The Magnolia State garnered four listings in Bassmaster magazine’s annual top-100 list of the best bass lakes in the nation. Pickwick Lake was ranked No. 10 in the nation, and Mississippi had four lakes placed in the top-25 in the Southeast Region, led by Pickwick at No. 3.
Ross Barnett, northeast of Jackson, came in No. 19 thanks to a good population of quality bass. Though the lake gets a lot of pressure on summer weekends, the bass are there and can be caught if you know where to find them. Winning tournament limits will range from 12 to 15 pounds, even during summer.
Lake Ferguson, an oxbow lake off of the Mississippi River near Greenville, came in No. 21; it may be the second-best lake in the state for its massive amount of 3- to 6-pound bass that the river keeps replenishing each year. Many local tournaments on the lake consistently take 25- to 30-pound limits of five fish to win.
Bay Springs Lake, the uppermost pool on the Tenn-Tom Waterway in northeast Mississippi came in No. 25; it’s chock full of largemouth and spotted bass. The state is focusing on making this lake a trophy largemouth fishery, stocking 75,000 Florida-strain bass in 2013 and an additional 110,000 pure Floridas in 2019. While the largemouths tend to inhabit the shallower waters, trophy smallmouth can be found in the deeper waters of the main river channels and ledges.
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