There’s no denying that Bass fishing is one of the most popular freshwater fishing pastimes in the United States, but knowing the best state for bass fishing is essential to catch a big Bass! 

Did you know that the biggest Largemouth Bass caught in the USA was 22 pounds 4 ounces, and landed by George Perry on June 2nd, 1932, on Lake Montgomery. While catching a Bass like that is the fish of a lifetime, there are still some monster Bass out there if you know the best Bass fishing states and where to target them.

It’s these kinds of Largemouth Bass that have caused anglers across the United States to go in search of the best bass fishing in the US, and we’re here to help you find them, too! But we can’t talk about Bass without mentioning Smallmouth Bass, Largemouth Bass, and Striped Bass. So, if you love Bass fishing, you’ve come to the right place.

Because of the diverse range of states in the US that support Bass, you can often find them in lakes and ponds, but their appearance and size are quite diverse depending on where they live. 

In the following article on the best state for bass fishing, we’ll focus on:

Even if you’re lucky enough to find yourself fishing in the best Bass fishing states, you’ll still need some essential information such as when is the best time to go bass fishing. Luckily, the Fishbox App has got you covered! This premium Fishing Forecasting App will give you essential information that will allow you to identify the best time to hit the water and increase your chances of catching a giant Largemouth Bass.

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Overview of Top Bass Fishing States

In this section, we’re going to briefly look at the Top 10 Bass Fishing States in the US. Further down in the article, we’ll take a closer look at the top 3 Bass fishing states and why they’re so popular with American Bass anglers.

  1. Michigan – Michigan constantly tops the best fishing states in the US, and it’s done it again as the number one state for Bass fishing.
  2. Alabama – Alabama is number two on our list, and professional Bass anglers agree, judging by how many Professional Bass Tournaments are held here annually.
  3. Texas – If you’re chasing a big Largemouth Bass, then Texas is the place to do it!
  4. Florida – Another state that hosts several Professional Bass Tournaments, Florida has a variety of Bass fishing hot spots.
  5. California – Boasting several recent 20-pound bass catches, California is home to some of the country’s biggest Bass species.
  6. Minnesota – Known as ‘The Land of 10,000 Lakes,’ Minnesota has earned its place on the best Bass fishing states list.
  7. New York – Lurking in Upstate New York are some of the best Bass fishing spots in America, and low angler pressure makes this an ideal destination for a Bass fishing trip.
  8. Pennsylvania – While Pennsylvania isn’t the most accessible Bass fishing you’ll find in the United States, for experienced Bass anglers, it offers a treasure trove of opportunities.
  9. Wisconsin – Thanks to a strong focus on quality fishing regulations, Wisconsin has become a Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass paradise.
  10. Tennessee – The streams and rivers of Tennessee are often overlooked by Smallmouth Bass anglers but believe us when we tell you it’s definitely worth a fishing trip.

Expert Opinion on the Best State for Bass Fishing

Pierce Latta

16 years fishing experience

“While I have never had the opportunity to fish for bass in any of the top 3 states for bass fishing in the country (Michigan, Alabama, and Texas), I still believe I can offer some valuable insight into planning your next bass fishing trip. The first thing I would say is to not read too much into how your state or the state you’re planning to visit stacks up against other states for bass fishing. Yes, it is definitely important to know where you’re going, but you certainly don’t want to think too high or too low of a state before actually stepping into it yourself. Setting expectations, from my own experience, is the quickest way to ruin a day of fishing. If you set your expectations too high, then often you will be disappointed because fishing didn’t live up to the hype. If you set your expectations too low, then you could potentially feel less motivated to fish and stick it out for the big one. All this being said, just don’t go in with any expectations, it will make the result, whatever it may be, more manageable and you will be able to have more fun on the water. The second piece of advice I would heavily recommend is to find the locals. In my experience, the best places to start are either tackle stores or gas stations near a body of water. Oftentimes, the workers will have a surprising bit of knowledge about the area and can provide extremely helpful details like what the fishing has been like lately or baits that have been highly productive. So even if you think you’re the best fisherman that has ever walked on this planet, it is ALWAYS, and I mean ALWAYS, worth hearing what the locals have to say—after all—they live there and you don’t. The third and final tip I would offer to someone trying to find the best states to fish for bass fishing is to just spend time on the water. I know I say this in almost every piece of fishing advice I write but it’s genuinely true. If you don’t put in effort and time on the water to learn the state you’re fishing in, you’re failing to be the best fisherman you could be. Whether you’re going to a new state, revisiting an old one, visiting a top 3 state for bass fishing or a bottom 3 state, you must learn the water by being on the water. Reading reports and looking at predictions can only do so much for you. Nothing can ever substitute for time on the water. See what temperatures the bass seem to be more active. See what natural prey the bass are feeding on, etc. By following these three steps, you can very easily visit a “bad” state for bass fishing and still have a great day on the water. Tight lines!”

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Key Factors for Evaluating Bass Fishing States

When we were calculating the criteria to determine the best Bass fishing in the US, we looked at a variety of factors, including the species diversity, size of the Bass commonly caught in the state, how easy it was for anglers to access top Bass fishing spots, and the local regulations.

Obviously, states with a lot of water access will have a huge advantage over smaller states with less water. More water gives you more fish habitat, better access to Bass fishing locations, and less competition and pressure from other anglers. It’s why Michigan (which is covered by almost 40% water) continually tops the best fishing locations in the US.

Next, we looked at species diversity and considered which species of Bass were more abundant and the commonly caught size of those Bass.

Finally, we looked at the fishing regulations of each state and also the cost of obtaining a fishing license or permit in each state. When it comes to the best Bass fishing in America, these states should be on your ‘must visit’ list if you’re planning a destination fishing trip where you target Bass.

Understandably, there will be some great Bass fishing states that didn’t make the list. We’re 100% sure that most states have unique spots for catching big Bass. However, when ranking the best Bass fishing in the USA, we had to consider the broader angling community.

Ranking Factors We Considered:

  1. Bass Species Diversity
  2. Average Size of Bass Caught
  3. Access to Bass Fishing Locations 
  4. Local Bass Fishing Regulations
  5. Cost of Fishing Licenses 

If you would like to highlight your state or local Bass fishing spot that you think deserves a little recognition, drop the state and why it’s such a good place for Bass fishing in the comments below.

Read also: Master Bass Fishing: A Comprehensive How-To Guide for Bass Fishing

State-by-State Breakdown

We know you’re hungry to find the best states for Bass fishing, so here are the Top 3 Bass Fishing States in the US. We understand that other states will definitely have a claim to some of these spots, so if you’d like to give your state a little praise for its Bass fishing opportunities, drop a comment below!

1. Michigan Bass Fishing Locations

Michigan continually tops the list of best fishing states in the US, and now it has made the list again thanks to its access to the Great Lakes and premium Bass fishing opportunities. Michigan has lakes, rivers, ponds, and streams, all teaming with different Bass species.

Below are some of the best Bass fishing locations in Michigan:

  • Hubbard Lake – This lake is 85 feet (26 meters) and is packed full of Bass, Pike, Perch, and Musky. It’s also well-known for its crystal clear waters.
  • Coldwater Lake – Loaded with Bass, Pike, and some monster Catfish.
  • Marble Lake – Despite being shallow, Marble Lake is a target location for Largemouth Bass fishing enthusiasts traveling to Michigan.

2. Alabama Bass Fishing Locations 

Alabama is another Bass fishing destination, and it’s also home to some famous Bass Fishing Tournaments, so you know the Bass fishing will be great! Let’s take a look at some of the best Bass fishing locations in Alabama and why it ranks so high as one of the best states for Bass fishing in the US.

Below are some of the best Bass fishing locations in Alabama:

  • Guntersville Lake – This 69,000-acre lake sits squarely on the Tennessee River, and the ample cover and size mean that it is packed full of Bass with plenty of fishing opportunities.
  • Pickwick Lake – Known locally as ‘The Shoals,’ Pickwick Lake spans 43,000 acres and is well-known for both Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass.
  • Lewis Smith Lake – Located an hour’s drive north of Birmingham, Lewis Smith Lake is better suited to experienced Bass anglers.

3. Texas Bass Fishing Locations

Even the Bass are bigger in Texas! Texas is home to some beautiful and pristine lakes and rivers, all packed with Bass and other freshwater fish species. If you’re chasing a 10-pound Bass, the chances are good you’ll catch one in Texas.

Below are some of the best Bass fishing locations in Texas:

  • Lake Fork Reservoir – The locals will tell you that Lake Fork Reservoir has the best Largemouth Bass fishing in Texas, possibly the United States, and they might not be wrong. With lots of channels, cover, and standing timber, there’s plenty of Largemouth Bass lurking below the surface.
  • Lake Ray Hubbard – If you’re chasing Black Bass, then Lake Ray Hubbard is well worth a visit for any Bass angling fan.
  • Galveston Bay – Galveston Bay is the 7th biggest estuary in the United States and the largest in Texas, and its pristine estuary environment makes an ideal year-round Bass fishing location.

Other states which get an honorable mention as the best Bass fishing states in the US include:

  • California
  • Florida 
  • Georgia 
  • New York 
  • Tennessee 
  • Wisconsin
  • Pennsylvania

Tips for Planning a Bass Fishing Trip

While Bass fishing is a lot of fun, no one ever said that catching a monster Bass would be easy, even in the best Bass fishing state. So, to help improve your chances of catching a big Bass, here are our Bass Fishing Tips every Bass angler needs to know!

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Even if you’re fishing in the best Bass fishing states, you’ll still need some essential information including when is the best time to go bass fishing. Luckily, the Fishbox App has got you covered. App for fishing is a Fishing Forecasting App that will give you essential information and allow you to identify the best time to hit the water and increase your chances of catching a giant Largemouth or Smallmouth Bass.

  1. Find the Cover, Find the Bass – You need to put your lure where the Bass are, and Bass like lying in wait undercover, ready to ambush smaller fish. There are various forms of cover, including docks, trees, rocks, and much more. Find the cover, then cast your lure into it to discover where the Bass are lurking.
  2. Match the Hatch – While casting to where the fish are is essential, you need to match the hatch when choosing your lures. Look at what little fish are in the area and most likely to be what the Bass are eating and make your lure selection as close to this as possible to imitate what Bass are feeding on.
  3. Be Prepared to Be Versatile – Don’t get stuck in your old Bass fishing routine. If you want to be successful in different Bass fishing locations, you need to be flexible and ready to change up your rigs and spinnerbaits when you need to.
  4. Weather and Bass – The weather conditions will have a dramatic effect on your Bass fishing. Bass loves cloudy and overcast days, and they’re more willing to leave their cover and feed. Try a spinnerbait or a chatterbait on cloudy days. However, on bright sunny days, Bass prefer their meals to come to them and often hold tight under cover, so a bottom bouncing bait, jig, or soft plastic is the play.
  5. Water Temperature – Slow-moving baits work better in cold water for Bass. When fishing in warmer water, the Bass will be more active and more likely to chase fast-moving bait, so try an aggressive retrieval technique.
  6. Wind Isn’t Always Your Enemy – While windy days make casting and fishing more difficult for us, it’s actually stimulating for Bass. It makes it harder for them to tell where boats are and also makes them more aggressive on the bite.
  7. Practice Your Knots – If you’ve lost a monster Bass to a poor knot, you’ve probably already mastered knot tying. If you haven’t, then start learning right now! Don’t lose a trophy, Bass, because you didn’t take 10 minutes to practice your knot tying.
  8. Research, Research, and Research – Don’t show up to a new spot expecting to know everything about it. The Fishbox App is a premium Fishing Forecasting App that will give you essential information to identify the best time to hit the water and increase your odds of landing a giant Bass!

The Ultimate Guide: Discovering the Best State for Bass Fishing Bliss – Conclusion

There you go! The best Bass fishing states in the US, why they’re so popular with Bass anglers, and some tips for planning your next Bass fishing trip. If you plan on going after some big monster Bass, then these are the states you should start with.

However, even if you’re traveling to the best Bass fishing state, including the best Bass fishing state in the US, every angler can do with an advantage. That’s where the Fishbox App enters the picture!

If you want to recommend any great Bass fishing locations in your state or tell us why your state should be added to the list of the best bass fishing states in the United States of America, then drop a comment below! We’d love to hear your thoughts and enjoy reading feedback from our readers.

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