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13 Best Lakes For Fishing In The United States

If you're looking to catch some Largemouth Bass, then this is the perfect lake to pick for your next fishing spot!
If you're looking to catch some Largemouth Bass, then this is the perfect lake to pick for your next fishing spot!

Welcome to the 13 Best Lakes In The United States For Fishing.

sardine run

Given the vast number of lakes, you may wonder which lakes are best suited for fishing and which one you should choose to spend the best time there.

No worries! Because In this guide, we will assist you with the best lake options to go for fishing in the United States

13 Best Lakes In The United States For Fishing

Feel the sun on your face and fill those lungs with fresh air at these top fishing spots:

#1 Lake Of The Woods 

13 Best Lakes In The United States For Fishing bald eagle
You won’t be the only fisher on this gorgeous lake in Minnesota: Bald Eagles are often spotted fishing here.

Among all the lakes, the lake of the woods won the title of “Walleye Capital of the World”. Undoubtedly, you will gain an unforgettable fishing experience in this great lake. 

If you are wondering when the best time to visit is, consider waiting for summer. In the early summer, you can catch fish easily because warm waters bring out many fish species.

When listing the 13 best lakes in the United States for fishing, mentioning the lake of the woods is essential because it has healthy populations of many fish species like:

  • Sauger
  • Muskellunge
  •  Jumbo perch
  • Northern pike 
  •  Crappie
  •  Pike
  • Trout
  • Sturgeon
  • Smallmouth bass
  • Walleye

If you visit this beautiful lake, don’t forget the essential things for fishing. These include gas, bait (minnows, leeches), well-developed lures, a lake map, fishing poles, insect repellent, a fishing net, and pliers.

There are certain limitations to fishing at this lake. Every fisherman may catch 20 yellow perch; during Crappie season, you can catch ten.

Besides fishing, you can enjoy boating. There are about seven boat landings at wood lake. Ice fishing derby and summer fishing tournament in the lake of the woods are the best occasions to prove yourself in fishing and flaunting those skills.

Interesting Fact: Lake of wood is also an ideal fishing spot for Bald eagles.

#2 Lake Fork

If you're looking to catch some Largemouth Bass, then this is the perfect lake to pick for your next fishing spot!
If you’re looking to catch some Largemouth Bass, then this lake in Texas is the perfect lake to pick for your next fishing spot!

There are so many reasons that you will enjoy it here. Lake Fork’s shoreline of 300 miles makes it an ideal place for fishing. Furthermore, the water is clear; consequently, you can go fishing with live bait or small colorful lures. 

Lake Fork is among the best fishing lakes, which is home to various fish species such as 

  • Sunfish
  • Channel catfish
  •  Crappie
  •  Bluegill
  • White bass
  •  Largemouth bass

But among all these fish species, the largemouth bass population is the largest here. Therefore, this is a must-go destination if you are looking for a lake to catch largemouth bass. 

Different fishing tournaments also occur at Lake Fork, which is very exciting for everyone who wants to participate. In such a case, you would never want to miss out on the Fly Fishing Tournament.

#3 Lake Okeechobee 

best lake for fishing in Florida
Thinking of planning a trip to Lake Okeechobee in Florida? Just be mindful of the alligators while you enjoy the lake.

This lake is Florida’s largest freshwater lake. Lake Okeechobee is also known as “Florida’s Inland Sea”. It covers up to 730 square miles with a depth of nine feet. 

The incredible thing about this lake is that it is home to more than forty native fish species. It inhibits these 40 fish species and hosts many introduced species. 

Like Fork Lake, it also contains a considerable population of largemouth bass. Therefore primarily those people who want to hunt largemouth bass visit here. But if you’re going to do fishing for other fish species, there are also:

  • Bluegill
  • Pickerel
  • Black crappie
  • Catfish
  • Bowfin
  • Speckled perch
  • Black crappies

Exploring the lake by foot will let you experience rocky or grassy banks or fishing piers, which are mind-blowing. Stay cautious and take good care when you go to the lake on foot. This is because, in certain areas, alligators and many other dangerous marine animals inhabit the area.   

Once you visit Lake Okeechobee, do not forget to explore the lake by doing a three-hour boat sail demonstrating the remarkable natural and historical heritage. To make some of the best memories here, add the Sugarland Express tour of a nearby mill and farm.

The best season for going here for fishing and boating is in the summer months because it is much easier and more productive to do fishing in these months.

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A few of the fish species here are constricted to catch and release. And there is a limit by the administration that you can catch only five basses in 24 hours, and the size limit for this is 18 to 22 inches.

It is worth mentioning that Florida is considered the “fishing capital of the world”; therefore, whether you are residing in the United States or on a trip to Florida, don’t forget to plan a fishing trip here. 

Participating in fishing tournaments like the American Bass Anglers Open Series is also a fun and enjoyable source. 

#4 Lake Winnipesaukee 

A burning sky over Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire.
A burning sky over Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire.

Here you will see great fishing opportunities. About eighty bass tournaments take place in Lake Winnipesaukee annually. WINNI DERBY is an annual three-day event of fishing here in which many anglers participate.

Lake Winnipesaukee has been credited for being the “largest lake in New Hampshire”. This lake, with a depth of 200 feet and 72 square miles, is one of the top spots for fishing, and people especially visit here for:

  • Bass
  • Trout
  • Sunfish
  • Perch
  •  Salmon
  •  Pickerel

However, brown trout are not seen here much. 

It is a favorite fishing place for many. Therefore, it can get crowded, especially in the summer and spring.

#5 Clear Lake 

Take your family for a lovely fishing trip at Clear Lake

With over 100 miles of shoreline, this is California’s largest natural lake. Like many other well-known fishing spots, fishing tournaments also occur here. These include team bass tournaments of clear lake and Clearlake oaks- Glenhaven catfish derby.

If you dream of a perfect fishing destination in California, you will never regret going to Clear lake. Like many other lakes and water bodies, there are different fish species in the lake clear, including:

  •  Crappie 
  • Largemouth bass
  • Channel catfish
  • Smallmouth bass
  • Bluegill
  • Kokanee
  • Rainbow trout

These fish species are found here in huge numbers; therefore, it is considered the best place for fishing.

This lake is also known to be good for boating trips. You will never regret going here with your family for fishing or boating!

Remember that you will require a fishing license from California’s fish and wildlife department. You can also buy it in town at Bait and Tackle on the clear lake. Even if you are going for only one day of fishing, you will still need a license.

#6 Chickamauga Lake 

Chickamauga Lake, Tennessee, USA
Chickamauga Lake, Tennessee, USA

Chickamauga Lake is located beautifully across the Tennessee River. It has the title of “The Land of the Giants” because more largemouth bass is found here compared to other fish species. Along with fishing, this area also has many other recreational facilities.

Most commonly, people visit Chickamauga Lake to do largemouth bass fishing. Not only will you find largemouth bass here, but you can also spot other fish species. Following are a few fish species among the native catches in lake Chickamauga:

  • Catfish 
  • White bass
  • Yellow perch
  • Crappie
  • Bluegill

Like many other lakes, there are also different tournaments where everyone can participate and enjoy fishing.

Many consider Chickamauga lake a dream destination because once you visit here, you can go fishing, and boating, visit museums, and experience great history. Furthermore, you can participate in various concerts and enjoy the outdoors and nightlife in one place. Hence it is considered the best affordable spot for everyone.

Moreover, one of the exciting things is that 15.20 pounds of largemouth bass was caught here by Gabe Keen and created a new state record.

This 810 miles long shoreline lake provides easy access for boats. If you ever plan to visit there for fishing, late evening and early morning are the best times to fish the bayous.

#7 Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe, California

Among the best lakes in the United States for fishing, Lake Tahoe is considered one of the tops. Lake Tahoe is an ancient lake formed around two million years ago. It is ranked the “largest alpine lake in North America” and the “second deepest lake in the United States”.

Although it is considered the best place for fishing, if you’re going fishing as a beginner, it is not much likely for you because the facilities are designated for experienced anglers.

Along with Mackinaw trout, you can also catch other inhabits fish in Lake Tahoe as well, which includes 

  • Rainbow trout
  • Crappie
  • Goldfish
  • Largemouth and smallmouth bass
  • Bluegill
  • Brook trout

Interestingly this beautiful lake offers fishing and lets you enjoy skiing in winter, and in summer, you can go hiking here as well. It is crucial to note that no angler can catch more than five fish.

#8 Lake St. Clair

lake st clair - best lake in the united staes for fishing sturgeon
Fishing for white sturgeon and getting lucky. This fish was 8 feet 3 inches long and 49 inches around its very large middle.

In Michigan, lake St. Clair borders Detroit, and no one would like to miss the fishing opportunity. 

It is a 420-square-mile lake where you can go and catch perch, walleye, smallmouth bass, and crappie. The lake has a family environment; therefore, it is an excellent place to visit with the family, and the kids will love the sandy bottom swimming holes here. 

You can also get muskie here. Do fishing on the boat to get more chances of catching the fish species. Other fish species that you can find here are; 

  • Rainbow trout
  • Pumpkinseed sunfish
  • Bluegill
  • Bass
  • Northern pike
  • Muskie
  • Sturgeon
  • Yellow perch

At some distance from the lake, forms of lodging are also available such as RV parks and Campgrounds. About 50% of the total sport fishing in the whole region occurs in lake St. Clair, although it is not huge like other lakes located near to it. 

If you are looking for a lake in Michigan with a large population of trout and bass, then St. Clair lake is the most attractive option. 

#9 Lake Austin

Texas has various lakes, but which one is best for fishing? Lake Austin has taken the credit of being the most famous and well-known fishing lake in texas. In Lake Austin, you can expect to catch more sunfish, largemouth bass, and catfish because the population of these fish species is vast in this lake. 

Among other notable species of fish that you can hunt here are trout, paddlefish, crappies, gars, and shad. Here you can enjoy other different recreational activities as well.

Due to the large population of various fish species, many anglers consider it an ideal lake. Therefore, like many others, you can also plan a long trip and do shoreline fishing on lake Austin.

#10 Lake Champlain

Overlooking Champlain Valley in Vermont,
Overlooking Champlain Valley and Lake in Vermont.

Among many lakes in the United States, Lake Champlain is praised as one of North America’s most prolific and diverse bass fisheries. In this vast area of 280,000 acres, you can easily catch large and smallmouth bass. 

Due to the mountainous surrounding of Lake Champlain, there are many activities like biking, hiking, shopping, and sailing, so you will never be bored here. Due to its central location between Vermont and New York, several visitors can reach out here easily for a fishing trip.

Muskellunge was once native to this lake, but unfortunately, its population has been reduced and almost diminished due to overfishing. New introductions and efforts are increasing to increase the population.

But now they are again introduced in Lake Champlain, and efforts are being made to increase their population.

It is fascinating to know that lake Champlain is not home to only a few species; more than 93 species consider this lake their home. If you are an angler or sport fisherman, walleye, small and largemouth bass, northern pike, landlocked salmon, and lake trout are here for you. 

#11 Grand Lake

Overlooking Champlain Valley in Vermont,
Overlooking Champlain Valley and Lake in Vermont

If you are considering one of the deepest natural lakes in Colorado for fishing, Grand Lake is the best destination for you. Like all other lakes, this lake is also a favorite place to live for many fish species. Here you can go fishing of: Overlooking Champlain Valley in Vermont,

  • Brook trout
  • Large and smallmouth bass
  • Rainbow trout
  • Cutthroat trout
  • Brown trout
  • Kokanee salmon or lake trout 

You can go fishing from the shoreline of these fish and will surely enjoy world-class fishing here. 

#12 Lake Istokpoga

The freshwater Lake Istokpoga in Highlands County covers up to 26,762.9 acres. This “fifth largest lake in Florida” is the best fishing spot, especially for those looking for a place where they can catch largemouth bass and black crappie. 

Their population in the lake is high in the early spring and winter; therefore, you will have productive fishing here in these seasons. It is also famous for fishing because it produces big trophy bass. 

#13 Lake Erie

Lake Erie at sunset.

Lake Erie is of prime importance due to many reasons. This lake secures its position among the five great lakes and is famous as the “most extensive freshwater commercial fishery worldwide”. 

Additionally, it is the smallest by volume and the shallowest lake. That is also considered the fourth largest lake by surface area.

Lake Erie is home to great fish species, which include;

  • Walleye
  • Lake trout
  • Smallmouth bass
  • Steelhead
  • Largemouth bass
  • King salmon

Interestingly you can also find the endangered sturgeon, the longest fish in this lake. You cannot catch this fish because it is threatened.

More Best Lakes In The United States For Fishing

The above-discussed 13 lakes are among the top fishing lakes across the United States. But there are a few other lakes where you can get an unforgettable fishing experience. These lakes are;

  • Big Green Lake
  •  Hubbard Lake
  • Lake Superior
  • Saguaro Lake

Wrap Up on Best Lakes In the United States For Fishing

Some people fish for food, others for sport, and some for leisure. Which one are you?

This article lists the 13 best lakes in the United States for fishing. 

The United States has more than 250 lakes, and therefore it is evident that everyone can get stuck when planning to visit a lake for fishing in the United States. But after reading this article, you will now have a clear view of the best fishing lakes in the United States.

Each lake is unique because of different fish species, facilities, tournaments, recreational activities, and locations. 

Fishing at the best lake will make your experience outstanding and memorable. Therefore choose your next fishing destination wisely and enjoy.

Want to read more about weird and wonderful fish? Look at our article on the top 10 cutest fish in the world.

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