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Indiana Bass Fishing Forecasts

Top Places for Bass Fishing in Indiana

by Paul Moore   |  April 4th, 2014 0

Overall, Hoosier bass anglers have a lot to be excited about this year. Not only is some exciting spring fishing knocking at the door, but fisheries across the state are in good shape and anglers can anticipate some great days on the water this season. Also, there is some exciting stuff going on in the northern part of the state with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Fisheries Division, according to Jeremy Price, the North Region Fisheries supervisor.

Price says, “About five years ago we began to think about better ways to track the status of fish populations, water quality and habitat in our glacial lakes at the regional level. Something that would help us set standards and targets for our strategic planning documents and better evaluate the success of our program. We conceived a project called ‘Glacial Lakes Status and Trends’ (S&T) in which we would select lakes randomly from five subsets of lakes sharing similar qualities. Over a period of five years, we’ll conduct small-scale June surveys on 60 lakes and combine the results to develop the ‘status’ of our fisheries. We’ll then repeat those samples every five years going forward which will tell us what the ‘trends’ are in Indiana’s glacial lakes. We’re now in our third year of the project and it’s already producing some really valuable information for us.

Here’s what to expect for bass fishing in Indiana.


“Our June surveys provide us with a rough idea of what’s going on with our bass populations at individual lakes. However, if we perceive a potential problem, the value they have in diagnosing the issue is somewhat limited, so we have to follow up with a spring targeted sample in late April and early May. During the spawn period, we’re able to get our hands on a much larger number of bass and get a better look at the larger end of the size distribution, too. This provides us with the information we need to conclusively diagnose problems and craft a plan to fix them.

“With this in mind, we had growing concerns that, as robust as the S&T project design is, the June sampling period might not give us the ability to effectively evaluate trends in one of our most important game fish. Given the benefits we’ve seen from S&T in other aspects of management, we decided to expand this project to include spring targeted sampling for largemouth bass at the lakes scheduled to be sampled each year.

“This past April we incorporated small-scale bass surveys at 11 of our S&T survey lakes in addition to the June surveys. Steve Donabauer, our North Region Fisheries research biologist and lead on the S&T project, has compiled and begun to work with the data. Just this small 11-lake sample has stimulated a lot of discussion about what our populations look like and what we think might improve them for our anglers. Our understanding of the big picture will become increasingly clear with each passing spring. This will be such a valuable dataset to have, and we’re really excited about where it will take us.”

That is certainly good news for anglers in the northern part of the state, but things are actually quite bright throughout Indiana. With the pending spawning season comes lots of excitement and anticipation across the state. With that in mind, here is a look at a dozen of our best bass prospects this year, from north to south.

WORSTER LAKE

Located in north-central Indiana 12 miles southwest of South Bend, the 327-acre Worster Lake is found in the Potato Creek State Park. District 1 Fisheries Biologist Tom Bacula says the latest spring electrofishing results were encouraging.

Bacula says the largest fish they collected was 20 1/2 inches, but they also missed a couple of larger fish that just didn’t get shocked well. He explained that it is sometimes pretty tough to capture some of the largest individuals. The biologists also caught many fish in the range of 14 to 16 inches. He states, “It is definitely going to be a lake where anglers will have to sort their fish as there is a good size distribution. Anglers should definitely catch some fish with the possibility of 5-pounders.”

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