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Indiana - Missouri

The top 96 waters from coast to coast.
Photo by Field & Stream Online Editors

Indiana
State record: 14 pounds 12 ounces, Jennifer Schultz, 1991, private lake, Harrison County
Best water: Patoka Lake. "Bass tournaments there have been increasingly successful in recent years with bass over 5 pounds frequently caught."-Tom Flatt, Indiana Division of Fish and Wildlife
Contact: Patoka Lake Marina, 888-819-6916
Sleeper: Dogwood Lake. "It is largely known for its panfish and intermediate-size bass. Recent survey information indicates a substantial large bass population, however."
Contact: Glenwood Fish and Wildlife Area, 812-644-7711

Iowa
State record: 10 pounds 12 ounces, Patricia Zaerr, 5/84, Lake Fisher
Best water: Three Mile Lake. "It's a fairly new lake-high bass population, and good numbers of large ones."-Martin Konrad, Iowa Department of Natural Resources
Contact: Union County Conservation Board, 641-782-1755
Sleeper: Big Creek Lake. "It had a gizzard shad problem, which has been corrected. The lake is starting to show very positive results."
Contact: Big Creek
Lake State Park, 515-984-6473

Kansas
State record: 11 pounds 12 ounces, Kenneth M. Bingham, 3/20/77, farm pond, Jefferson County
Best water: Sebelius Reservoir. "In the late 1980s it was extremely low. We started a wet weather pattern, and it filled back up and the population has exploded."-Mike Miller, editor, Kansas Wildlife & Parks magazine
Contact: Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, 785-877-2953; www.kdwp.state.ks.us/pmforum/prairiedog.html
Sleeper: La Cygne Lake. "It's a cooling lake for an electric power plant. It has good growing conditions, doesn't get a lot of pressure, but produces some good-size fish."
Contact: Linn County Park, 913-757-6633; www.lasr.net/lasr/kansas/lacygne/linncopark.html

Kentucky
State record: 13 pounds 10.4 ounces, Dale Wilson, 4/14/84, Wood Creek Lake
Best water: Barkley-Kentucky Lakes. "They've shown a lot of improvement in the last couple of years. The number of fish over 15 inches has jumped up quite a bit."-Jeff Ross, black bass research biologist, Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources
Contact: Big Bear Resort and Marina, 270-354-6414
Sleeper: Kincaid Lake. "From our samplings, we get the most fish greater than 20 inches from that lake. They're hard to catch, but they're in there-and a lot of them."
Contact: Kincaid Lake State Park, 859- 654-3531

Louisiana
State record: 15 pounds 15.52 ounces, Greg Wiggins, 2/94, Caney Lake
Best water: Caney Lake. "It's produced most of the top 10 bass in the state. It has good balance and is still a relatively new lake."-Gary Tilyou, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
Contact: Caney Lake Marina, 318-249-2665
Sleeper: John Kelley¿¿¿Grand Bayou Reservoir. "It's newer than Caney, and usually you get that phenomenon [BRACKET "of big bass"] in a new lake. It hasn't gotten hot yet, but it should be real soon."
Contact: Nichols Sporting Goods, 318-932-5278

Maine
State record: 11 pounds 10 ounces, Robert Camp, 1968, Moose Pond
Best water: Moose Pond. "It produces a lot of nice bass, and there are three different basins to the lake, so that an angler has an option of fishing different types of habitat."-John Boland, director of fisheries operations, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife
Contact: Mike's Bait and Tackle Shop (Bridgton), 207-647-3454
Sleeper: Lake Arrowhead, Waterboro. "Lots of sunken islands, vegetation, nice bass water; you could fish it all day and not see a fraction of the lake."
Contact: Beadle's Bait, Tackle and Archery (Shapleigh), 207-636-3590
Maryland
State record: 11 pounds 2 ounces, Rodney Cockrell, 10/4/83, farm pond, Calvert County
Best water: Mattawoman Creek, Potomac River. "There is plenty of forage in the tidal system and great habitat."-Steve Early, assistant director for inland fisheries management, Maryland Department of Natural Resources
Contact: Sweden Point Marina, 301-743-7613
Sleeper: North Branch Potomac River from Keyser to Cumberland. "This is a new management area that has benefited greatly from water quality improvements in the last five to 10 years. There are lots of fish and nice size, but access is limited to by raft, kayak, or canoe."
Contact: Fisheries Service, MDNR, 410-260-8267

Massachusetts
State record: 15 pounds 8 ounces, Walter Bolonis, 1975, Sampson's Pond
Best water: Quabbin Reservoir. "It's 28,000 acres, and some huge bass come out of it. We were sampling with gill nets, and there were some real big fish-especially in northern end of the reservoir."-Todd Richards, Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife
Contact: Quabbin Visitor Center, 413-323-7221; www.centralquabbinarea.org/quabbin
Sleeper: Peters Pond, Sandwich. "It's well known for trout fishing, but its little-known bass fishery is great."
Contact: Richard Hartley, MDFW, richard.hartley@state.ma.us

Michigan
State record: 11 pounds 15 ounces (tie): William Maloney, 1934, Big Pond Island Lake; Jack Rorex, 1959, Alcona Dam Pond
Best water: Lake St. Clair. "You can catch a lot of bass in the 3- to 5-pound range with some 5-plusses."-Dennis Beltz, president, Michigan BASS Federation
Contact: D&R Sports Center, 269-372-2277
Sleeper: Muskegon Lake. "You take a look at the lake, and it's very industrialized around there, with active shipping. But the lake has got really good habitat for largemouths, and people seldom fish it for them."
Contact: Michigan Department of Natural Resources, 517-373-6762

Minnesota
State record: 8 pounds 12.75 ounces, Joseph Johanns, 10/22/94, Tetonka Lake
Best water: Lake Minnetonka. "It's really difficult to name just one because there are so many smaller water bodies that have really good bass fishing. But Minnetonka has 14,000 acres, and it does produce a lot of big largemouths."-Al Stevens, lake and streams coordinator, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
Contact: Lake Minnetonka Guides, 612-860-3052
Sleeper: Lower Mississippi River, from Hastings south. "There is a whole system of impoundments and backwater areas, and the largemouth population has done well for a very long time."
Contact: MDNR District Office, 651-345-3365

Mississippi
State record: 18 pounds 2.4 ounces, Anthony Denny, 12/31/92, Natchez State Park Lake
Best water: Natchez State Park Lake. "It's produced the last two state records and still gives up 10-pounders every year."-Bubba Hubbard, assistant chief of fisheries, Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks
Contact: Natchez State Park, 601-442-2658
Sleeper: Arkabutla Reservoir. "Traditionally, it has not been a good bass fishing lake, but there have been some changes in water clarity, the fish population has changed, and the bass population is looking really good, with a high growth rate."
Contact: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 662-562-6261

Missouri
State record: 13 pounds 14 ounces, Marvin Bushong, 4/1/61, Bull Shoals Lake
Best water: Table Rock Lake. "It has a largemouth bass population with excellent size structure every year. The management biologist credits good water quality and fast bass growth rates."-Mike Colvin, Division of Fisheries, Missouri Department of Conservation
Contact: Bill Anderson, MDC biologist, 417-895-6881, ext. 1061; william.anderson@mdc.mo.gov
Sleeper: Hazel Creek Lake. "It serves as a municipal water supply for Kirksville and has a largemouth bass population with a high percentage of fish over 18 inches long. The lake has an 18-inch minimum-length limit."
Contact: Mike Anderson, MDC biologist, 660-785-2420; mike.e.anderson@mdc.mo.gov

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