Many lakes in North America have sustained fish populations due to stocking programs by county or state agencies. Native lake game fish include Black Bass, sunfish, walleye, crappie, muskie, catfish, Northern pike, white bass, yellow perch and certain trout. Other lake fish, like saltwater striped bass, have been stocked in lakes and they thrive and grow extremely well. Then there are non-game fish in lakes like the gar, drum, and carp.
Lake fish have more places to hold and feed. For example: muskie and northern pike like the tall, dense grass beds. Walleye like to hold in deeper, cooler water with lots of rocks and weeds. White bass live in schools in lakes and are constantly moving.
Here are 10 best fishing lakes in North America:
1. Sturgeon Bay in Wisconsin
Its water is clear as air and the very large smallmouth will go after nearly anything that you throw in the lake. Sturgeon Bay lake holds some of the best smallies, plus it has the best angle bass fishing waters for size and numbers of fish anywhere. You can flip or throw swimbaits, topwaters, and crankbaits on Sturgeon Bay, plus the surrounding view is peaceful and absolutely beautiful.
2. Lake Leelanau in Michigan
Lake Leelanau remains one of the excellent fishing spots for walleyes, between 15 and 28 inches. The south end of this 5,370-acre lake continually produces good catches of walleyes, year round. Walleye schools, smallmouths, and bluegills, also patrol this lake.
3. Illinois Great Lakes
Unfortunately, you can’t just name Lake Superior over Lake Ontario because you will omit the other Great Lakes, all of which are teeming with varied freshwater fish. Lake Michigan and Ontario has phenomenal salmon; Lake Superior has amazing jumbo perch and lake trout; Lake Erie has tremendous walleye, smallmouth, and steelhead fishing; and Lake Huron is also teeming with lake trout, whitefish, walleyes, steelhead, pink and Atlantic salmon.
4. Lake Whitney in Texas
Lake Whitney has a depth of 108 feet. The predominant trophy type fish species in the lake include striped/white bass; smallmouth/largemouth bass; crappie; channel; and blue/flathead catfish. Lake Whitney will also give anglers a view of sloping banks, timber lands, and limestone bluffs.
5. Grand Lake in Colorado
Grand Lake contains large, fresh brown, brook, and rainbow trout, including kokanee and mackinaw. It is one of Colorado’s deepest natural lakes. To make your catch, the lake allows canoes, rafts, and small to medium sized boats.
6. Barkley Lakes in Kentucky
Barkley Lakes carries 10 to 20 lbs. blue catfish, 9 inch bluegill, trophy sized largemouth bass, 12 inch redear sunfish, striped bass, and white bass. Lake Barkley was built in the 1960’s by the US Army Corp of Engineers, and it is connected to Kentucky Lake at the northern end.
7. Lake Kissimmee in Florida
It is one of the top bass fishing lakes in Florida, as well as black crappie. Anglers can catch any number of fish drifting minnows in its open waters, including jig fishing in and around the lily pads and the high native grasses within the area.
8. Big Bear in California
Go Fish! What other destination would there be in California except at Big Bear, which is promising a lucrative fishing season. Its traditional fishing and any of its angler tournaments, is promising vast amounts of trophy rainbow trout, bass galore, crappie, bluegill, and bullheads, plus more.
9. Lake Chaubunagungamaug in Massachusetts
Lake Chaubunagungamaug is a 1,400-acre lake in the south-central part of the state, at Webster and often the lake is referred to as Webster Lake. Present your fishing license, cast off and wait for a bite from smallmouth bass; crappie; perch; panfish; pickerel; catfish; largemouth bass; brown trout; or brook trout.
10. Lake Sakakawea in North Dakota
North Dakota is well known for its many fishing lakes. This lake is filled by the Missouri River and is filled with trophy sized walleye, northern pike, and Chinook salmon, just to name a few.