9 Best Smallmouth Bass Fishing Destinations in the United States

Last Updated: 18.01.20

If you have been scouring the net trying to find the best smallmouth bass fishing destinations in the US, but you haven’t been able to find the needed information, this article should tell you everything you need to know on the subject. Because we know that this type of information is difficult to reach online without doing a lot of research, we have decided to make this task effortless for you.

Therefore, below you can find a list of great fishing destinations that you are prone to appreciate. So, don’t waste any more time, keep on reading and select the place that you find most appealing.

Northern Wisconsin

If you are interested in a location that is rich in smallmouth bass that is effortless to bait, we recommend that you try out the bodies of water in Northern Wisconsin. The main reason why these rivers and lakes are the places to go has to do with the fact that most anglers that try their luck here often try to catch muskie and walleye and therefore they only target this types of fish.

If you settle for this location, there are a few destinations that you should have in mind. Firstly, there is Lake Owen, a place that should be visited in May, as that is the time of year when one’s chances of catching sizeable fish are the highest.

Other similar locations that you should consider are The Flats, Little Sturgeon Bay, Monument Shoals, Riley’s Bay and the Sawyer Harbor. According to previous anglers, each of them is worthy of your time and money and not likely to disappoint.


Chequamegon Bay

The go-to location for numerous fishing shows, the Chequamegon Bay might also stir your interest as a hobbyist fisherman. The destination is fairly popular due to the fact that the fish that live here have plenty of feeding opportunities and, as a consequence, they are quite sizeable.

When it comes to the best smallmouth bass fishing lures that you should use while trying your luck here, the professionals suggest that one settles for spinnerbaits as they allow the angler to cover a wide proportion of water.


Lake Champlain

Located between New York and Vermont, Lake Champlain is a place where you surely won’t get bored. In fact, with over 400 square miles of water area, this region is abundant in opportunities that you’ve only dreamed about.

In this region, one can find plenty of freshwater lakes that are home to over 100 bass fisheries. If you intend to fish smallmouth bass, it is advisable that you come here in fall, as this is the time when the fish are big and the fishing truly exciting.



If you are interested in smallmouth bass fishing in Michigan, there are a few appropriate destinations that you shouldn’t miss. For example, you should take a trip to the Bays de Noc area. Here, besides enjoying the beautiful sandy beaches, you’ll be able to bait smallmouth bass, walleye, northern pike, crappie, and perch.

The area is filled with hospitable cities, affordable restaurants, and eye-catching sights. Additionally, in the fall, you can come here to try your hand at catching a sizeable trophy-like walleye.

Other places that you should visit while in the area include Burt Lake, Lake Charlevoix, the Muskegon River and the Saginaw Bay.


The Columbia River

If you are a resident of Oregon, you should know that the best smallmouth bass fishing in Oregon can be done in the Columbia River. This body of water is considered the biggest river in North America, the reason why many call it the big river of the river of the west.

If you want to catch some smallmouth bass, you should visit the area in spring, the period of the year when your chances of ending up with a large catch are maximized.

Mille Lacs Lake

Previously known as the place to go fishing for walleye, Mille Lacs Lake has now become one of the most appreciated locations for bass angling. However, all those that decide to come here can try their luck at catching northern pike, perch, crappie, bluegill, and muskie as well.

The main advantage of coming here to fish for bass is the fact that many only try their hand at catching walleye, so, if you intend to only target smallmouth bass, this might be the perfect place to come to.

This particular body of water is pretty large, as it is the second biggest inland lake in Minnesota. Even more so, the lake has a surface area of no less than 536 km2. There are plenty opportunities for one to have a good time while visiting the area, thus, if you live nearby, we suggest that you give it a good look.


Lake Erie

Another place that you should definitely consider is Lake Erie. This body of water is home to an abundant population of bass that spreads equally throughout the entire surface of the lake. What is more, if you have smallmouth bass fishing on your mind, you can set up your rod anywhere (how about you browse through the quality models we found, by the way?) In fact, fishermen that come here usually catch bass that weighs between 2 or 4 pounds. Hence, your efforts won’t be in vain.

If you want to come here at the best possible moment, it is recommended that you settle for spring, sometime between May and June. During this period of time, known as bass season, anglers can also use natural baits when angling in the area.

As you probably already know, this lake also spreads through the Seneca Reservation. Still, it is crucial that you know that if you want to fish on the reservation, you need a special fishing license.


Pickwick Lake

Another destination that you simply shouldn’t miss if you are a fan of smallmouth bass fishing is the Pickwick Lake. With overall positive reviews from previous anglers and great ratings from the specialists, Pickwick Lake distinguishes itself as a great place to go to end up with trophy-sized catches.

However, the lake is filled with countless other types of fish and, as a result, you might not always catch the kind of fish that you aim for. In fact, chances are that you’ll accidentally end up with a catfish or a giant largemouth bass and not smallmouth.


Dale Hollow Lake

If you enjoy reading records figures, the odds are that you are already aware of the fact that Dale Hollow Lake is the place where the largest smallmouth bass (11 pounds) has been caught (back in 1955).

Although a lot of time has passed since the event, Dale Hollow Lake has remained an appealing destination that you should consider before you make a decision. The lake is a great destination where one can go to whenever the weather gets too cold in the northern part of the country. As a plus, specialists claim that one can still catch big bass here.

In the end, we believe that it is important that we remind you that this list is merely given as a guide. Additionally, its purpose is not to exhaust all the possibilities one has when it comes to fishing for bass.


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