Pennsylvania - Wyoming

The top 96 waters from coast to coast.

Field & Stream Online Editors

Pennsylvania
State record: 11 pounds 3 ounces, Donald Shade, 1983, Birch Run Reservoir
Best water: Lake Arthur. "It's a reservoir within the glaciated portion of Pennsylvania and tends to be very productive. It's within our big bass special regulations program, including a minimum size of 15 inches. It has good forage, and bass grow very well."-Bob Lorantas, warmwater unit leader, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission
Contact: Moraine State Park, 724-368-8811
Sleeper: Delaware Estuary, Philadelphia. "It's in the shadow of Philadelphia and not typically a destination for anglers getting away from it all, but the improvement in water quality in the estuary has been great."
Contact: Brinkman's Bait and Tackle, 215-632-0674

Rhode Island
State record: 10 pounds 6 ounces, Nick Finamore, 5/23/91, Carbuncle Lake
Best water: Watchaug Pond, Charleston, Burlingame campground. "We've had a stocking program the last few years, and we've caught some nice fish there." -Phil Edwards, senior fisheries biologist, Rhode Island Division of Fish and Wildlife
Contact: Burlingame State Park, 401-322-8910
Sleeper: Wilson's Reservoir. "It gets some attention, but off in the woods on the northern end is some nice, isolated fishing."
Contact: RIDFW, 401-222-6800

South Carolina
State record: 16 pounds 2 ounces (tie): P.H. Flanagan, 1949, Lake Marion; Mason Cummings, 1993, private pond, Aiken County
Best water: Lakes Marion and Moultrie. "This population has the highest growth rate and the lowest mortality rate of any of our major reservoirs. In other words, they grow faster and live longer."-Miller White, district fisheries biologist, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources
Contact: Randolph's Landing, 803-478-2152
Sleeper: Lake Greenwood. "Although Greenwood gets fairly heavy fishing pressure from local fishermen, it's not widely acclaimed and doesn't attract fishermen from out of the area. During our spring sampling, we get consistently high catch rates of bass in robust condition."
Contact: Lake Greenwood State Recreation Area, 864-543-3535

South Dakota
State record: 9 pounds 3 ounces, Richard Viereck, 11/14/99, gravel pit, Lincoln County
Best water: Roy Lake. "There is a high number of adult bass, large fish, and we are managing it with an 18-inch minimum."-Brian Blackwell, fisheries biologist, South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks
Contact: Roy Lake State Park, 605-448-5701
Sleeper: Lake Louise. "It's out on its own in the middle of the state, not a large water body."
Contact: Lake Louise Recreation Area, 605-853-2533

Tennessee
State record: 14 pounds 8 ounces, angler unknown, 10/17/54, Sugar Creek
Best water: Reelfoot Lake. "In terms of larger public water, it has a real stable bass population because the water level doesn't fluctuate much, and the habitat has good cover for the big fish." -Tim Churchill, statewide reservoir coordinator, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency
Contact: Reelfoot Lake State Park, 731-253-7756
Sleeper: Fort Loudon Reservoir. "This is next to Oak River, and it's seldom fished because of the contamination warnings. But the fishing is good."
Contact: TWRA, 423-587-7037

Texas
State record: 18 pounds 2.88 ounces, Barry St. Clair, 1/24/92, Lake Fork
Best water: Lake Fork. "It still produces more big bass than any lake in the state. It produced 1,570 over 7 pounds last year, and about 150 over 10 pounds."-Bill Province, chief of research and management, Texas Parks and Wildlife
Contact: Fisherman's One Stop, 903-383-7121
Sleeper: Sam Rayburn Reservoir. "The water level came up a few years ago, and the population has been increasing. A real strong ar class is coming on."
Contact: TPW, 409-384-9572

Utah
State record: 10 pounds 2 ounces, Sam Lamanna, 1974, Lake Powell
Best water: Quail Creek Reservoir. "We have it managed as a trophy fishery, with a slot limit. It has a long growing season and a lower elevation than most of our lakes."-Don Archer, special project coordinator, Aquatics Section, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources
Contact: Quail Creek State Park, 435-879-2378
Sleeper: Sand Hollow Reservoir. "It's new, and it's managed primarily for bass and bluegills."
Contact: Sand Hollow State Park, 435-879-2378

Vermont
State record: 10 pounds 4 ounces, Tony Gale, 1988, Lake Dunmore
Best water: Lake Champlain. "It's just a huge lake with an incredible diversity of habitats, and pressure doesn't really affect the fishing. It has amazing numbers of trophy bass." -Chet Mackenzie, district fisheries biologist, Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife
Contact: North Country Bait and Tackle, 802-868-7843
Sleeper: Lake Hortonia. "There are better bass lakes, but they get more pressure."
Contact: VDFW, 802-483-2172

Virginia
State record: 16 pounds 4 ounces, Richard Tate, 4/16/85, Connor Lake
Best water: Briery Creek Lake, Farmville. "It's producing trophies pretty consistently. We built it in the mid-1980s, and it's been designed and managed specifically for bass fishing."
Contact: Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, 434-392-9645; www.dgif.state.va.us/fishing
Sleeper: Western Branch Reservoir, Suffolk. "This is one of a number of water-supply reservoirs, and it can provide great largemouths."
Contact: Norfolk Department of Utilities, 757-441-5678

Washington
State record: 11 pounds 9 ounces, Carl Pruitt, 4/9/77, Banks Lake
Best water: Lake Spokane (Long Lake). "A good forage supply combined with a lower-density bass population makes for good growth rates and still provides fair catch rates."-Steve Jackson, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
Contact: WDFW, 320-902-2821
Sleeper: Lake Washington. "It has quality bass angling right in the center of Seattle."
Contact: WDFW, 425-775-1311

West Virginia
State record: 9 pounds 9.92 ounces, Eli Gain, 2001, Dog Run Lake
Best water: Stonewall Jackson Lake. "It's the newest of Corps lakes, so we're still in the early years of a reservoir, when typically you have very good fishing."-Bret Preston, assistant chief, warmwater fisheries, West Virginia Division of Natural Resources
Contact: Stonewall Jackson State Park Marina, 304-269-7400
Sleeper: Sleepy Creek Lake. "This small impoundment (205 acres) does very well, but it doesn't have special regulations."
Contact: WVDNR, District II, 304-822-3551

Wisconsin
State record: 11 pounds 3 ounces, Robert Miklowski, 10/12/40, Ripley Lake
Best water: Madison Chain of Lakes. "It consistently produces big fish, because it's in the southern part of the state, which is more productive for big bass." -Patrick Schmalz, warmwater lakes fisheries biologist, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Contact: D&S; Bait, Tackle and Archery, 608-241-4225
Sleeper: Lake Geneva. "It's more known for smallmouths but actually has a really nice population of largemouths. "
Contact: The Pier, 262-348-9400

** Wyoming**
State record: 7 pounds 14 ounces, Dustin Shorma, 1992, private pond, Sheridan County
Best water: Keyhole Reservoir. "Several years of good water conditions have improved the reproduction and growth potential for bass. There is a wide diversity of habitat and forage species to challenge the angler." -Bob McDowell, Wyoming Game and Fish Department
Contact: WGFD, 307-672-7418
Sleeper: "None. Keyhole is the best. Most of our lakes are too cold."GFD, 307-672-7418
Sleeper: "None. Keyhole is the best. Most of our lakes are too cold."