially given the fact that he is fishing by himself the majority of the time. The good news? Spring is right around the corner now for most of us and open water season is finally here. To speed along the process, Milliken is taking a little trip down south to Guntersville, Alabama to chase some giant largemouth.

Ben MillikenAfter talking about his winter season, we dive into his past and how he got into the sport of fishing. He said that his dad was the one responsible for getting him into fishing and he loved it so much that he would spend hours sitting on the bank staring at his bobber. His parents even worried about him because of how much time he spent on the water as a child! During his high school and college years, he found tournament fishing and became a serious tournament angler. However, Omaha isn’t a tournament mecca and he knew that if he wanted to make a career in the fishing industry, something would have to change.

Ben Milliken(1)

That’s when Ben got introduced to Andrew Flair, YouTube fisherman and part of the Googan Squad. Flair showed him what filming a fishing trip looked like and Ben took a liking to this idea of shooting and sharing his trips. Eventually, he grew his channel large enough to quit his full time job and pursue YouTube as a career. I asked Ben if there was any rhyme or reason to his goofy mispronunciation of words in his videos and he responded saying that to separate yourself from other fishing channels, you have to share more than just fishing with your audience. Personality plays a huge key into your success, and being fun and likable really helps your growth.

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We wrapped up the podcast talking about future plans for his channel… Ben politely declined leaking any trips but said that he is more of an ‘on the whim’ guy and prefers not planning, just doing. I then shared my Guntersville trip from the ANGLR App with him to give him a jump start on his fishing day and let him go to stick some Slaunch’s (his famous fishing term for big bass). Please subscribe to Ben’s YouTube channel, follow him on instagram, check out his merchandise, and let him know that the podcast sent ya!

Follow Ben Milliken

Where To Listen!

2018 College Fishing: Bethel University’s Cody Huff and Garrett Enders

Featured Image Credit: BASS/Ronnie Moore

The 2018 college fishing season is one ANGLR Experts Cody Huff and Garrett Enders will look back on fondly for years to come, though it nearly wasn’t. Huff and Enders comprise a two-man fishing team that represents Bethel University’s Bass Team. At the end of May, the duo set out on the Red River to compete for the FLW YETI College Fishing National Championship.

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2018 College Fishing Season: The Red River

“We found a really good area,” said Huff. “We caught what we thought was good for there on the first day and then we laid off of them. We just caught 5 keepers for about 8-pounds and left but when we got to weigh-in, everybody had 10 or 12 pounds.”

After the day one underestimation of what they needed, it was milk it for all it’s worth on day 2 when Huff and Enders returned to their primary spot.

“We put our heads down and grinded it out there the next two days and caught what we caught,” said Enders.

On days 2 and 3, Bethel brought 13-pounds and 14-ounces and 12-pounds, 12-ounces to the scales respectively which was enough to claim second place, but not enough to overcome the day 1 deficit.

“We just came up short,” said Huff. “Freeman and Soileau had a really good last day. They didn’t leave the door open at all but we did what we needed to do for if they did. We had a good tournament but we just didn’t come out on top.”

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Lesson learned from day 1, “You better get all you can get everyday,” said Huff.

Runner-up is a bitter-sweet pill to stomach, but the great thing about bass fishing is there’s always another tournament coming down the pipe to look forward to. For Huff and Enders, it wouldn’t be long till they would have a shot at redemption.

“It was super cool watching University of Louisiana Monroe win at the Red River,” said Enders. “I was like, dang it would be really cool to win one of those things and it just fueled us to go and try to win the next one.”

The ‘next one’ was only about 6 weeks away and came in the form of the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series National Championship on Lake Tenkiller in Oklahoma.

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2018 College Fishing Season: The ‘Next One’

“I really, really wanted to just get it done,” said Huff. “I’m not too far from Tenkiller so I made a trip down there in pre-practice about a month early and the lake was just on fire. I found 7 or 8 docks with big schools of bass on them that I could catch flipping a spoon.”

The pre-practice paid off big for Bethel on days 1 and 2, having Enders and Huff holding down the top spot after days 1 and 2, carrying the lead headed into the final day.

But, would they be able to ride that momentum and slam the door?

“Nothing really went wrong until the last day. But the last day was super tough on us,” said Huff. “We hadn’t lost a fish all week and that’s hard to do fishing docks. You have to be pretty lucky to do that. But day 3 it all hit the fan and we really had to reach deep down and see how much guts we really had. Cause that’s tough after just losing a National Championship to leave the door open like we did.”

The duo had amassed 32-pounds, 4-ounces on days 1 and 2, averaging over 16-pounds a day. On the final day they brought just 3 fish to the scales for 9-pounds, 2-ounces. The door was certainly ajar. Bradley Dunagan and Nick Ratliff of Campbellsville University placed their foot firmly inside the door with a final day rally of 18-pounds, 2-ounces.

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But the late push wasn’t quite enough and it was Dunagan and Ratliff this time that tasted defeat while Huff and Enders relished in the victory.

2018 College Fishing Season: Looking Forward to 2019

Enders and Huff both have another year in the college fishing world and are already qualified for the FLW National Championship on the Potomac later this spring, both hoping for a shot at redemption and a chance to hoist that trophy overhead, the one that got away.

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But what else lies ahead for the two young anglers from Bethel?

“I fished the Costa Series last year and am fishing them again this year,” said Huff modestly. It was only after some digging that Huff added. “Well in my first ever Costa on Table Rock I was leading after day 1 by 6-pounds. I had 6 different schools found but the wind died on day 2 and the water was clearing up and they just left.”

Still, starting off with that kind of a bang certainly shows that Huff’s fishing career won’t be capped off by a college degree. The part of that first Costa Huff is proudest of, “The best part was, I mean I don’t come from a bunch of money or anything and I don’t run a big fancy boat. I have an ’88, 18-foot Ranger with a 150 on it I fish out of and it felt good to do so well in it.”

Enders said he might pursue competitive fishing after college but that’s not necessarily all he could see himself doing.

“I’d love to try it at least for a year or two but if I didn’t make it, I’d love it just as much to have a job in the fishing industry. I’d love to work for any kind of fishing company, I think that would be awesome.”

Follow along with Enders and Huff’s journey as they see where fishing takes them by following below!

Cody Huff


Garrett Enders

5 Alabama Rig Tips to Put More Fish in the Boat with Tyler Anderson

Tyler Anderson can attest to the effectiveness of the umbrella rig, especially in the winter months. During the winter months, the bass fishing can be slow and daunting, but an Alabama Rig can change that feeling entirely. So, without further delay, here are 5 Alabama Rig tips from Tyler to help you up your umbrella rig game.

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Alabama Rig Tips #1: Use it as a Search Bait

In the wintertime, bass often feed and suspend at various depths. The umbrella rig gives an angler the ability to fish various depths of the water column better than other baits built to fish one particular depth.

“In the wintertime, I know fish are feeding on bait fish. But if I were to throw a crankbait, I’d be tied to that particular depth of water. The umbrella rig allows me to cover a lot of water columns and a lot of water quickly. It’s an excellent search bait to figure out what depth of water the fish are in. Once I get bit, I can throw a hair jig, a crankbait or a lipless to catch more of them but the umbrella rig just allows me to find them a lot faster.”

Alabama Rig Tips #2: Counting it Down

“To target fish at various depths with an umbrella rig, I count the rig down”

If you see fish on your electronics at a certain depth below the boat, you can ‘count’ your umbrella rig down to that depth by throwing it out and letting it sink before you start your retrieve. The rate of fall (ROF) depends on a number of variables including weight of the overall rig, slackness of the line, type and pound-test of the line, resistance of the baits and blades, etc.

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A good rule of thumb is 1-foot per second. So if you see fish in an area that are suspended 12-feet below the surface, cast the rig out and count it down 12 seconds. One thing Tyler notes,

“A bass’s eyes are on the top of its head, so they feed up.”

So, when you’re counting a bait down and are unsure of the exact ROF, it’s better to come over the fish than under them.

Alabama Rig Tips #3: Braid Versus Fluorocarbon

There’s a fair amount of debate on whether fluorocarbon is necessary for stealth when throwing an umbrella rig. The initial assessment of the gaudiness of an umbrella rig with its metal wires, swivels, and other accoutrement leads one to believe the fish won’t notice a little braid. But with more and more emphasis on blades to mask the metal arms and even some companies testing out clear arms in place of metal ones, who’s to say fluorocarbon couldn’t help a little in certain situations.

“I throw it on braid the majority of the time because it’s more of a reaction strike to me. But I do get more bites on 25-pound fluorocarbon if the water is gin clear. The water I usually fish in Texas just doesn’t get too clear very often. However, I could see using fluorocarbon more if I fished in a gin clear water more often. ”

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Alabama Rig Tips #4: Customize Your Alabama Rig

There’s not really a standard umbrella rig anymore. In the beginning, the actual Alabama Rig had 5 wires, each of which an angler would attach a jig head to and a swimbait would be placed on each jig head. That could still be viewed somewhat as the basic setup. But now, you can find an umbrella rig to meet any rule requirement or desire you have. There are rigs with blades, rigs without blades, rigs with over a dozen baits, rigs with dummy baits with no hooks and the list goes on.

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Each angler can build their own go-to rig and develop a little extra confidence knowing that his or her setup isn’t exactly like all the rest.

“I use a YUMbrella Flash Mob Jr with 1/16-ounce jig heads. But if I’m in a tournament situation, especially for the FLW, I can only have 3 hooks. But I still want 5 baits on there, so two of them have to be dummies. I’ll put two swimbaits on the top two wires with screw locks. The middle wire and the bottom two wires will have the jig heads on them and that makes it come through the water better with the weight on the bottom of the rig.”

Tyler also likes to customize his umbrella rig by altering the middle swimbait. He’ll either use the same size bait in a different color or use a little bigger bait on the middle wire.

“I have found that, especially when I do just a slightly different color, the middle one is usually the one that gets bit.”

Tyler also changes the colors of all the swimbaits defending on the water clarity. In clearer water, the more natural color baits work well. The more stained, the more he leans towards chartreuse and white.

Alabama Rig Tips #5: What to Throw Your Alabama Rig On

“I tend to throw it on a fairly long, stiff rod. I have found that as long I don’t slam into them, I can get a much longer cast with a 7-11 than I can with a little shorter rod. And it also puts a lot less strain on my wrist when I’m casting. I could probably make more accurate casts with a shorter rod but when I’m throwing an umbrella rig I’m just paralleling bank.”

You also need a heavy duty reel when lobbing an umbrella rig.

Tyler stresses the importance for the reel to be made out of strong, metal parts and not plastic like a lot of reels are these days. He uses a Lews Pro Ti which is made out of titanium. The rod he uses is a Lews Custom Plus 7-11.

See more winter Alabama Rig tips from Tyler Anderson here: