NOTE: Anyone who says he or she can tell you the best bass-fishing lakes in
the United States only can choose those lakes based on personal knowledge. However,
the outdoorsmen interviewed this week fish all over the nation and have the opportunities
to sample some of the best bass fishing this country has to offer. They have emphasized
that they don't know the best lakes in the nation to bass fish but will share
the lakes where they catch the most and the biggest bass. Kevin VanDam of Kalamazoo,
Michigan, BASS Master Classic winner and one of the hosts on Bass Pro Shops' Outdoor
World, enjoys fishing at home and away.
ST. CLAIR I
like to fish Lake St. Clair, a shallow lake with lots of vegetation, located just
outside of Detroit, Michigan, because of its large numbers of very big smallmouth.
Although the lake also has a good population of largemouth bass, the lake has
built its reputation on its large number of smallmouth bass.
At Lake St. Clair, you can catch bass in fairly shallow water. The tube jig
will produce, and the Carolina-rigged worm remains one of my favorites. But if
I'm fishing for numbers of 3- to 5-pound bass, I'll fish with a 1/2-ounce tandem
willow-leaf blade Strike King Premier spinner bait with a shad-color skirt, since
L-Ys are the dominant prey species for the big bass there. This spinner bait will
pull bass swimming 12- to 15-feet deep up to the surface.
You'll find the most productive bass fishing at Lake St. Clair in the fall.
The same spinner bait you've used in the summer still dominates as the best lure
for catching big bass. The top-water action also will start heating up in the
Forget fishing. The lake is covered with ice.
Anglers can catch bass the easiest at Lake St. Clair in the spring. Because the
bass spawn then, you may take and release 100 bass a day here. I like to use the
Kevin VanDam Pro Model Strike King Two Tube Jig. Lipless crankbaits, spinner baits
and jerkbaits also will produce numbers of bass. Look for the bass that feed aggressively
on shallow-water flats.