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2019 Bassmaster Eastern Open: Oneida Lake Recap

Featured Image Credit: James Overstreet

ANGLR Expert Grae Buck is on cloud 9 right now and rightfully so. Last week in the 2019 Bassmaster Eastern Open on Oneida Lake, Buck punched his ticket to the 2020 Bassmaster Classic to be held on Lake Guntersville. We sat down with Buck to discuss how his event unfolded. 

2019 Bassmaster Eastern Open: Grae’s History on Oneida

I don’t have anywhere to fish around my house. The closest place is the Chesapeake Bay and that’s still an hour and a half away. So I spend most of my time in New York if I’m just fun fishing. I’ve spent a lot of time on Oneida.

I’ve been working on Oneida for the past month. I won the BFL tournament up there at the beginning of August, so I’ve had a little time on the water up there this year and was able to expand on that during practice.

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2019 Bassmaster Eastern Open: Where Did You Target Your Fish?

The water temperature had actually dropped about 10 degrees from that BFL. It was 84-degrees when we were out there at the beginning of August and with these cooler nights it had dropped down to 72-degrees by the end of the tournament. That drop pushed the fish a little shallower. Before they were in the 8-to-12-feet range and now they’re in that 6-to-9-feet range.

Targeting the smallmouth bass on Oneida right now is all about finding where the rock is, and where that rock meets up with grass. That’s what holds the bait and the bait is what keeps all those smallmouth moving in and out of those areas. 

I probably have 300-hours of idle time on Oneida in my life, maybe more. So I have a lot of that rock marked. Once I figure out what depth they’re in and what kind of rock they’re on, I’m able to run that throughout the lake and figure out where they are.

2019 Bassmaster Eastern Open: What Did You Use?

I was throwing a dropshot with a Cornerstone Shimmy Shot in Ghost. It looks just like a shad. I actually changed to that color for the Open from the Tennessee Shad color that I used in the BFL. I was using that to mimic the perch but the shad are starting to push up shallower with this cooler weather, so that color change seemed to help get them to bite better this week. 

I threw a ned rig too to mimic the gobi. That was my one-two combo. They were definitely eating both. I was throwing that on a 1/10-ounce head that Hayabusa just came out with. That’s heavier than what they had before and it really helped me get the bait down because the last two days of that tournament were really windy.

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2019 Bassmaster Eastern Open: How Did the Event Unfold?

That wind kept the fish moving around which is what made it so tough on everybody. I fished different rock sections each day based on the wind. The first day I pulled into an area and caught all my fish except for one that I caught at the very end of the day. 

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That last one was a 4-1/4. Image Credit: James Overstreet

The second day I pulled up to where I caught 4 of my fish on the first day and never had a bite. I went to my second spot where I had caught that 4-1/4 late on day 1. 

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At that spot, I had 17-pounds in the boat by 9 o’clock. Image Credit: James Overstreet

Then on the final day, I pulled into where I had started on the first day and lost a 3-1/2 in the first 10-minutes and picked off 3 little ones just to get something in the livewell. Then, I ran to where I had caught 17-pounds the day before but never had a bite. I admit I was getting a little worried. 

But on the first two days, I had a limit so early that I was able to run around and practice to try to find some new water. There was one area that I found where my co-angler caught 3 on day 2 on a ned rig. I went in there and was able to pick them off throughout the day. Towards the end of the day, I culled twice and lost another one about 3-½ pounds. 

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I thought that was going to be the one that cost me the Classic birth, but fortunately, it did not. Image Credit: James Overstreet

2019 Bassmaster Eastern Open: The ANGLR Advantage

Using the ANGLR app, I was able to look back at my data from the BFL this year and last year. Those fish move around so much depending on the wind, so I was able to use the wind data information from past trips to get dialed in and stay on top of the fish throughout the tournament. 

2019 Bassmaster Eastern Open: Grae Buck’s Gear 

Dropshot:

Rod: Dobyns 703 Champion Extreme Drop Shot Rod

Reel: Ardent C-Force 3000 

Mainline: 18-pound Ardent Gliss Monotex Yellow 

Leader: 8-pound Seaguar Tatsu  

Hook: Hayabusu DSR132 size 2

Bait: Cornerstone Shimmy Shot

Ned Rig:

Rod: Dobyns 722 Xtasy 

Reel: Ardent C-Force 3000 

Mainline: 18-pound Ardent Gliss Monotex Yellow 

Leader: 8-pound Seaguar Tatsu  

Bait: TRD in Green Pumpkin or The Deal

Hook: 1/10-ounce Hayabusa 

Planning a Fishing Trip With the ANGLR App | My 4-Step Process

So you want to go fishing on a fishery you haven’t been to in a while, perhaps ever. How do you maximize the effectiveness of your time on the water? I get this question a lot on social media in some form or another. I’ve had people ask, “How do you prep for a one-day tournament without practice?” or “What do you do to get ready to fish a lake you’ve never been to before?”

For me, it’s pretty simple: research. Now I’ve never been one to call up a guy and ask him to tell me exactly what they’re biting and where. That’s not research. That’s pointless to me. You might get a check but you miss out on the sense of accomplishment that you get from finding and catching fish on you’re own. And even if someone “puts you on them”, they’re typically either lying to you or mean well, but have you chasing ghosts that even they couldn’t catch. 

So what does research look like to me? I like to do a lot of map study, check the forecast for both weather and water conditions, review my personal previous experiences on that body of water, and then I also research past tournaments held on that fishery. 

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Planning a Fishing Trip With ANGLR: Map Study

I do lots of map study when I’m preparing for a day on the water. Because I’m a shallow water guy, I prefer satellite imagery first and then topographic maps second. For the satellite imagery, I used to use Google Earth primarily, but now with the ANGLR app, I can pull up satellite imagery of a fishery and also drop waypoints or pattern points within the app to make notes for where I want to fish when I get there. 

I can find little hidey holes from the aerial point of view that I might overlook when I’m on the water. I can also see grass lines and other vegetation much better from above. On a fishery where there is a drawdown or winter pool, I can use older satellite imagery to locate laydowns and brush piles that are exposed by the low water. Using the ANGLR app, I can map out a game plan before I ever even hit the water. 

Likewise, with topographic maps, I can determine if certain oxbows or creeks are accessible and find where shallow and deep water meet for times when fish are transitioning in the spring and fall. I used to primarily use the Navionics app for this, but ANGLR has also added some topographic maps to their app that are useful for comparison. What’s neat about the ANGLR app is that I can even drop waypoints to mark something that caught my eye in the Navionics app.  

You can see how I do this in my Predicting Patterns episodes on YouTube. Here’s an example from the Major League Fishing Redcrest!

Planning a Fishing Trip With ANGLR: Forecasts

Wind, weather, and water forecasts are extremely important when planning a fishing trip. The  ANGLR app allows me to check all of these leading up to a fishing trip from within the app, which is very handy. 

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ANGLR is still working to incorporate more and more water current gauges. For some of my local fisheries, I have to use an app like Alabama Shorelines or the TVA  app to see what the current is doing. 

When it comes to weather forecasts, the 72-hour wind forecast feature on the ANGLR app is really handy, as well as the realtime radar so that I’m not bouncing around between a dozen different apps. With ANGLR’s Premium Maps, watching the weather and predicting the weather can be done all in one place!

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Planning a Fishing Trip With ANGLR: Reviewing My Personal Experience on a Fishery

I have fished a lot of places over the years and I also have a terrible memory. Which isn’t good for anglers. I have actually put in at a lake before thinking it was my first time there and realized at some point during the day that I actually have had the boat in the water there once before in the whirlwind of my past life as an outdoor journalist covering fishing tournaments for B.A.S.S. and FLW.

So for me, a logbook is a huge asset… had I been keeping one all these years. 

Unfortunately, I only recorded scattered experiences here and there over the years. Mostly details about good days on the water which ironically are the ones I don’t really need help remembering. 

The ones that matter even more to my future success are those where I didn’t do well. 

‘What was the air temp and weather like the day I bombed on Guntersville throwing a frog?’ 

‘What was the date and water temp when I threw a jerkbait all day on Martin but only had 3 bites?’ 

The answers to those questions keep me from making the same mistakes twice. The beauty of the logbook feature in the ANGLR App is that it writes itself regardless of how well the day is going. I just start the trip in the morning and whether I catch 20-pounds or don’t get a bite, the logbook is constantly gathering weather and water data and associating it with my GPS track and the time of day. 

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When I do mark a fish catch with either the app itself or my Bluetooth connected Bullseye, the GPS location and conditions of that exact moment are frozen in time for me to review from here to kingdom come… and it’s all stored privately, just for my eyeballs to see. 

Having the ability to go back to the day I had 29-pounds on Okeechobee and see all the invisible factors like barometric pressure and wind speed that were happening all around me would be wildly beneficial. And now thanks to the ANGLR app, I will have similar information someday to look back on and study when preparing for a day on the water. 

Planning a Fishing Trip With ANGLR: Looking at Past Tournaments

To get a feel for the weights a fishery puts out, I’ll go back and look at previous tournaments there. Obviously, if I’m fishing a tournament, I want to catch as much weight as possible but doing well in a tournament and especially throughout an entire season requires being realistic at times. Knowing if a good bag is around 13-pounds or 20-pounds helps me determine whether I’m going to split my time between a limit hole and a big fish pattern or go for broke and dedicate my whole day to trying to get 5 big bites. 

Coverage of past tournaments can also tell you if you should look shallow or deep and perhaps give you a few hints to patterns and baits that work well on the fishery. But again, don’t get caught up buying into too much of that. If there’s one thing I learned in my time covering tournaments, anglers lie

But not me. I’d never lie… unless you ask me something and I don’t want to tell you the truth. But hey, what do you expect. But I will say this with 100 percent earnestness, I would never offer up a lie unprovoked… probably.

Try the ANGLR app for free today! 

How the ANGLR App Has Helped Me Become a Better Bass Angler

As a competitive bass angler, we’re always searching for the next best thing that will give us an edge over our competition. Oftentimes, we look at new baits, rods, reels, or lines that might help us improve our catch ratios. For me, I grew tired of the monotony of looking for the newest techniques or baits, so I found something even better. 

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I started keeping a logbook to learn from each and every fishing trip. 

Now, most of you might think I’m crazy for writing every little detail down… well here’s the surprise… I don’t write down a single thing. I use an automated, virtual logbook that records all of my fishing data for me. I use the ANGLR app.

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The General Basis of the ANGLR App

I will start off by explaining how the ANGLR app works with the ANGLR Bullseye. The ANGLR Bullseye is a small, Bluetooth device than can be clipped on your hat or a lanyard. I prefer the lanyard as I can see what I’m doing with the Bullseye whether I’m marking a waypoint, marking a catch, or changing my gear. 

Every time you press the button on the Bullseye, it will mark either a catch or a waypoint on the ANGLR app. The app records weather data such as air temperature, wind speed, wind direction as well as barometric pressure and water data such as temperature, flow, and gage hight. The app also allows you to record the equipment you use from the rod, reel, line down to the bait, this is key to improving your game!

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How the ANGLR App Has Helped Me Improve

The ANGLR app has helped me improve as a bass fisherman because it allows me to learn from every trip I take. Prior to heading out for a fishing trip, usually the evening before, I will log in to the ANGLR web application. I will look for trips that I have taken in the past around the same time of year. I will also research the weather pattern that I will face during my day of fishing. 

I have found by using the ANGLR app, I am putting a game plan together based on my past fishing experience. For example, based on the barometric pressure data I have collected, I can typically predict whether or not the bass will be active enough to go after a topwater bait. This little tidbit of information helps me plan out my day on the water and what baits I need to have tied on. 

The ANGLR app has given me a ton of confidence while I am fishing because I know I am doing the right thing to catch fish at all times throughout the day. I have been to quite a few lakes that I have never fished before and have caught fish simply by looking at my data in the ANGLR app from similar bodies of water.

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I have also been able to repeat successful fishing trips while using the ANGLR app. 

For example, there is a small body of water near me that receives a ton of fishing pressure. I went there one Saturday morning and caught 9 bass in 3 hours of fishing. I came home and analyzed my data and was been able to return and duplicate my day of fishing due to recording the trip in my ANGLR app. Knowing this, I can come back and check the conditions of this trip to see if they are comparable when I’m planning my next trip. If they are the same, I know what techniques to use and if they are not comparable I will know what not to use. All in all, it makes piecing the puzzle together easier than ever. 

Try the ANGLR app for free today! 

Bass Fishing Indiana: Top 5 Places for a Weekend Trip

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. 

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Anglers such as FLW Cup Champion and now MLF Pro, Jacob Wheeler. Photo Credit: MLF

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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.

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Bass Fishing Indiana: #5 Lake Monroe

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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? 

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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. 

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

Bass Fishing Texas: Top 5 Places for a Weekend Trip

Bass fishing and Texas go together like Kevin VanDam and winning or Jordan Lee and MLF 2-minute penalties. So, when compiling a list of the best lakes for bass fishing Texas, you really have to look and pick through a lot of fantastic fisheries, many of which would rank highly, or even on top of lists in other states. 

Picking just 5 fisheries was difficult due to the mass amount of fisheries that deserve to be talked about and have great cases for being called a Top 5 lake in Texas. But, with that being said the following list, displays the pure wonder and diversity that is Texas bass fishing. Texas, in my opinion, is the best state in the country for bass fishing. With a large number of diverse fisheries that produce quality bass of all three bass species (Largemouth, Smallmouth, and Spotted) and huge community that just loves fishing. I don’t think there is a better state in this great country that is as awesome as bass fishing in the Lonestar state.

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Bass Fishing Texas: Sam Rayburn 

Kicking off our list for the best lake in Texas is Lake Sam Rayburn. Sam Rayburn is not only the best lake in Texas but, in my opinion, the country! (The St. Lawrence is a river.) This 114,500 acre lake sits in Jasper County in East Texas and is home to big bass and lots of them. Sam Rayburn has it all, from deep water ledges to submerged cover in inches of water and everything in between. 

Now while being such a diverse fishery that really can cater to any kind of fisherman, Sam Rayburn is where the grass fishermen thrive. Loaded with hydrilla, and seas of it, large populations of giant bass hide and feed in and out of the weed lines of Sam Rayburn. “Find the Grass,” was a phrase I became too familiar with when researching how to fish this largemouth bass factory. 

Throwing weedless baits like Texas rigged soft plastics and shaky head worms are some go to baits for catching both quality and quantity on Sam Rayburn. But, don’t forget about the bass staging in deep water either. As with any lake, there is always a solid population of bass out in deeper water. So, when the dog days of summer arrive or the brisk cold winter air makes its way down south, baits like deep crankbaits, Carolina rigs (specifically a Chartreuse Pepper Bubble Fry) and heavy footballs jigs are great choice for working those deep-water structures. 

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With an excellent population of good quality bass and plenty of giant bucketmouths lurking around, Sam Rayburn is a magical bass fishery where anglers can just flat out smash them. 

If you’re a fisherman anywhere in the country, you need to make Lake Sam Rayburn a vacation destination. Just be prepared to have some of the best fishing of your life.

Bass Fishing Texas: Falcon Lake 

Up next on our list of juggernaut lonestar fisheries is Falcon Lake. This 84,000-acre big bass factory sits on the southern border of Texas. Not only does this lake contain a healthy population of bass, it contains a healthy population of GIANT bass. 

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Falcon Lake should be a bucket list destination for any fisherman due to the high chance you can catch a fish over 10-pounds, and then catch a few more!

Falcon Lake produces monster bass after monster bass and is a dream destination for trophy fisherman. Deep diving crankbaits, big jigs, and 10-inch worms are staples on Falcon. 

In my opinion, the best time to head to Falcon and utilize these deep water techniques is the dead of winter. When you’re tired of watching the snow or having to pick the ice out of your guides and off your line, point your headlights to Zapata, Texas and enjoy a chase for some truly large and in charge bass.

Bass Fishing Texas: Lake Fork

Rolling up in third on our list in possibly the most interesting lake on this list and one that really needs no introduction… the historic Lake Fork. Lake Fork is 27,000-acres of bass fishing insanity that sits in north east Texas. 

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Like many of the lakes on this list, this lake has a little bit of everything! 

Deep or shallow rock, deep or shallow grass, you name it and Lake Fork has it for you to fish. And like ALL of the lakes on this list, the bass population is off the charts and its nothing to go to Lake Fork and swing on 3 and 4-pound bass until your arms fall off. But, that’s not the interesting part about this lake. No, the interesting part is that those 3 and 4 pound fish you are hammering on all day… are NOT keepers, and this is because Lake Fork has a slot limit. The slot is 16-24-inches which means any fish caught that are 16-inches or longer BUT are not over 24-inches are not keeper fish and must be released, but fish under 16-inches are keepers and fish over (but only one 24-inch or more fish per day as is TPWD regulations) can be kept. 

What does this slot limit accomplish? 

Well this slot limit protects your prime spawning bass which allows for amazing spawning seasons one after another and gives bass a chance to grow to some amazing sizes! Lake Fork may possibly be the most pressured lake in the country, if not world, and yet it still consistently produces large fish and plenty of them. Around 50% of the fish entered into the Texas Toyota Sharelunker program (Sharelunkers are defined as bass weighing 13+ pounds) have come out of Lake fork, including the Texas state record, weighing in at 18.18-pounds. In fact, per TPWD, out of the top 50 heaviest bass weighed in Texas history 30 of them have come out of this historic fishery. 

SO why is it ranked only 3rd on this list after everything I’ve said? Because, like I stated earlier, the fishing pressure on Fork is unfathomable. This is a lake that for 365 days a year gets hit harder than any other lake in the country and has large tournament fields nearly every weekend. These bass have seen every lure and presentation on the market a hundred times over before you ever even considered hooking the boat up to the trailer. While Lake Fork can be the best fishing of your life, it can also be unbelievably unforgiving. With that being said, the slot limit and fantastic management that Texas Parks and Wildlife does keeps this lake world class and even with possibly the most fishing pressure out of any fishery on the planet, Lake Fork still produces.

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Bass Fishing Texas: Toledo Bend Reservoir 

Next up is the former number one lake in the country, Toledo Bend Reservoir. Toledo Bend is a 182,000-acre lake that sits on the state line of Texas and Louisiana and is just east of our current number one lake, Sam Rayburn. Another lake full of everything, Toledo Bend is just another one of the many gem fisheries the Lonestar state has to offer. 

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Similar to Sam Rayburn though, grass is key. 

The main vegetation is hydrilla and the bass here love to associate in and around the offshore fields of hydrilla. Large schools of bass can regularly be caught using deep cranks, jigs, and Texas rigs around these deep-water salads. But, if that does not suit your fancy just remember that half of Toledo Bend’s shoreline is in Louisiana, and when I think of Louisiana, I think of one thing in particular, cypress trees. 

So, don’t worry if you hate fishing grass or just are not that good of an offshore fisherman, just grab your thickest broomstick, some 65-pound braid and a big hook and get to flipping. Giant bass will be waiting for you in the depths just as much as the shallows. Just a few years ago this lake was voted as the number lake in the country per Bassmaster Magazine but since then, the lake has accrued an immense amount of fishing pressure. The vast amount of pressure has affected the fishing, so the lake is not as it was a few years ago but all lakes have good or bad cycles. Even in the “bad” part of the cycle, this lake still lands as number 4 here on our list and I don’t think it will be long until the lake swings back to “good” and this list becomes outdated.

Bass Fishing Texas: Lake Texoma

Number 5 on our list was honestly the most difficult to choose. First I want to say that the first 4 lakes on this list were givens as they are staples in bass fishing both in Texas and the country. The challenge with number 5 on this list wasn’t finding the last of the great lakes in Texas, but rather the sheer amounts of amazing fisheries that Texas has to offer. But, with that being said, Lake Texoma makes the team and rounds out our list as the 5th best lake in Texas. 

This 75,000-acre lake sits on the state line of Texas and Oklahoma. Texoma varies from the previous lakes as the grass is not as much of a factor for fishing and the presence of smallmouth and spotted bass on this lake. 

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Texoma does not have just any smallmouth though, no, on Texoma you have to be prepared to catch a 6-pound smallmouth on any cast. 

With a healthy population of largemouth and spotted bass and an excellent population of smallmouth, Texoma has opportunities for any kind of fisherman from deep to shallow, but does play more to the hand of the offshore angler with the lake being very rocky and home to spotted and smallmouth bass. But, don’t let my boasting about the smallmouth overshadow the fact that Texoma still has some absolute giant largemouth. So, if you’re looking to get a taste of that northern smallmouth bite, but also want to target some big green fish in the same day, then Texoma should be your go to.

As I’ve said before, Texas has plenty of amazing fisheries that didn’t make this list. With so many fisheries, no matter which body of water you chose to spend your weekend on, there’s really not a wrong choice. Get out there and enjoy all of the bass fishing Texas has to offer!

Bass Fishing New Hampshire: Top 5 Places for a Weekend Trip

New Hampshire and the rest of the Northeastern United States are often looked at as sub-par fishing destinations but year after year that increasingly becomes not the case. The fishing season in New Hampshire is shorter than many other parts of the country, thanks to our frigid winters. That being said, bass fishing New Hampshire offers some of the finest largemouth and smallmouth bass fishing in the Northeast. 

As a kayak angler, New Hampshire offers various bodies of water from large lakes to small ponds and swamps, all with their own pros and cons. If you’re a bass boat angler, you’ll find plenty of tournament options on Lake Winnipesaukee along with some of the largest fish in the state. The beauty of bass fishing New Hampshire is that often times the best fishing spots are the ones that no one has ever heard of, and with so many ponds and lakes, it’s easy to find a honey hole of your own. While I certainly haven’t fished every body of water that New Hampshire has to offer, I have some that I’d like to share with you. Here are my top 5 places for a weekend trip.

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Bass Fishing New Hampshire: Merrymeeting Lake

Merrymeeting lake is located in New Durham, New Hampshire and is easily one of my favorite fishing spots, mostly because of the water clarity. On calm, sunny days, it’s not uncommon to be able to see the bottom of this lake through 30-feet of water. This makes Merrymeeting lake one of my favorite places to throw a dropshot at deep Smallmouth Bass. 

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A majority of the shoreline is developed on this lake but despite that, it’s generally a kayak angler friendly body of water. In some places on this lake, you can be fifteen feet from shore and be in 30-plus feet of water. The clean water and deep lake bottom make this fishery a haven for Smallmouth bass.

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My personal best Smallmouth out of Merrymeeting lake is just shy of four and a half pounds.

Bass Fishing New Hampshire: Newfound Lake

Newfound lake is located in Grafton County, New Hampshire and happens to be another hotspot for Smallmouth Bass. This lake is another extremely clear body of water, making it a great habitat for fish to grow and thrive. In the early spring, Newfound lake can provide an epic day of fishing for Smallmouth that you’ll never forget.

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In writing this article, I’ve been trying my best to stay objective and not pick a favorite out of these spots but I have to say some of the best days of fishing I’ve ever had have taken place at Newfound Lake.

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Bass Fishing New Hampshire: Lake Winnipesaukee

It’s impossible to talk about fishing New Hampshire without bringing up Lake Winnipesaukee. This lake is easily New Hampshire’s most popular and as a result, is home to the most boat traffic. Along with the boat traffic, Winnipesaukee is large, which means when the wind picks up the conditions can become dangerous in a hurry.

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If you’re not intimidated by larger bodies of water, Winnipesaukee is definitely worth fishing. With this lake, there are so many spots to cover that you could fish it for years and still not cover everything. Just recently, a largemouth Bass was caught that weighed eight and a half pounds. Fish like that are always worth putting up with some windy conditions.

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Bass Fishing New Hampshire: Farmington Fish and Game – Club Pond

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Now based on the title, you might think fishing here is cheating, but the only thing stocked in this pond is trout. This little pond is open to the public and is home to some monster largemouth bass. My personal best coming out of this pond is over seven pounds. The challenging aspect of this pond is how heavily fished the banks are, giving kayakers and boaters a huge advantage. With substantial weed cover on the pond, this is a frog fisherman’s paradise!

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Despite being tiny, this pond is really challenging to fish. Due to the size of this pond, bass are constantly on the move and are rarely in the same spot from one day to the next. Be sure to bring your paddle for this place, pedal drives and motors don’t last long with all the weed cover.

Bass Fishing New Hampshire: Stumpfield Marsh

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Stumpfield Marsh is a truly unique body of water. Named after the amount of submerged stumps scattered all throughout the body of water, Stumpfield Marsh offers some of the best structure fishing in the state. Along with the stumps, a submerged road runs through the heart of the marsh providing another structure for bass to relate to. 

A word of caution to those with pedal drives and trolling motors, be careful. This Marsh is littered with hazards, but totally worth the stop.

Bass Fishing Utah: Top 5 Places for a Weekend Trip

When you think about Utah, bass fishing is one of the last things that comes to mind. Utah is not known for world record-breaking bass or a destination you would travel to specifically for bass fishing. Utah is known for the gorgeous Uinta mountains and the best snow on earth! That being said, there are a few gems that hold some monster largemouth and smallmouth that make a great trip for bass fishing Utah! 

These few lakes and reservoirs hold some chunky fish and at the right time of year, you could be bringing one of these swamp donkeys into your boat. Bass fishing of any kind has recently grown immensely in Utah; specifically, kayak bass fishing. Kayak bass fishing in Utah has nearly tripled in size over the past year and is a rapidly growing sport. Through my experiences with kayak bass fishing, these are my top 5 destinations for bass fishing in Utah.

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Bass Fishing Utah: #5 Starvation Lake

Don’t let the name fool you, as this reservoir will do anything but starve you from an amazing bite. This 3,500 acre, heavenly bliss, is home to some of the biggest walleye and smallmouth in the state. This reservoir sits on the eastern side of Utah and hosts some of the most amazing camping and fishing adventures.

This large and deep reservoir harvests a healthy amount of 3 to 5-pound smallmouth bass. Starvation offers multiple terrains to fish from such as huge boulders to grassy flats. Fishing the flats with a ned rig and dropshot landed me multiple 18”+ smallmouth. While you will have to watch your surroundings for speed boats, Starvation hosts plenty of space for everyone to enjoy the fishing and activities all around the lake. 

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Bass Fishing Utah: #4 Lake Powell

While many might agree that Lake Powell should be listed as #1 on this list, as a kayaker, I list this amazing reservoir at #4. The winds and wakes can be treacherous at times and being in a kayak does not offer the best shelter. However, people travel many hours from all directions to vacation, fish, and spring break at Lake Powell. At 112-miles long, Lake Powell holds some amazing canyons to get lost in. 

To accompany this large body of water, Powell holds a wide variety of fish species, from smallmouth, largemouth, striped bass, walleye, catfish, etc. Many anglers come to this desert oasis for the incredible stripers.

This incredible fish could never discredit the fact that the Utah State Largemouth Record came from these exact same waters. In 1974, a beautiful 24.25”, 10 -pound, 2-ounce female largemouth was pulled from Powell and to this day, remains the Utah State record. Further proof of why many Utahn’s would call Lake Powell the #1 destination for bass fishing. Get to Powell as soon as you can and break this 45-year-old state record.

Bass Fishing Utah: #3 Pineview Reservoir

When you mention Pineview Reservoir to locals, tiger muskie is always brought up. Pineview is known for its 50” tiger muskie and people will travel far and wide just to pull one of those magical beasts into their boat. With all of the attention lying on the muskies, this relieves some pressure off of the large and smallmouth that are cohabiting these waters. 

This beautiful body of waters nestles itself in northern Utah and is surrounded by some of the most gorgeous mountains. Pineview offers deep and rocky walls to fish from by the dam and just opposite of the dam, you will find tons of trees, bushes, and foliage to flip and pitch in. These structures provide perfect housing for the large and smallmouth bass at Pineview.

You will sometimes find yourself in the middle of a school of largemouth but the shining star of this reservoir is most certainly the smallmouth in the shape of footballs. From crankbaits to wacky-rigs in 6” of water to drop-shotting in 40’ of water, you will find those powerful and aggressive bass. Pineview is the place to perfect every bass fishing technique. If you are lucky enough, you may even hook into a tiger muskie that will take you and your kayak on a sleigh ride.

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Bass Fishing Utah: #2 Sand Hollow Reservoir

This is arguably the best fishery in the state of Utah. Located in the very southern part of Utah, surrounded by sand dunes and red rock, Sand Hollow is a vacation destination for a multitude of reasons. While ATVs and off-road vehicles might be the loudest attraction at this state park, the largemouth fishing has really made a name for itself in the bass fishing world. Just like most lakes, you may only have a 2 fish day or you may have a 20 fish day. Either way, you will find quality fish at Sand Hollow. 

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This reservoir offers enormous red rock boulder islands with large cracks that house thousands of largemouth, crappie, and bluegill. Drop-shotting into these cracks can prove to be very rewarding. Trust in your electronics and find one of the many ledges around the perimeter of the lake and troll a crankbait along the ledge. You will find some huge largemouth that stage on those ledges, looking to ambush their prey. 

Utah does a great job at preserving the largemouth population here at Sand Hollow and it is proven with every trip that I make to the south. The lake does get extremely busy as it is only a 1,300-acre lake sitting on a 20,000-acre park. If you can wake up bright and early and get on that morning bite, you can have a 20-pound bag and be off the water by lunchtime. Just in time for all of the water skiers and jet skis to make their way on to the water. 

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Bass Fishing Utah: #1 Mantua Reservoir

Pronounced man-too-way, this small, 500-acre reservoir, has a special place in my heart. 10 years ago, a friend took me bass fishing for the first time at Mantua and I couldn’t have been more thrilled to pull up my first 3 to 4-pound largemouth. I was literally “hooked” after that day. I, along with many others, consider Mantua to be one of Utah’s best-kept bass fishing secrets. Located in a canyon, surrounded by green rolling hills and mountains in northern Utah, Mantua is by far, my #1 bass fishery in Utah

Mantua has an interesting ecosystem that is not seen in other Utah lakes. The lake is 70% lined with huge, mature trees that are submerged 2-4’ in the water. Flipping jigs or senkos at the base of these trees is almost a guaranteed bite. In the late summer, the weeds grow nearly to the top of this shallow lake. If you can paddle, pedal, or motor to a hole in those weeds, do yourself a favor and drop-shot straight down, or start the early morning off by fishing a frog and enjoy the amazing and constant blowups. 

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Prepare yourself for a severe case of bass thumb! Mantua will easily offer 50-60 fish days. It isn’t hard to find a school of 3 to 5-pound bass at any given part of the lake. Get out there early because it is well known that around noon, wind loves to howl through the canyon and can easily throw your fishing game off or even swamp your kayak with 4-foot rollers. 

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Bringing the kids along? That’s awesome because Mantua is also known for its plentiful state record-breaking sized bluegill. Throw a little jig or popper on and the kids will have fun for hours.

Mantua may not offer the largest bass in the state, but there is always a consistent amount of healthy-sized largemouth. This small reservoir has never failed to produce fish. The scenery is like nothing you’ve ever seen and is a “must” when fishing in Utah.

Bass Fishing Utah: Final Thoughts

Utah is definitely not known for its incredible bass fishing. Finding a double-digit is like finding a unicorn in our state, however, we do have some amazing fisheries that are worth checking out. Utah offers such diverse scenery from red rock deserts to snow-topped and green mountains. A multitude of species of fish can be found and caught here from bluegill to ginormous tiger muskies. If not for beautiful bass alone, come for the scenery and the experience. 

Always remember to protect and preserve our bass population. Feel free to keep your legal limit and throw the rest back so they can become larger for generations to come! Always wear your PFD and tight lines!

High School Fishing World Championship 2019 | Pickwick Lake Recap

Anthony Cicero IV and Dakota Snyder, seniors at Elizabethtown High School, brought home the win Saturday, June 22nd in the 10th annual High School Fishing World Finals on Pickwick Lake in Alabama. 

On the final day of the 3-day event, the team weighed in a total of 16 pounds 6 ounces of bass, topping the second-place finishers by over a pound and a half. Many of the teams were out deep on the ledges during the event, but the winning team found a shallow bite that ended up being the winning deal for them.

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High School Fishing World Championship: Qualifying for the Event

To qualify, anglers have to be apart of the TBF SAF (Student Angler Federation). The qualifying event for Anthony and Dakota was held at the Chesapeake Bay Flats in Northeast, Maryland. Known as Quad States (Maryland, New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania), the qualifying event was held in July of 2018. The duo placed 2nd out of the teams from Pennsylvania at the event to qualify for the world championship. 

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This was Anthony’s second time qualifying and Dakota’s first tournament he had ever fished. 

High School Fishing World Championship: Arriving at Pickwick Lake

10-months after qualifying for the event, the duo arrived at Pickwick and had 3-days of official practice to figure out the bite over an 11-hour drive from home. As a coach and boater, Anthony’s father was allowed to fish with them during practice and help the boys make decisions and build their pattern for the event. 

Upon arriving, they tried to locate some ledge fish, but there were always boats where they wanted to fish, with 388 boats in the event, Pickwick Lake was crowded. With those conditions, the team had to switch it up. 

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“We never could locate a ledge bite like that so we decided to go shallow and hunt some grass.” 

They started off in some creeks, looking for grass, both shallow and deep. We fished around for a little while and finally settled on Mulberry Creek where Anthony had fished the year prior.

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High School Fishing World Championship: Mulberry Creek

“When we got to Mulberry, it was absolutely loaded with grass. Last year it was emergent, but this year it was tall and thick about 2-3 feet under the surface.” 

The team ended up catching one good bass out of the grass and then found some smaller fish as well, but it wasn’t exactly what they were after. On the last day of practice, they pulled in and found a brush pile right in the grass where the bass were schooled up. They caught a few two pounders and left to find more. 

The first day of the tournament, they rolled into Mulberry and Anthony and Dakota filled the boat right off of that brush pile with some 2 to 3 pounders. At Pickwick, they knew fish that size were not going to get the job done, so they ended up bouncing around to some smaller main lake coves to finish out their day. 

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They ended up finding some coves with a few better than average fish. 

At the start of the second day, they decided to stay out of Mulberry and went back to running their main river coves. The duo sacked up a limit on frogs and chatterbaits, but they didn’t feel that the coves would be productive the third day. 

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“We caught 5 but didn’t get many more bites. The second day was tough compared to the number of bites we got on the first day.” 

When Anthony and Dakota awoke on the third and final day of the tournament, Anthony had a feeling in his gut he chose to follow. “The morning of the third day, we figured we would run our spots like the first day, so we ended up in Mulberry early.”

The water had cleared up a little and they found that there was a log paired with the brush pile they had found. They ended up catching a few four pounders off of that brush pile before Anthony caught a 7-pound, 7-ounce bass. 

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Anthony’s father was a bit emotional when describing that catch. He said, “Once it was in the net, I knew it was over, they had it won.” The duo kept fishing after that catch but said they had a hard time not laughing and celebrating from time to time. “It was surreal to know we had it won, we just spent the day fishing around laughing and having a good time.”

High School Fishing World Championship: Frogs and Chatterbaits

We were throwing ribbit frogs along with a Z-man Jackhammer and Pheonix Chatterbait in green pumpkin with a Lake Fork Magic Shad trailer in Green Pumpkin. 

Back in the coves, we were throwing the frogs around matted grass. The chatterbaits we were running right over the grass that was just under the surface. In the very backs of the coves, we found some deeper pockets where the big fish seemed to sit which is what helped us get a solid bag on day two.

Scholarships and After High School Plans

For their victory, Anthony and Dakota won their choice of scholarship offers from Bethel University, Simpson University, and Kentucky Christian University.

Anthony was unsure about attending college until this win. “I might go to college now since we won,” he said. With such great universities offering a chance to attend, he said the hardest part now will be deciding which university to attend. 

Dakota plans to join the U.S. Marines after his upcoming senior year to serve his country. He feels lead to do so, so that citizens like himself can chase their own dreams, be it fishing, or whatever else it may be.

Bass Fishing West Virginia: Top 5 Places for a Weekend Trip

Growing up in the State of West Virginia has instilled in me a love of the great outdoors. Whether it’s hunting, fishing, hiking or just driving through our state, West Virginia has some of the best places in the country to enjoy nature and all its beauty. While I have always appreciated the beauty of the state, it wasn’t until the last few years that I have had a renewed, grander appreciation for the state that I grew up in. So, what gave me this renewed appreciation for the state that I already love? Seeing it from a different perspective, the view from the seat of my kayak, bass fishing West Virginia!

West Virginia has done a great job of offering access to see many spectacular locations such as state parks, trails, or other tourist attractions. In order to get a close-up view of some of the most breathtaking locations, there is no better way than slowing down and paddling through it in a kayak.

Over the years, I have been blessed with the opportunity to travel the state and see many locations while kayaking. Whether it be fishing in tournaments or camping and fishing with friends and family, I have had a front row seat to see the beauty of God’s awesome creation. While there are far too many to write about in one article, I want to share just a few of my “must see” locations.

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Bass Fishing West Virginia: Sandstone Falls

The first place and definitely one of the most breathtaking is Sandstone Falls on the New River in Summers County, WV. The first time I ever visited the falls was by walking out the Sandstone Visitor Center catwalk and viewing the falls from the various observation decks. 

Now, this is a great way to view and take in the beauty of the falls, but it wasn’t until a few years later when I put my kayak in and paddled up to the base of the falls that I truly appreciated the power and beauty of this location. 

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Standing at the pool directly below the falls where you can feel the sheer power and majesty is truly a special place that I will always cherish. It takes some work to get there, but it truly is worth the effort!

Bass Fishing West Virginia: South Branch, Potomac River

Another spot that holds a special place in my heart is the South Branch of the Potomac River near Romney, WV. This is a place that has been a part of me since before I could walk. I have baby pictures of me on the banks of that river with my parents and grandparents and now I have pictures of me with my wife and children at the same places. This truly is one of my favorite places on earth, and I make it a point to spend time there every year with my family and friends. 

One of my favorite trips to take on this river is through a section called the “Trough.” This is roughly a six-mile section of the river that carves through the Allegheny Mountains and is only accessible by either railroad or river. This section has some of the most beautiful scenery with deep pools, small rapids, numerous Bald Eagle sightings, and some great smallmouth bass fishing. There is truly no better way to fully appreciate this place than floating through it in a kayak.

Bass Fishing West Virginia: Greenbrier River

The third spot on my “must see” list is the Greenbrier River. The Greenbrier with its clear water, fun rapids, deep pools, incredible scenery, and great bass fishing is the kind of place that will leave you wanting more. This river was where my addiction to kayak fishing was born. I spent many years floating this river in a canoe, but once I took my first trip down in a kayak, I was hooked! 

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This river truly has it all, great fishing, rapids, deep pools, beautiful scenery, and numerous public access sites to suit any paddlers style. 

The river starts in the town of Durbin, WV and travels over 170-miles to empty into the New River in beautiful Hinton, WV. While the river is great fishing year round, Spring and early Summer provide the best water levels to enjoy this Mountain State treasure.

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Bass Fishing West Virginia: Tygart Lake

The number four spot on the list takes us to the town of Grafton WV. The Tygart Lake and the river which flows above and below the dam are one of the most overlooked spots in the state to fish. Tygart lake holds a healthy population of smallmouth bass as well as Largemouth, walleye, and Musky. Tygart is a Corps of Engineers flood control lake, so the lake levels vary greatly throughout the year. Due to this fact, most of the structure on this lake is rock. Aside from the many floating boat docks located throughout the lake, most of the quality fishing comes from scanning the lake with your electronics and locating deep drop-offs with rock structure which often holds numerous fish.  

Head below the Dam and the fishing in the Tygart river below the spillway is truly something special. The amount of 12 to 13-inch smallmouth is amazing in this area of the river. Spend a day floating down the river when conditions are right and you will catch a lot of nice smallmouth.  One of the other notable aspects of this part of the river is the high population of Musky. Most trips are awarded an exciting encounter with one of these river monsters.  

Bass Fishing West Virginia: Stonewall Jackson Lake

The final spot on my “must go” list is the Stonewall Jackson Lake. This lake has been famous for the quality bass fishing over the years. While the glory days of multiple 4 to 6-pound bass are rare, there are still a lot of big bass caught every year in this West Virginia destination. 

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This lake with over 2,600 surface acres of water features an amazing amount of quality habitat to grow big bass.  

Flooded timber is one of the most abundant targets for anglers on this lake.  Locating the old river bed, creek channels, and roadbeds can pay off big while fishing this lake.  Many no wake zones exist, which makes it a great place for the kayak angler as well as the bass boat crowd. Spend a few days exploring the waters of Stonewall Jackson and you will have a good chance at a true trophy bass.

These are just a few of the great places in West Virginia that are best viewed from the water. Next time you are looking for a place to get away and do some kayaking, head to West Virginia and see for yourself why we say, “Almost Heaven – West Virginia”.

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!