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The Top 12 Fishing Lakes in the United States

The Top 12 Fishing Lakes in the United States

Are you a fishing aficionado? Do you think all you need to destress are fishing poles and serene surroundings? Well then, you’re in luck! Because we have selected the best fishing lakes in for you. As you will see, we have divided this list in several ways. We have selected the lakes best for specific fish. Then there is a section about where to go fishing if you happen to be in a certain state. We also mention lakes that have a wider variety of fish, and at the end, there is a brief section on ice fishing in Minnesota.

Shall we get started?

By Fish Type

Here’s where you'll need to go if you want to catch bass or catfish:


We mention some great lakes where you will find largemouth or smallmouth bass that come in all sizes! Here they are:

  1. Texas

First things first, invest in a high-quality Outdoor Sport Fishing Vest. Then head over to Texas, where the famous Falcon Lake awaits your fishing pleasure. Just about every bass angler who takes fishing seriously has visited it. The Southern lakes yield large numbers of trophy crappie throughout the growing season. The lakes found in the midwestern and northern regions lakes are home to slower-growing prized fish.

  1. Michigan

This state is on most lists that mention the top fishing spots. Because it is an entry point for the Great Lakes no matter which side you enter it from. Hence you will be following a long queue of fishing enthusiasts while heading to Michigan. If you are interested in catching smallmouths, then Lake Erie should be your destination. But you can find good sport in almost any of the inland lakes in Michigan.

  1. Minnesota

Minnesota was lovingly dubbed, the Land of 10,000 Lakes, and not for nothing. It is indeed a paradise for fishers from all over the country. All its lakes are great bass lakes. And while, local experts will enlist different lakes as being the best fishing destinations in the state, chances are most of them will name Lake Minnetonka. But that is just the beginning. There are about 13,000 lakes in the state, and most of them are teeming with both large- and smallmouths.

Interested in trout? Then go to Oklahoma!


  1. Louisiana

Louisiana is the catfish capital! Your destination? The lake Des Allemandes and you will soon see why once you get there. While you are in Louisiana, take this 16-Hole Folding Fishing Net. Who knows when you might be in the mood for crawfish?

  1. Missouri

Don your Fishing Comes First Tee and head to one of the state’s several locations, such as the Truman and the Montrose lakes, where monstrous catfish wait to get snared. So, if humungous catfish are what you are looking for, then here’s where you need to be.

  1. Ohio

You will be spoiled for choice on reaching the Buckeye State. The Erie lake is flowing with blues, flatheads, and channel cats. Just as with variety, the state is also known for the huge numbers of catfish in its lake.

Want to know if the bass and crappie are the same fish? Get more information here.

By State

  1. Alabama

If you happen to be in Alabama when the mood to fish strikes you, don’t despair. Go to Lewis Smith Lake because it is what both the striped and largemouth bass like to call home. Surprisingly, this lake hasn’t been on the list for too long. Since it just landed a top spot in great fishing lakes in Alabama’s lists, it is thriving with aquatic life. In particular, the blueback herring population – or what the other two call food – is flourishing. Thus, more for you to catch!

  1. Arkansas

So, you find yourself in Arkansas when suddenly the urge to go fish strikes you. What do you do? You grab your fishing rod and drive to Lake Ouachita. Due to the increase in the numbers of the shad population, you will find the lake overflowing with both stripers and walleyes.

  1. Florida

The lakes in the Harris Chain are home to the largemouth bass. It came as a surprise to many fishers after the eutrophication caused by fertilizer runoff. But a year ago and several rejuvenation projects later, you can catch enough fish to fill a 40-pound bag!

Other Great Lakes

  1. Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin

The bay has clear water, making it easy to see the smallmouth bass waiting to get caught. You can catch them with almost anything as bait. At this lake, you will have your pick from the smallies, as well as, the bass.

  1. Lake Leelanau, Michigan

Lake Leelanau features on the list of lakes that produce good catches of walleyes consistently all year round. You can expect other schools to patrol the lake in walleye company, including smallmouths and bluegills.

  1. Great Lakes, Illinois

Both lakes, i.e., Michigan and Ontario, are great spots for some phenomenal salmon. But if you are looking for lake trout or jumbo perch, then you should pay Lake Superior a visit. We have already mentioned Erie, which only leaves Lake Huron. That is where you can find more lake trout and walleyes, but also whitefish, Atlantic and pink salmon, and steelhead. Illinois, a sharp knife, and your fishing rod ­-- what else could you need?

New to ice fishing? Find out where to begin and other details here!

For Ice Fishing

Ice fishing is best done in Minnesota. The Upper Red Lake is considered the largest inland lake in the state. It is also the best spot for catching walleye. What might surprise you is that this lake had been almost fished to depletion in the 90s. After that, most fishers had started to discount it. But it has shown a massive recovery by regaining its fishery title. So, if you are thinking walleye and that too, in the ice fishing season, then this is the fishing hub you need to reach.            

We hope you now know where to go when the fishing muse visits you. Not looking to fish? Check out our beginner’s guide to hiking!

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