Best Bass Fishing in New York

Angler with a large bass caught near reeds, on a lake in New York.
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When it comes to the best bass fishing in New York, anglers are treated to an abundance of prime fishing locations throughout the state. From the tranquil waters of Saratoga Lake to the breathtaking beauty of the Thousand Islands Region, New York offers a diverse array of bass fishing opportunities that cater to both seasoned anglers and beginners. In this guide, we’ll embark on a journey to explore the top bass fishing destinations in the Empire State, unveiling the rich tapestry of experiences awaiting those who search for the ultimate bass catch.



Lake Champlain

Lake Champlain stands as a shining gem among North America’s freshwater destinations. Straddling the borders of New York, Vermont, and Quebec, this majestic lake is not only one of the largest in the region but also a cherished haven for outdoor enthusiasts, particularly those passionate about bass fishing. Lake Champlain’s pristine waters, surrounded by the rugged beauty of the Adirondack and Green Mountains, beckon anglers from far and wide.

Reasons to Bass Fish in Lake Champlain:

  • Trophy Fish: Lake Champlain is renowned for producing trophy-sized bass, both largemouth and smallmouth.
  • Scenic Beauty: The lake’s stunning natural beauty adds while bass fishing, surrounded by the picturesque Adirondack Mountains and Green Mountains.
  • Biodiversity: Lake Champlain is home to a rich diversity of fish species, providing an exciting challenge for anglers.
  • Fishing Events: The lake hosts various bass tournaments and fishing events throughout the year, attracting avid anglers from all over.
  • Year Round Fishing: Lake Champlain offers year-round bass fishing opportunities, with different techniques suitable for each season.

Recommended Gear: Terminal Tackle, Comfortable Clothing, Hooks, Lures, Tackle Box, Fishing Net, Sunscreen


Lake Erie

Stretching across four U.S. states—New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan—and two Canadian provinces—Ontario and Quebec—Lake Erie reigns as one of the Great Lakes of North America and a true angler’s paradise. With its vast expanse of freshwater, Lake Erie offers an unparalleled bass fishing experience that attracts both seasoned anglers and newcomers alike.

Reasons to Bass Fish in Lake Erie:

  • Abundance of Smallmouth Bass: Lake Erie is renowned for its exceptional smallmouth bass fishery, offering trophy-sized smallmouth bass.
  • Largemouth Bass Fishing: In addition to smallmouth bass, Lake Erie also provides excellent fishing for largemouth bass, making it suitable for anglers seeking both species.
  • Variety of Techniques: Anglers can employ various techniques, such as drop-shotting, crankbait fishing, and topwater fishing, to target bass in different conditions and seasons.
  • Scenic Beauty: The lake boasts picturesque views and sunsets, enhancing the overall fishing experience with its natural beauty.
  • Fishing Events: Lake Erie hosts numerous bass fishing tournaments and competitions, attracting anglers from all over.

Recommended Gear: Fishing Net, Fishing Line, Lures, Sun Hat, Tackle Box, Fishing Pliers, Dry Bag


Oneida Lake

Stretching over 20 miles in length and covering nearly 80 square miles, Oneida Lake holds the distinction of being the largest lake entirely within New York’s borders. Its relatively shallow waters and diverse habitat make it a haven for various fish species, most notably bass. Largemouth and smallmouth bass thrive in these waters, drawing anglers from far and wide in pursuit of trophy-sized catches.

Reasons to Bass Fish in Oneida Lake:

  • Large Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass Populations: Oneida Lake is home to both largemouth and smallmouth bass, providing anglers with opportunity.
  • Consistent Bass Fishing: The lake offers consistent bass fishing year-round, with excellent opportunities in both the warmer months and during the winter.
  • Easy Accessibility: Oneida Lake is easily accessible, with many public boat ramps and fishing piers, making it a convenient destination for anglers.
  • Scenic Surroundings: The lake is surrounded by beautiful scenery, including wetlands, marshes, and parks, creating a picturesque backdrop.
  • Fishing Events and Tournaments: Oneida Lake hosts various bass fishing tournaments and events throughout the year.

Recommended Gear: Fishing Rod, Fishing Reels, Lures, Fishing Line, Tackle Box, Fishing Net, Polarized Sunglasses


St. Lawrence River

The St. Lawrence River boasts a unique blend of characteristics that make it a remarkable destination for both adventure seekers and nature enthusiasts. Its clear waters wind through diverse landscapes, from pristine wilderness areas and serene islands to bustling cities and historic sites, creating a dynamic tapestry of experiences along its banks.

Reasons to Bass Fish in St. Lawrence River:

  • World Class Smallmouth Bass: The St. Lawrence River is renowned for its world-class smallmouth bass fishing.
  • Stunning Natural Beauty: The river is surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty, with picturesque landscapes, clear waters, and scenic views of the Thousand Islands region.
  • Variety of Techniques: Whether you prefer finesse fishing, topwater action, or deepwater drop-shotting, the St. Lawrence River offers many techniques.
  • Abundant Wildlife: While bass fishing, you can also encounter a variety of other wildlife, including eagles, herons, and even the occasional muskie.
  • Fishing Community: The St. Lawrence River has a vibrant fishing community, hosting tournaments and events that draw anglers from all over.

Recommended Gear: Fishing Reel, Sunscreen, Fishing Line, Fishing Pliers, Sunglasses, Fishing Net, Sunscreen


Chautauqua Lake

Chautauqua Lake stands as a sparkling gem among the state’s picturesque water bodies. With its tranquil waters, captivating landscapes, and rich biodiversity, this pristine lake offers a unique blend of natural beauty and outdoor recreation that has captivated the hearts of residents and visitors alike for generations. Stretching over 13,000 acres, Chautauqua Lake is a true haven for anglers, nature enthusiasts, and those seeking respite from the hustle and bustle.

Reasons to Bass Fish in Chautauqua Lake:

  • Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass Variety: Chautauqua Lake offers both largemouth and smallmouth bass fishing opportunities, giving anglers the chance to target different bass species in one location.
  • Size and Numbers: The lake is known for producing both sizeable and numerous bass, providing the potential for both trophy catches.
  • Beautiful Scenery: Surrounded by scenic landscapes and charming lakeside towns, Chautauqua Lake offers a serene and picturesque setting for anglers.
  • Four Season Fishing: With different techniques suitable for various seasons, Chautauqua Lake provides year-round bass fishing opportunities.
  • Community and Events: The lake has a thriving fishing community that organizes tournaments and events, offering opportunities for camaraderie and competition.

Recommended Gear: Sunglasses, Fishing Pliers, Lures, Fishing Line, Tackle Box, Sunscreen, Terminal Tackle


Thousand Islands Region

Comprising a vast archipelago of islands, rocky outcrops, and serene waters, this unique and captivating destination has long been a cherished haven for those seeking a harmonious blend of natural beauty and outdoor adventure. The Thousand Islands Region is renowned for its stunning landscapes and pristine waterways. With over 1,800 islands dotting the river, each offering its own unique charm, the region is a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts.

Reasons to Bass Fish in Thousand Islands Region:

  • Scenic Beauty: The Thousand Islands Region is renowned for its stunning natural beauty. With its picturesque islands, clear waters, and lush landscapes.
  • Abundance of Smallmouth Bass: The region is known for its exceptional smallmouth bass fishery. Anglers can target these hard-fighting fish easily.
  • Variety of Waterways: The Thousand Islands offer a diverse range of fishing environments, from quiet backwaters to fast-flowing channels.
  • Unique Fishing Experience: Fishing in the Thousand Islands Region offers a unique experience as you navigate through the intricate maze of islands and explore secluded coves.
  • Recreational Activities: Beyond fishing, the region offers opportunities for boating, wildlife watching, and exploring historic sites.

Recommended Gear: Fishing Pliers, Fishing Reel, Sunscreen, Swivels, Fishing Net, Tackle Box, Comfortable Clothing


Cayuga Lake

Amidst the picturesque Finger Lakes region of upstate New York, Cayuga Lake stands as a serene and captivating jewel among the state’s renowned waterways. Stretching over 38 miles in length and covering approximately 66 square miles, it ranks as one of the largest and deepest of the Finger Lakes, boasting a rich tapestry of natural beauty.

Reasons to Bass Fish in Cayuga Lake:

  • Outstanding Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass Fishing: Cayuga Lake offers excellent opportunities to catch both largemouth and smallmouth bass.
  • Consistent Fishing Year-Round: Whether you prefer spring, summer, fall, or even winter bass fishing, Cayuga Lake provides year-round opportunities.
  • Scenic Surroundings: Surrounded by the Finger Lakes region’s picturesque landscapes, Cayuga Lake offers stunning views and serene waters.
  • Variety of Fishing Techniques: Anglers can employ various fishing techniques, such as drop-shotting, crankbait fishing, and finesse tactics.
  • Fishing Events and Community: Cayuga Lake has an active fishing community, hosting tournaments and events that allow anglers to connect.

Recommended Gear: Sunglasses, Fishing Pliers, Lures, Fishing Line, Tackle Box, Sunscreen, Terminal Tackle


Lake Ontario

Stretching over 7,300 square miles, Lake Ontario is the 14th largest lake in the world, and its crystal-clear waters are surrounded by a diverse landscape of rocky shorelines, sandy beaches, and lush forests. It’s not only a source of breathtaking scenery but also a thriving ecosystem that supports an array of fish species, making it a renowned destination for anglers.

Reasons to Bass Fish in Lake Ontario:

  • Trophy Smallmouth Bass: Lake Ontario is renowned for its trophy-sized smallmouth bass, making it a prime destination for anglers seeking large basses.
  • Largemouth Bass Fishing: In addition to smallmouth bass, the lake offers excellent largemouth bass fishing opportunities, providing anglers with multiple species.
  • Scenic Beauty: The lake’s vast expanse and breathtaking shoreline offer stunning views and a serene setting for bass fishing, with the backdrop of the Great Lakes region’s natural beauty.
  • Variety of Techniques: Lake Ontario’s diverse fishing environments allow anglers to employ a variety of techniques.
  • Fishing Community: The lake boasts an active fishing community, with various tournaments and events held throughout the year.

Recommended Gear: Fishing Pliers, Fishing Reel, Sunscreen, Swivels, Fishing Net, Tackle Box, Comfortable Clothing


Saratoga Lake

Saratoga Lake’s allure is undeniable, with its peaceful waters and scenic surroundings providing a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. It serves as a refreshing respite for those seeking solace in nature’s embrace, all while offering an array of recreational opportunities, including boating, swimming, and, of course, fishing.

Reasons to Bass Fish in Saratoga Lake:

  • Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass Variety: Saratoga Lake offers both largemouth and smallmouth bass fishing opportunities.
  • Serene and Scenic Setting: The lake is nestled amid the picturesque landscapes of upstate New York, offering a tranquil and beautiful backdrop for a day of bass fishing.
  • Accessible Launch Points: Saratoga Lake features multiple public access points, including boat ramps and fishing piers.
  • Year Round Fishing: Anglers can enjoy bass fishing in Saratoga Lake year-round, with different techniques suitable for each season.
  • Community and Local Events: The lake has a vibrant fishing community that often organizes local tournaments and fishing events.

Recommended Gear: Fishing Rod, Fishing Reels, Lures, Fishing Line, Tackle Box, Fishing Net, Polarized Sunglasses


Great Sacandaga Lake

Amidst the pristine wilderness of the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York, Great Sacandaga Lake stands as a true jewel among the region’s many natural wonders. Covering over 42 square miles and encompassing more than 125 miles of shoreline, this vast reservoir offers a serene and captivating blend of natural beauty, outdoor recreation, and a close-knit community.

Reasons to Bass Fish in Great Sacandaga Lake:

  • Abundance of Bass: Great Sacandaga Lake is known for its abundant bass population, providing anglers with ample opportunities.
  • Serene Natural Beauty: Surrounded by the Adirondack Mountains, the lake offers breathtaking scenery and a tranquil atmosphere, enhancing the overall experience.
  • Variety of Fishing Techniques: Anglers can employ various techniques, such as topwater fishing, drop-shotting, and finesse tactics, to target bass in different parts of the lake.
  • Year Round Fishing: Great Sacandaga Lake is suitable for year-round bass fishing, with different seasons offering unique challenges and rewards for anglers.
  • Community and Events: The lake has an active fishing community that often hosts local fishing tournaments and events, fostering a sense of camaraderie.

Recommended Gear: Terminal Tackle, Comfortable Clothing, Hooks, Lures, Tackle Box, Fishing Net, Sunscreen


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