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After eight years of ranking the nation’s best bass fisheries, you’d think the project would get easier. That is not the case. As Mother Nature throws curveballs (wicked rainfall in the West and South), Asian carp infiltrate new areas of the country and state fisheries departments put a renewed interest in building better bass lakes, the ebb and flow of these rankings gets more intense. The research effort of the writers in their respective territories includes input from both B.A.S.S. Nation conservation directors and state agencies in charge of fisheries, as well as a far-reaching search for bass tournament data from the past 12 months from every lake that holds bass tournaments. Of course, the final rankings are voted on by a blue-ribbon panel of fishing industry insiders who reside in each region. So, feast your eyes on the most comprehensive, up-to-date fishing bucket list in the history of fishing bucket lists. You’ll have to plan carefully and move quickly, though, because based on the history of these rankings, the hot lakes don’t stay hot forever and Mother Nature is fickle, more than willing to throw a drought or 100-year rainstorm in the middle of the best-planned fishing excursion.