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Bass Fishing & Lakes In Idaho

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Guide to fishing for smallmouth and largemouth bass.

By Rick Seaman

Idaho is a haven for bass fishing enthusiasts, offering opportunities to target both largemouth and smallmouth bass in its abundant lakes and reservoirs. The purpose of this page is to share basic information about bass fishing and bass lakes in the state.

Bass fishing basics video.

Largemouth bass, known for their size and powerful strikes, are one of the most sought-after fish species in the state. Anglers can find thriving largemouth bass populations in lakes such as Dworshak Reservoir, Brownlee Reservoir, and C.J. Strike Reservoir. These fish are known to inhabit shallow areas with abundant vegetation, where they ambush their prey.

In addition to largemouth bass, Idaho is also home to thriving populations of smallmouth bass. Smallmouth bass are known for their aggressive nature and remarkable fighting ability, making them a favorite among anglers seeking an exciting challenge. Popular smallmouth bass fishing destinations in Idaho include Lake Coeur d'Alene, Payette Lake, and the Snake River. Smallmouth bass can often be found near rocky structures, such as points, rock piles, and submerged ledges.

Both largemouth and smallmouth bass provide anglers with thrilling fishing experiences. Anglers can use a variety of techniques to target these species, including casting with crankbaits, soft plastic lures, jigs, or topwater baits. Fly fishing for bass is also gaining popularity in Idaho, with anglers utilizing streamers and poppers to entice strikes from these aggressive predators.

Idaho's bass fishing season typically begins in late spring when water temperatures start to rise and bass become more active. The peak of bass fishing season is during the summer months when bass are feeding aggressively and seeking cooler water. However, bass can be caught year-round in Idaho, with fall providing excellent fishing opportunities as bass feed voraciously in preparation for the winter months.

Whether you're targeting largemouth or smallmouth bass, Idaho's lakes and reservoirs offer an array of fishing opportunities for bass anglers. The state's diverse waterways, abundant vegetation, and rocky structures provide ideal habitats for these prized gamefish. Anglers can enjoy the thrill of hooking into hard-fighting bass while surrounded by the beauty of Idaho's natural landscapes.

Bass Lakes In Idaho

Bass fishing lures

There's plenty of bass fishing in Idaho. Visit the Bass Knowledge Center for valuable information about bass and bass fishing. Major lakes with populations of bass include American Falls Reservoir, Anderson Ranch Reservoir, Arrowrock Reservoir, Brownlee Reservoir, C J Strike Reservoir, Cascade Reservoir, Coeur D'Alene Lake, Crane Creek Reservoir, Dworshak Reservoir, Hayden Lake, Hells Canyon Reservoir, Lake Lowell, Lake Pend Oreille, Lake Walcott, Little Payette Lake, Lucky Peak Reservoir, Magic Reservoir, Mud Lake, Paddock Valley Reservoir, Payette Lake, Priest Lake, Ririe Reservoir, Salmon Falls Creek Reservoir and Spirit Lake.

Fishing Boats For Rent In Idaho

Bass In Idaho

Largemouth Bass

Largemouth bass

World record: 22 lbs 4 oz

State Record: 10.94 lbs

Smallmouth Bass

Smallmouth bass

World record: 11 lbs 15 oz

State Record: 9.72 lbs

Click the images and links above for species details.

Top 5 Bass Fishing Lures For Idaho

When bass are shallow, spinnerbaits, crankbaits and stickbaits are the most productive. As they move deeper, worms and jigs are among the top producers.

The state record largemouth bass was caught at Anderson Lake.

The state record smallmouth bass came from Dworshak Reservoir.

Bass fishing in Idaho

Bass are one of the most sought after of all the game fish. Its appeal spans cultures, age groups and genders to tap on the heart strings of anglers everywhere. Join us in our endeavor to offer information about bass fishing on your favorite bass lake in Idaho.

Understanding the primary seasonal movements of smallmouth bass and largemouth bass is key to locating them on local lakes in the Gem State.

Bass fishing book

Catch big bass!


Bass fishing information by state.

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The lifecycle of bass

The more you know about the seasonal migration of bass, the more likely you are to be looking in the right area next time you visit Idaho bass fishing lakes. Visit the bass fishing page for more in-depth information about bass activities.