Top 5 Best Bass Lakes in the South

June 23, 2020

Freshwater anglers from the South love fishing for bass. Below the Mason-Dixon line, it’s practically taught to little boy and girl anglers from the time they can hold a rod. Any public body of water is fair game for casting a line. We’re talking backyard creeks and rivers found throughout the south. It’s not hard to find a fishing hole in the South.

But if you’re wanting the Top 5 Best Bass Fishing Lakes in the South, well we’ve got you covered. And, for argument’s sake, we’ll take the Encyclopedia Britannica’s definition of the United States “South” – which includes states as far west as Texas and as far north as Virginia. There are thousands of lakes within this region, so narrowing it down to the Top 5 took some time and effort. There are plenty of qualifiers, but to us, these are the lakes that are best for big largemouth bass and good numbers that represent the entire Southern region.

Let’s take a look, in no particular order:

Lake Murray, South Carolina

Near the Palmetto’s State capital of Columbia is Lake Murray. This lake is a favorite location for tournaments because of the healthy fish population. Largemouth bass can grow huge here, as shown by last year’s 18-pound catch by a local teen proves. The lake is 41 miles long, 14 miles wide, and has over 500 miles of shoreline. There are fish attractors throughout the lake that are good places to start your excursion. Other species found here include striped bass, white bass, white perch, crappie, and catfish. If you’re not near Columbia or Lake Murray, try these other top producing fisheries in South Carolina.

Lake George, Florida

Florida is a state blessed with all kinds of fishing opportunities. And freshwater fishing for largemouth bass is no exception. There’s practically lakes upon lakes throughout the Sunshine State. In some cases there are Chains of Lakes, which are prevalent throughout Central Florida, where the lakes are connected by small channels. Lake George is similar. Although instead of small canals connecting it to a nearby system, it has the St. John’s River. It’s because of this unique topography that gives Lake George some of the best largemouth bass fisheries in the state. Lake George is 11 miles long, 6 miles wide, and covers 46,000 acres. While it’s a favorite for bass anglers, crappie, striped bass, and catfish are also regularly caught here. For other top producing bass lakes in Florida, check out this recent blog.

Lake Fork, Texas

For the best bass lake in Texas, head east of Dallas to Lake Fork. Several tournaments are held here throughout the year because the reputation has proved true: Lake Fork is a top producer of trophy-sized largemouth bass. Reeling in a ten-pound lunker is practically the norm, and the lake is the current holder of the state-record of a 18.18 pounder. Lake Fork covers over 27,000 acres and holds more than just largemouth bass. Crappie, white bass, and catfish are just a few other species found here. If you’re looking for more Texas bass lakes, here are our top bass lakes in the Lone Star state.

Lake Chickamauga, Tennessee

Lake Chickamauga is located just north of Chattanooga and is a result of the 1940 Tennessee Valley Authority impoundment of the Tennessee River. It’s quickly become one of the best places to reel in largemouth bass. In fact, in 2015 the new state record was made when an angler reeled in a 15.20 pound bass. With a surface area of more than 36,000 acres, Lake Chickamauga offers anglers plenty of places to cast. And there are plenty of fish found here to make it worth the trip. Not only will fishermen and women find largemouth bass, other species include catfish and crappie, to name just a few.

Toledo Bend Reservoir, Louisiana/Texas

This top bass lake is just too good for one state to contain. The residents of Texas and Louisiana both enjoy access to the amazing fishery of Toledo Bend Reservoir. As long as you have a license from whichever state you launch, you’re free to fish the entire lake. The thin, long lake has several marshes along the banks that provide the perfect habitat for lunkers. This is a large lake (covering 181,600 acres), with lots of inlets spreading east and west. While largemouth bass is the most popular species targeted in Toledo Bend, other species include catfish, crappie, white bass, and striped bass.

Fishing for Largemouth Bass in the South

If you get a chance to fish one of the above lakes, take it! Although you can find ol’ bucketmouth across the South in various lakes, rivers, streams, and creeks. And they are fun to catch, when you know the tricks of reeling them in. Fish with live shiner as your bait, and you’re bound for a successful day of rods bending. If you want to really up your game, hire a local fishing guide. They’ll have all the gear and tackle, and will know the honey holes in the nearby lake. Search for a professional guide, and get ready for a great day of bass fishing!

Planning a fishing trip?

Find a Fishing Charter

Search Trips