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Top 100 Best Places to Fish in America

To celebrate its 100th year, Abu Garcia ranks the best fisheries in the U.S. (updated with top 10).

Top 100 Best Places to Fish in America

Photo courtesy of Abu Garcia

Creating a list of the top 100 waters to fish in the U.S. is quite a daunting task, considering how many ways the American angler seeks a tight line. And determining the top 10 of that list is even more challenging.

Abu Garcia, the innovative fishing gear maker, is more than up for the challenge. To celebrate its 100th anniversary this year, Abu Garcia has released its Top 100 Place to Fish in the USA, including lakes and rivers from 38 states selected in collaboration with a panel of fishing experts. (See list below)

"The next century of Abu Garcia's history begins on these fisheries and countless others like them as anglers trust the brand to equip them to fish to win, whether they're fishing for fun or for a living," Abu Garcia Senior Vice President of Marketing Jon Schlosser said. "So many of these fisheries are true 'bucket-list' destinations, and we hope that this list inspires anglers to finally take that trip they've been dreaming about so they can experience the tremendous fishing opportunities available in this country. When they do, Abu Garcia has all the gear they need to make memories and the record books."

The fisheries were ranked with an emphasis on those which offer the best overall multi-species fishing, but waters with strong species-specific reputations also were considered, "whether it's chasing world-record-class redear sunfish on Lake Havasu, fighting a flathead on Santee Cooper or looking for the best five largemouth bass in Lake Guntersville," according to a news release.

Abu Garcia Top-100 Fisheries Judges Panel

  • Ken Duke — Managing Editor of Fishing Tackle Retailer
  • Mike Iaconelli — Abu Garcia pro staff member and former Bassmaster Classic champion
  • Dr. Keith Jones — Former VP of Product Development for Berkley and fish-behavior researcher
  • Ashley Nichole Lewis — Pacific NW-based fishing guide and host of "Breakout with Bad Ash"
  • Liz Ogilvie — Vice President and CMO of the American Sportfishing Association (ASA)
  • Jason Schratwieser — International Game Fish Association (IGFA) president
  • Malcolm Stewart — Supercross racing superstar and ultra-avid angler

More info on the Abu Garcia Top 100 Fisheries list

Photo courtesy of Abu Garcia

Abu Garcia Top 100 Places to Fish in the USA

1. St. Lawrence River (NY)

2. Lake St. Clair (MI)

3. Lake Erie (OH/PA/NY/MI)

4. Red River (ND/MN)

5. Santee Cooper (SC)


6. Lake Guntersville (AL)

7. Sam Rayburn Reservoir (TX)

8. Clear Lake (CA)

9. Lake Fork (TX)

10. Lake Chickamauga (TN)

11. Toledo Bend (TX/LA)

12. Lake Pickwick (AL/MS/TN)

13. Castaic Lake (CA)

14. Green Bay (WI)

15. California Delta (CA)

16. Columbia River — John Day Pool (OR/WA)

17. Mille Lacs (MN)

18. Devils Lake (ND)

19. Lake Tohopekaliga (FL)

20. Lake Texoma (OK/TX)

21. Lake Amistad (TX)

22. Kentucky Lake (TN/KY)

23. St. Johns River (FL)

24. Snake River — Tri-Cities area (WA)

25. Lake Casitas (CA)

26. Lake Oahe (SD)

27. Lake Champlain (NY/VT)

28. Lake Sakakawea (ND)

29. Lake Havasu (AZ/CA)

30. Saginaw Bay (MI)

31. Sturgeon Bay (WI)

32. Lake Eufaula (AL)

33. Webster Glacial Lakes (SD)

34. Falcon Lake (TX)

35. Bay de Noc (MI)

36. Lake Okeechobee (FL)

37. Lake Coeur d’Alene (ID)

38. Fort Peck Lake (MT)

39. Boundary Waters (MN)

40. White River (AR)

41. Lake Tahoe (NV/CA)

42. Lake of the Woods (MN)

43. Lake Michigan (WI/IL/MI/IN)

44. Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees (OK)

45. Bull Shoals (AR/MO)

46. Fox River (WI)

47. Oneida Lake (NY)

48. Table Rock Lake (MO/AR)

49. Lake Wallula/Columbia River — McNary Pool (WA)

50. Dale Hollow Lake (TN/KY)

51. Kenai River (AK)

52. Venice area (LA)

53. Susquehanna River (PA)

54. Rainy Lake (MN)

55. Lake Winnipesaukee (NH)

56. Leech Lake (MN)

57. Lake Seminole (GA/FL)

58. Lake Lanier (GA)

59. Detroit River (MI)

60. Columbia River — Bonneville Dam (WA/OR)

61. Lake Eufaula (OK)

62. James River (VA)

63. Lake Pleasant (AZ)

64. Lake Hartwell (SC)

65. Kerr Lake (NC/VA)

66. Lake Murray (SC)

67. Lake Cumberland (KY)

68. Snake River — Hells Canyon (OR/ID)

69. New Bullards Bar Reservoir (CA)

70. Lake of the Ozarks (MO)

71. Mississippi River — Redwing pools (MN)

72. Menominee River (WI)

73. Potomac River — Fletcher’s Cove (VA/MD)

74. Atchafalaya River — Morgan City area (LA)

75. Spirit Lake (IA)

76. Lake Mead (AZ/NV)

77. Wheeler Lake (AL)

78. Lake Minnetonka (MN)

79. Broken Bow Lake (OK)

80. FAN CHOICE: Lake Vermilion (MN)

81. Lake Sardis (MS)

82. Lake Francis Case (SD)

83. West Lake Okoboji (IA)

84. Eleven Mile Reservoir (CO)

85. Mississippi River — St. Louis area (MO)

86. Peshtigo River (WI)

87. Innoko River (AK)

88. Merritt Reservoir (NE)

89. Clinton Lake (KS)

90. Pymatuning Reservoir (PA/OH)

91. Pomona Lake (KS)

92. Missouri River — Yankton area (NE)

93. O’Neill Forebay (CA)

94. Pyramid Lake (NV)

95. Milford Lake (KS)

96. Boysen Reservoir (WY)

97. Umpqua River Loop (OR)

98. Grenada Lake (MS)

99. Spinney Mountain Reservoir (CO)

100. Mammoth Lakes Basin (CA)

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