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KENTUCKY LAKE / BARKLEY RANKED 12TH IN
TOP 100 BASS LAKES
annual list ranking the country’s best bass lakes has been released by
Bassmaster Magazine. The list appears in the May issue. Michigan’s Lake
St. Clair took the No. 1 spot, while Falcon Lake, which was last year’s
No. 1, fell to seventh.
“It is truly amazing how much a fishery can change in the span of 12
months,” said BassmasterMagazine Editor James Hall. “Most bass anglers,
including me, figured Falcon would be ranked No. 1 for the next decade.
However, the fishing there has been tough because of drought and fishing
pressure. And based on the metrics we use to create the list, then rank
the lakes, Lake St. Clair deserved the title of best bass lake in
St. Clair’s smallmouth population is legendary, but it is the emergence of
its largemouth fishery that solidified its No. 1 ranking. Elite Series pro
Jason Christie won the most recent B.A.S.S. event there with a three-day
total of 67-4. But the most astounding fact from that July tournament was
that 135 of the 147 pro anglers boated five-fish limits every day, with
more than 2 tons of bass being weighed in.
The metrics used to create the rankings included catch rate and shock data
from state wildlife agencies; a survey of B.A.S.S. Nation conservation
directors and presidents based on tournaments held across the country; and
a survey of 3,500 B.A.S.S. members across the country to detail
nontournament lakes. To finalize the rankings, Bassmaster enlisted a panel
of outdoor writers, Elite Series pros and fishing industry insiders.
“The process is as all-encompassing and data-driven as we can make it. Our
goal is to identify the hottest lakes in the country so fishermen don’t
have to worry about doing the research,” Hall said. “An angler can look at
this list and know that the lakes are very healthy, and the odds of having
a fantastic day on the water are high.”
Texas’ Sam Rayburn Reservoir took the second spot, while Clear Lake
(Calif.), Lake Guntersville (Ala.), and Lake Erie (Mich., Ohio, New York,
Pa.) landed in third through fifth, respectively.
“One of the biggest jumps was Chickamauga Lake in Tennessee,” Hall said.
“That body of water is on fire right now with 40-pound limits being
caught. It was 61st last year, and climbed to the sixth spot this year.”
Lake Okeechobee (Fla.), San Joaquin Delta (Calif.) and Toledo Bend
Reservoir (Texas) round out the Top 10. For the complete listing of lakes
and details on the fisheries, visitBassmaster.com/top100.
By the way, Kentucky and Barkley Lakes moved up four spots in this year’s
list and occupied the 12th position in the top 100 best bass lakes.