Michigan's St. Clair is the best bass lake in the USA
I’ve heard the legendary stories of the exceptional bass fishing in the southern tier of the country. Okeechobee (in Florida), Guntersville (Alabama) and Sam Rayburn Reservoir (Texas) jump out at me and I know there are dozens of others that consistently garner national acclaim.
Northern lakes long had a reputation, deserved or not, of producing smaller fish because of the shorter growing season. Bass metabolism slows when the water cools in the winter and growth is limited. The perception was that the bigger bass were found in the warm-water lakes in the south where they can grow all year long.
Subsequently, professional bass fishing was dominated in the early days by anglers hailing from south of the Mason-Dixon Line.
We Michiganders have known for years that the bass fishery in Lake St. Clair was second to none. Now the nation knows.
Bassmaster Magazine, in its May 2013 edition, crowned Lake St. Clair as the best bass lake in the country in its annual ranking of the nation’s best bass lakes. Bassmaster Magazine is the official magazine of the The Bassmaster Tournament Trail.
Michigan now boasts not only the best bass fisherman in the country (heck in the world) in Kalamazoo’s Kevin VanDam, but also the best bass lake in the country.
The reason for the distinction as the country’s best bass lake is the emergence of St. Clair’s largemouth fishery, in addition to its “legendary” smallmouth fishery. According to Bassmaster Magazine, in last summer’s Bassmaster Elite Series tournament on St. Clair, 135 of 142 teams caught five-fish limits every day of the tournament. The winning three-day total (15 fish) was 67 pounds, 4 ounces. That’s 15 fish averaging nearly 41⁄2-pounds each!
Lake Erie, including Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York waters, placed fifth on the annual list.