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10 Best Bass Fishing States

by Brad Wiegmann   |  March 31st, 2014 3
largemouth bass, lmb, bass fishing

Photo by Ron Sinfelt

Do you want to fish the 10 best bass fishing states? Prepare to put a serious dent in your frequent–flyer miles. You will have to cover over 9,000 miles traveling from the West Coast to East Coast and fishing everywhere in between.

Your trip would begin with flying off to California. It’s the only West Coast state to be on the list. California is the one state where you have an opportunity to catch a world record largemouth, spotted bass or trophy sized smallmouth.

From there it’s on to the East Coast stopping in New York and Florida. Smallies have an unquenchable appetite once the ice out happens in New York. While waiting for the thaw grab your gear and fly down to Florida for giant largemouth spawning.

The journey would also take you to Michigan out on Lake Erie for some of the best smallmouth fishing anywhere. However, from there it all goes south to Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Texas. All states having an extended growing season for maximum growth.

Bass fishing records back up your itinerary. California has 20 of the top 25 biggest largemouth, six of the 10 biggest spotted bass and two smallmouth over nine pounds. Tennessee is the smallmouth capital with 14 of the top 25 biggest.

Record sized spotted bass on the other hand were spread across the United States from California to Georgia.

Other states on the list rank high on destinations where anglers travel to catch trophy and numbers of quality-sized bass. The longer season with no ice profoundly influenced the list.


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States on the list did have one thing in common. A proactive state fisheries department involved in adding cover, stocking bass fry, controlling invasive aquatic vegetation or non-indigenous aquatic species. Plus an active tourism department courting anglers to visit.

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