Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta in Bassmaster's Top Ten List

 Bassmaster, the publication for members of B.A.S.S., announced the list Tuesday. It includes three Louisiana locations: Toledo Bend Reservoir (No. 15), the Louisiana Delta (27) and the Red River (47). Despite its reputation as a dangerous place to fish, Texas’ Falcon Lake ranked in first place.

 The 58-year-old impoundment straddles the Rio Grande and is shared by Texas and Mexico. The 83,000-acre reservoir has been in the news as much for drug cartel-related crime as for its enormous catches of largemouth bass.Falcon produced the record winning catch for the Bassmaster Elite Series circuit when Paul Elias caught 132.5 pounds of bass during four days in 2008. 

Although the Bassmaster Elite Series tournaments have not returned to the lake since, it regularly gives up tournament-winning catches averaging more than 8 pounds per bass.Texas tops the list of states with eight lakes or rivers in the Top 100, followed by Florida, which has seven fisheries on the list, including No. 2-ranked Lake Okeechobee.Rounding out the Top 10 are Lake Guntersville in Alabama; Lake Erie in Michigan/Ohio/New York/Pennsylvania; Lake Champlain in New York/Vermont; Lake Amistad in Texas; Lake Minnetonka in Minnesota; San Joaquin Delta in California; Lake Coeur d’Alene in Idaho; and Clear Lake in California.

Bassmaster Editor James Hall said in a news release that the idea for ranking the best lakes emerged at a B.A.S.S. tournament during a discussion among outdoor writers. Hall decided the debate warranted a more in-depth investigation.“Instead of just having opinions, we wanted to put science behind the opinion to rate the ‘100 Best Bass Lakes,’” Hall said. “The method was as scientific as we could make it. The result is a list of outstanding fisheries. I think it will be fun for people to consider where their favorite lake stands compared to the best in another state.”

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