Best Bass Lakes

The Best Bass Lakes of New York

New York is home to some of the most amazing bass lakes in the country. Here's a look at the six lakes that made it to the annual Top 100 Best Bass Lakes list that is published by Bassmaster Magazine each year. We are leaving the ranks they were given in the Top 25 Bass Lakes of the Northeast.
Photo: New York is home to some of the most amazing bass lakes in the country. Here's a look at the six lakes that made it to the annual Top 100 Best Bass Lakes list that is published by Bassmaster Magazine each year. We are leaving the ranks they were given in the Top 25 Bass Lakes of the Northeast. - New York is home to some of the most amazing bass lakes in the country. Here's a look at the six lakes that made it to the annual Top 100 Best Bass Lakes list that is published by Bassmaster Magazine each year. We are leaving the ranks they were given in the Top 25 Bass Lakes of the Northeast.
<h4>(8th Overall Top 10) 2. Thousand Islands (St. Lawrence River), New York</h4><br> [50-mile stretch] This picturesque bass fishery has excellent largemouth fishing, but the green ones tend to be overlooked due to the abundance of hefty smallmouth bass that thrive in these clear waters. Legendary bass pro Kevin VanDam won his 24th Bassmaster tournament, an Elite Series event, on the St. Lawrence River in July 2017. His four-day weight of 90-3 is one of the highest tallies of smallmouth ever recorded in an Elite Series tournament. VanDam also caught the 6-5 big bass. The Top 5 anglers all averaged over 20 pounds of bass per day.
Photo: Garrick Dixon - (8th Overall Top 10) 2. Thousand Islands (St. Lawrence River), New York [50-mile stretch] This picturesque bass fishery has excellent largemouth fishing, but the green ones tend to be overlooked due to the abundance of hefty smallmouth bass that thrive in these clear waters. Legendary bass pro Kevin VanDam won his 24th Bassmaster tournament, an Elite Series event, on the St. Lawrence River in July 2017. His four-day weight of 90-3 is one of the highest tallies of smallmouth ever recorded in an Elite Series tournament. VanDam also caught the 6-5 big bass. The Top 5 anglers all averaged over 20 pounds of bass per day.
<h4>3. Lake Erie, New York</h4><br> [30-mile radius from Buffalo] Erie’s eastern basin continues to produce 20-plus-pound limits of smallmouth bass and quantities of them, as well. A one-day tournament with 55 entrants took place in June 2017. A five-bass limit weighing 24.19 claimed first place, and the Top 5 anglers all had over 20 pounds. The big bass was 5.84 pounds. You may catch and release bass from the first Saturday in May until the season bass opener on the third Saturday in June.
3. Lake Erie, New York [30-mile radius from Buffalo] Erie’s eastern basin continues to produce 20-plus-pound limits of smallmouth bass and quantities of them, as well. A one-day tournament with 55 entrants took place in June 2017. A five-bass limit weighing 24.19 claimed first place, and the Top 5 anglers all had over 20 pounds. The big bass was 5.84 pounds. You may catch and release bass from the first Saturday in May until the season bass opener on the third Saturday in June.
<h4>5. Lake Champlain, New York/Vermont </h4><br> [490 square miles] Any tournament here may be won with smallmouth or largemouth or a combination of both. Aaron Martens brought in mixed bags when he won an Elite Series tournament in July 2017. His three-day tally (tournament shortened one day due to bad weather) weighed 58-12. Martens’ final-day limit weighed 23-5. The big bass of the tournament went 6-4.
Photo: James Overstreet - 5. Lake Champlain, New York/Vermont [490 square miles] Any tournament here may be won with smallmouth or largemouth or a combination of both. Aaron Martens brought in mixed bags when he won an Elite Series tournament in July 2017. His three-day tally (tournament shortened one day due to bad weather) weighed 58-12. Martens’ final-day limit weighed 23-5. The big bass of the tournament went 6-4.
<h4>12. Oneida Lake, New York</h4><br> [79.8 square miles] Oneida continues to produce good numbers of quality bass. The smallmouth appear to be bulking up due to the recent infestation of gobies. A three-day Bassmaster Northern Open in July 2017 was dominated by smallmouth bass, but Pennsylvanian Stanley Sypeck won the event with largemouth totaling 55-8. Elite Series pro Wesley Strader of Tennessee finished second with three limits of smallmouth weighing 52-3.
Photo: Ronnie Moore - 12. Oneida Lake, New York [79.8 square miles] Oneida continues to produce good numbers of quality bass. The smallmouth appear to be bulking up due to the recent infestation of gobies. A three-day Bassmaster Northern Open in July 2017 was dominated by smallmouth bass, but Pennsylvanian Stanley Sypeck won the event with largemouth totaling 55-8. Elite Series pro Wesley Strader of Tennessee finished second with three limits of smallmouth weighing 52-3.
<h4>13. Cayuga Lake, New York</h4><br> [38 miles long, 3 1/2 miles wide] This deep, two-story fishery supports strong populations of trout as well as largemouth and smallmouth bass. Smallmouth dominate the catch during their spawn and prespawn phases, while largemouth are willing to bite spring through fall in the grassbeds that rim the lake. In late August 2017, Kurt Keller won the TRADWINS Cayuga Lake Rochester Bassmasters AOY tournament with a five-bass limit of 19.25 pounds.
Photo: James Overstreet - 13. Cayuga Lake, New York [38 miles long, 3 1/2 miles wide] This deep, two-story fishery supports strong populations of trout as well as largemouth and smallmouth bass. Smallmouth dominate the catch during their spawn and prespawn phases, while largemouth are willing to bite spring through fall in the grassbeds that rim the lake. In late August 2017, Kurt Keller won the TRADWINS Cayuga Lake Rochester Bassmasters AOY tournament with a five-bass limit of 19.25 pounds.
<h4>23. Chautauqua Lake, New York</h4><br> [13,156 acres] You won’t catch many trophy bass at Chautauqua, but you won’t want for action, either. The Adrian College team of Jarrett Martin and Zachary Graham won a college tournament here in July 2017 with 16-3. They culled their five-fish limit of largemouth and smallmouth bass from 20 keepers they caught by fishing a 40-yard stretch where a rocky flat met a grassline.
Photo: Justin Brewer - 23. Chautauqua Lake, New York [13,156 acres] You won’t catch many trophy bass at Chautauqua, but you won’t want for action, either. The Adrian College team of Jarrett Martin and Zachary Graham won a college tournament here in July 2017 with 16-3. They culled their five-fish limit of largemouth and smallmouth bass from 20 keepers they caught by fishing a 40-yard stretch where a rocky flat met a grassline.