Once again Lake Champlain has received another world-class fishing designation. World Fishing Network, a renowned fishing media outlet, has ranked Lake Champlain as one of North America’s seven best smallmouth bass lakes.
First reported on WFN’s website, the ranking,describes Lake Champlain as “perhaps the best lake in all of North America for both quality largemouth and smallmouth bass.”
“This reinforces what Vermonters have known for years, that Lake Champlain has some of the best bass fishing anywhere, Not only does the big lake have some of the best fishing, it also offers some of the most beautiful scenery anywhere, especially at this time of year.” ~ Louis Porter Vermont Fish & Wildlife Commissioner.
Why is Lake Champlain a Top Smallmouth Fishery?
Smallmouth bass can be found throughout the 120-mile lake and have thrived in Lake Champlain’s fertile waters where they have easy access to prime habitat and a large population of forage foods. The rocky bottom composition of Lake Champlain and its healthy populations of yellow perch and crayfish create optimal conditions for smallmouth bass to flourish.
Vermont fisheries biologist Shawn Good, who manages bass populations at the lake’s southern end, is also an avid bass angler, and he agrees with WFN’s assessment.
“The bass population data I’ve collected over the years through electrofishing surveys clearly indicates that bass are abundant, healthy and thriving, Champlain is a true gem, and it’s important to take note that bass fishing is only one of the many world-class fishing opportunities available in the lake. With more than 90 species of fish present, probably no other lake in the country offers so many different species to target.” ~ Shawn Good,Vermont fisheries biologist.
The full report continues, “The combined fishery makes Champlain a popular destination for the biggest tournament circuits in the U.S., like B.A.S.S. and FLW. Though anglers can try and go for broke and chase monster largemouths, for the most consistent results, finding smallmouth bass schools along the northern part of the lake is the way to go, especially on the Vermont side. Like with Lake Erie, fall is the best time for smallmouth on Champlain, as bass follow the baitfish into the shallows as the water cools.”
Accomplished professional tournament angler Kevin VanDam always looks forward to fishing Lake Champlain.
“What makes Lake Champlain unique is that you can catch fish – both smallmouth bass and largemouth bass alike – just about any way you want to. It’s an amazing fishery with diverse habitat throughout and large, healthy populations of many species of fish. Whether you’re an avid tournament angler or recreational fisherman, you’ll want to experience Lake Champlain fishing. It’s simply that good.” ~ tournament angler, Kevin VanDam
Other Top Smallmouth Fishing Waters
The other six top smallmouth fisheries according to the WFN article are: Lake Erie (New York, Ontario, Pennsylvania & Ohio) Lake Simcoe (Ontario), Lake St. Clair (Michigan & Ontario), Dale Hollow Lake (Tennessee & Kentucky), Grand Traverse Bay (Michigan), and Sturgeon Bay (Wisconsin). Honorable mentions were given to: Bay de Noc (Michigan),Pickwick Lake (Alabama & Tennessee), Candlewood Lake (Connecticut), Rainy Lake (Ontario), Lake of the Woods (Minnesota & Ontario), Kentucky Lake (Kentucky & Tennessee) and St. Lawrence River (New York, Quebec & Ontario).
To purchase a Vermont fishing license or to find out more about fishing opportunities in Vermont, visit www.vtfishandwildlife.com.