October 19, 2020
By Matt Crawford
1. Lake Champlain, Vermont/New York
“My favorite lake in the whole world,” says pro bass angler Brandon Lester. He has good reason to put Champlain at the top of his list. The 125-mile long lake that forms the border between New York and Vermont has a robust smallmouth (and largemouth) population. Five-pound smallies are not uncommon, but most appealing is the seemingly endless supply of 3-pounders.
2. Thousand Islands, New York
Clayton, New York, has entrenched itself as one of the epicenters of northern bass fishing in recent years mostly because this area is just saturated with super-sized smallmouths. Running out to fish Lake Ontario is always an option, but St. Lawrence river itself has gazillions of chunky, spunky bronzebacks.
3. Great Pond, Maine
Yes, interior Maine is home to the best landlocked Atlantic salmon fishing in the U.S., but 8,200-acre Great Pond in the Belgrade Lakes region of Vacationland offers a classic New England setting for out-of-this-world bass fishing.
4. Candlewood Lake, Connecticut
A busy lake during the summer months, Candlewood lights up in the fall with bass fishing activity. The largest lake in Connecticut, Candlewood routinely coughs up 5-pound smallmouths.
5. Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire
This is a big, deep lake right in the heart of New England. There’s plenty of bait and hiding places for smallmouths to push that 5-pound mark, and a good number of them do.