BASSMASTER Names Lake Murray #1 “Best Southeastern Bass Lake” & #4/100 “Best Bass Lakes 2023”

June 26, 2023

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Photo Credit: Bassmaster.com

Bassmaster has named Lake Murray #1 “Best Southeastern Bass Lake” and #4 out of 100 in their 2023 “100 Best Bass Lakes Revealed” list. The story was featured in the July/August issue of Bassmaster Magazine. “After months of gathering data on hundreds of the best lakes in the nation, the cream of the bass fisheries has risen,” said B.A.S.S. The coveted, 100 Best Bass Lakes list now in its 12th year was spawned by the question “Where do professional anglers go [fishing] when they are free for a weekend?”

“Capital City/Lake Murray Country is thrilled and honored to be named in the top 5 of best bass lakes in the United States by B.A.S.S. Lake Murray has hosted many of the top bass fishing tournaments in the competitive bass fishing scene and we hear regularly, that anglers can’t wait to come back. They love the fishery, the challenge, and those large weights,” said Miriam Atria, President & CEO of Capital City/Lake Murray Country Regional Tourism Board.

A lot of time and effort goes into compiling a list like this. B.A.S.S. says “There’s no need to jump on the Google machine and chase fishing reports down rabbit holes. We did the chasing for you … about two months’ worth. As mentioned every year in this feature, Bassmaster contacts the fisheries departments in every state to get feedback on the current state of their bass lakes. We survey the B.A.S.S. Nation presidents and conservation directors in every state to get their feedback on the best fisheries they’ve experienced in the past 12 months. Then, we dig into tournament results and fish-catch surveys from every lake mentioned, as well as some we come across independently, to create a master list. Numbers are crunched and a blue-ribbon panel of industry insiders vote on the rankings.”

1. O.H. Ivie Lake, Texas
2. St. Lawrence River (Thousand Islands), New York
3. Clear Lake, California

4. Lake Murray, South Carolina

Anglers on bass boats at Dreher Island State Park ready to fish in the Bassmaster Elite April 2023

There is a new king of the Palmetto State, and this fishery should be No. 1 on your bucket list for angling the southeast portion of our great nation. We saw hints last year when every tournament we researched took a little more than 20 pounds to win. This year, however, 20 pounds will do little for your goal to reach the gold-medal podium. This lake is called the Jewel of the South, and rightly so, as it currently wears the crown in this region. Just look at the results of the April Elite Series event held here. There were 49 limits weighed in over 20 pounds. Of the 103 anglers competing, only a handful didn’t catch a limit every day. Six limits topped the 24-pound mark, and three limits were over 26 pounds! The average weight of bass weighed in for the entire event (1,311 fish) was 3.4 pounds. Big bass of the event was 7-11. This fishery is beautiful, full of fish, and has some giants swimming around to boot. Many Elite Series anglers believe it is the best lake in the country right now, and they are not too far off.

5. Fellsmere Reservoir/Stick Marsh/Kenansville Lake, Florida
6. Toledo Bend Reservoir, Louisiana/Texas border
7. Lake St. Clair, Michigan
8. Orange Lake, Florida
9. Lake Erie/Upper Niagara River, New York
10. Lake Okeechobee, Florida

Read more about the top 10 “Best Bass Lakes of 2023” at Bassmaster.com

This accolade joins a growing list for Capital City/Lake Murray Country (CCLMC). Between October 2022 and April 2023, CCLMC hosted the biggest and the best in world and national fishing competitions on Lake Murray, amplifying the designation of “Top Southern Destination” bestowed by Forbes Magazine in 2021. In October of 2022, Lake Murray became the first location on U.S. soil to host the XVI Black Bass World Championship – the tournament designed to propel bass fishing to the Olympics and naming Lake Murray the “Best Bass Fishing Lake in the World”. Additionally, picturesque Lake Murray was the backdrop to the best in professional bass fishing competitions in April of this year [2023], as CCLMC hosted the Bassmaster Elite Series (B.A.S.S) and Major League Fishing’s Bass Pro Tour.

About B.A.S.S.

B.A.S.S., which encompasses the Bassmaster tournament leagues, events, and media platforms, is the worldwide authority on bass fishing and keeper of the culture of the sport, providing cutting-edge content on bass fishing whenever, wherever and however bass fishing fans want to use it. Headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., the 515,000-member organization’s fully integrated media platforms include the industry’s leading magazines (Bassmaster and B.A.S.S. Times), website (Bassmaster.com), TV show, radio show, social media programs, and events. For more than 50 years, B.A.S.S. has been dedicated to access, conservation, and youth fishing.

*Portions of this story were printed in the “Bassmaster 100 Best Bass Lakes” article by: Andrew Canulette, James Hall, Mark Hicks, and Brian Sak – Bassmaster Magazine July/August 2023.