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Rank of lakes?

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About five years ago Bassmaster published the top 25 bass waters in the history of the sport.

Anyone know if there is an updated current ranking of the top bass lakes in the country?

I know the usual suspects, but was curious if there was a published rank by anglers.

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I don't know, but Guntersville's still one of them!

We will all want to hear a detailed report of your adventure. Guntersville in the Spring? Hmm...It can't get too much better than that.

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I think they (BassMaster Mag) did an article on lakes, i remember the one they did on rivers, a few issues back but i can't remember if they did an article on lakes.

I'll have to check and see if i can find it.

Alfred

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Yeah RW, no doubt about it.  I am not anything but excited about G-ville in March.

Just curious though if they have ever polled/ranked in the past year or two.

I will say this, numbers alone and shocking to me, the lakes I fished in Maine this past

summer were unreal.  Numbers AND size.  LOTS in the 2 to 4 lb. range.  Pleasant surprise.                          

My top 5 to date:

1.  Lake Fork

2.  Stick Marsh/Farm 13

3.  Toho

4.  Seminole

5.  Guntersville (hoping this moves way up the chart come this spring)

Still, hoping those can lead me to a published or more 'scientific' rank than this clown's ranks.

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Pursuant to BassMaster Magazine

TOP 10 Lakes

1. Lake Tohopekaliga, FL

2. Lake Guntersville, AL

3. Santee Cooper, SC

4. San Joaquin Delta, CA

5. Lake Minnetonka, MN

6. Potomac River, MD

7. Lake St Clair, MI

8. Lake Champlain, VT

9. Sam Rayburn, TX

10. Clear Lake, CA

TOP 5 Rivers

1. Potomac River, MD      

2. Mississippi River, IL (Vicinity of Savanna, Illinois)

3. St Johns River, FL (Salt Run Spring to Dunns Crk esp. Seven Sisters Island - Dunns Ck)

4. Red River, LA (South of Shreveport to Miss R. Stocked with Florida-strain bass)

5. James River, VA (South of Richmond, VA)

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Pursuant to BassMaster Magazine

TOP 10 Lakes

1. Lake Tohopekaliga, FL

2. Lake Guntersville, AL

3. Santee Cooper, SC

4. San Joaquin Delta, CA

5. Lake Minnetonka, MN

6. Potomac River, MD

7. Lake St Clair, MI

8. Lake Champlain, VT

9. Sam Rayburn, TX

10. Clear Lake, CA

TOP 5 Rivers

1. Potomac River, MD      

2. Mississippi River, IL (Vicinity of Savanna, Illinois)

3. St Johns River, FL (Salt Run Spring to Dunns Crk esp. Seven Sisters Island - Dunns Ck)

4. Red River, LA (South of Shreveport to Miss R. Stocked with Florida-strain bass)

5. James River, VA (South of Richmond, VA)

Fork not even in the top 10.  Oh my.  I have never fished any of those other lakes, but I find it hard to believe Fork didn't crack that list.  Do you know when this list was made?  It could have been when Fork had the Largemouth Virus.  That would be understandable.

I think roadwarrior will have something to say about the Tennessee River not making the list either.

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The reason Lake Fork is never in the Bassmaster list is that Bassmaster never fishes it because of the slot limits. If memory serves it is 12" to 24" at least the 24" is correct so the anglers can catch 10 pounders and not be able to weigh them in. Most all the tourn. are won with below slot limit fish. If I had mega bucks riding on big fish and couldn't weigh them in I suppose I would not like it either. I caught a 23 1/2" Bass there last spring and the replica will be done soon, I had to kiss her and say goodby -- not legal, but this is what makes for a GREAT fishery.

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If this was based on tourney fishing then I can see that.  But recreationally?????????  I don't think so.

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Fork not even in the top 10. Oh my. I have never fished any of those other lakes, but I find it hard to believe Fork didn't crack that list. Do you know when this list was made? It could have been when Fork had the Largemouth Virus. That would be understandable.

I'm almost positive that these are the most recent BassMaster ratings.

I copied them about 6 months ago from the web, you may still be able to Google them.

I agree with you, where is Lake Fork?? It may be the virus, because these ratings are a combination

of size and numbers (overall quality).

I think roadwarrior will have something to say about the Tennessee River not making the list either.

Actually, these are really largemouth lists and the Tennessee River is most highly noted

for its smallmouth bass. Guntersville is the Tennessee River representative for bigmouth,

which is the eastern-most impoundment on the Tennessee River

RWs paydirt <= Pickwick <= Wilson <= Wheeler <= Guntersville (the river flows west, then north)

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Actually, these are really largemouth lists and the Tennessee River is most highly noted

for its smallmouth bass. Guntersville is the Tennessee River representative for bigmouth,

which is the eastern-most impoundment on the Tennessee River

That would make sense.

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1.- Lake Baccarac

2.- Lake El Salto

3.- Lake Vicente Guerrero

4.- Lake El Cuchillo

OOOOOOOOPS ! Sorry, wrong country !  ;)

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Guest avid

Notice too that Okeechobee isn't there either.  Since the hurricanes of '04 things are way different.  It  will take a few years for the fishery to completley recover, but the bigguns are still there fer sure.

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Yeah RW, no doubt about it. I am not anything but excited about G-ville in March.

Just curious though if they have ever polled/ranked in the past year or two.

I will say this, numbers alone and shocking to me, the lakes I fished in Maine this past

summer were unreal. Numbers AND size. LOTS in the 2 to 4 lb. range. Pleasant surprise.                        

My top 5 to date:

1. Lake Fork

2. Stick Marsh/Farm 13

3. Toho

4. Seminole

5. Guntersville (hoping this moves way up the chart come this spring)

Still, hoping those can lead me to a published or more 'scientific' rank than this clown's ranks.

After what I witnessed and participated this past weekend on Toho, I'd have to say that Toho has to be the most over rated body of water in the state. Replace Toho on your list with Lewisville.

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KVD won't finish in the top 10 for the classic. Husky jerks and spinnerbaits are'nt going to cut it on Toho or the rest of the Kissimmee chain this year. Gotta' find the thickest, nastiest stuff you can find and punch a hole in it.

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Pursuant to BassMaster Magazine

TOP 10 Lakes

1. Lake Tohopekaliga, FL

2. Lake Guntersville, AL

3. Santee Cooper, SC

4. San Joaquin Delta, CA

5. Lake Minnetonka, MN

6. Potomac River, MD

7. Lake St Clair, MI

8. Lake Champlain, VT

9. Sam Rayburn, TX

10. Clear Lake, CA

TOP 5 Rivers

1. Potomac River, MD      

2. Mississippi River, IL (Vicinity of Savanna, Illinois)

3. St Johns River, FL (Salt Run Spring to Dunns Crk esp. Seven Sisters Island - Dunns Ck)

4. Red River, LA (South of Shreveport to Miss R. Stocked with Florida-strain bass)

5. James River, VA (South of Richmond, VA)

Thanks for the post Rolo.  I am believing you did see this in a recent Bassmasters issue, because after looking it over it looks familiar.  I believe this was a ranking of stops for BASS competitions.  I believe that is why Fork is not on the list.  

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After what I witnessed and participated this past weekend on Toho, I'd have to say that Toho has to be the most over rated body of water in the state. Replace Toho on your list with Lewisville.

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After what I witnessed and participated this past weekend on Toho, I'd have to say that Toho has to be the most over rated body of water in the state. Replace Toho on your list with Lewisville.

JayPea, that surprises me what you say about Toho. I have not been there in about three years, and it was before they drained and worked the silt out.

My experience there for nearly a week was great, not a lot in numbers, but a lot of 5+ lb. fish, and my buddy caught one at 8lb. It was all positive.

BUT, it would not surprise me if continued extreme pressure is taking a toll.

What was the problem/weigh-ins for the tourney?

I am not familiar with Lewisville, would appreciate a bit of info.

I keep googling, and still am unable to find a recent poll by bass anglers on the 'top bass lakes' in America that is recent and by angler opinion.

The list above posted by JayPea is surely accurate, but I do believe it is in regards to BASS tourny fished waters, AND in mind that Bassmaster mag will always have some agenda in what it publishes - though I am a huge fan of the publication.

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As RoLo pointed out, Guntersville is THE largemouth lake on the Tennessee River, and in the Mid South for that matter. Bassmaster's recent ranking of the Top Ten Rivers is what surprised me. For all around fishing, the Cumberland might be number one, big smallmouth and HUGE stripers, muskie, walley and catfish. For smallmouth specifically, the Tennessee River should be included, but probably not number one unless you want to talk about size. The Tennessee offers the best opportunity for catching a trophy bronzeback, but it never produces the numbers that other rivers churn out.

Back to lakes. Well, the focus is obviously largemouth, but if they were ranking lakes for "bass", which would include smallmouth, how could Dale Hollow be overlooked? Right now they are reporting incredible "numbers" at Dale, but that is not what makes the lake special. Of the four or five certified smallmouth over 10 lbs that have ever been caught, three have been caught at this lake, including "both" World Records!

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BassMasters Top-5 Smallmouth Rivers

1. New River, VA

2. Susquehanna River, PA

3. St Lawrence River, NY

4. Snake River, ID

5. Columbia River, WA

I agree with Roadwarrrior, 'where' is the Tennessee River??? (that's crazy).

In my view, America's top world-class waters for smallmouth bass

are the Tennessee and Columbia rivers. To be honest, based on the secular view of river age,

I'd personally give the nod to the Columbia River, WA, followed very closely by the Tennessee River.

I'd place the St Lawrence R. in third place (as they did). The St Lawrence River (1,000 Islands)

is in the "Bass Box" that I alluded to in an earlier post. Not to be taken lightly, waters in that region

including Lake Champlain, Black Lake, Lake Erie, etc are top-rung for both large AND smallmouth bass.

Oddly, these waters get very little press, which is a great thing (then shut-up Roger).

I've also gone on record stating that in my experience, 3-pound largemouth bass

are about as common in Canada as they are in Florida (btw: I'm a resident of central Florida).

The reason is simple, the bass where I live enjoy a fantastic growth rate, but the bass living

in the northern Bass Box gain their weight through age, where bass live up to twice as long

as they do in the deep south (i.e. thermal burnout).

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The reason Lake Fork is never in the Bassmaster list is that Bassmaster never fishes it because of the slot limits. If memory serves it is 12" to 24" at least the 24" is correct so the anglers can catch 10 pounders and not be able to weigh them in. Most all the tourn. are won with below slot limit fish. If I had mega bucks riding on big fish and couldn't weigh them in I suppose I would not like it either. I caught a 23 1/2" Bass there last spring and the replica will be done soon, I had to kiss her and say goodby -- not legal, but this is what makes for a GREAT fishery.

fyi.....

Forks slot is:

Largemouth bass are subject to a 16- to 24-inch slot limit. Bass 16 inches and shorter and 24 inches and longer can be harvested with a daily bag limit of 5 fish, of which only 1 fish can be 24 inches or greater.

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Ever since they drained the lake and killed off the hydrilla, the fishing has gotten a lot tougher in West Toho. Now it's all tight cover type of fishing. Flippin and stuff.

3+ years ago, I had my best stringer ever from Toho ... 19 lbs!   :D

Last year, I fished there and got skunked.   :-/

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