The state of Florida continues to show as a top destination for fishing in the latest “Top 10 Best Bass Lakes of 2023.” The annual rankings come from the highly regarded Bassmaster and show that when it comes to bass fishing lakes, Florida is a clear choice.

In a press release, Roger Young, FWC Executive Director stated,  “We take a tremendous amount of pride in managing our freshwater fisheries. The recognition of multiple Florida waterbodies in the Best Bass Lakes is a testament to our commitment to preserve the well-being of our aquatic ecosystems while promoting recreational fishing in Florida,”

Fishing is a big part of the Florida lifestyle. Whether you’re out in the gulf fishing for grouper, or just passing the time at the retention pond at your Fort Myers condo. People here love to fish. But sometimes you want to hit a lake and do some bass fishing. Fortunately for us, 3 of the top 10 lakes for catching bass are right here in Florida.

If you’re up for a road trip, number one on the Bassmaster list is the O.H. Ivie Lake. The lake is a reservoir on the Colorado and Concho Rivers, 55 miles east of San Angelo, Texas. The reservoir was formed when a dam was built in 1990. They’re seeing a lot of double digit bass being pulled from there this year.

Here’s the Florida lakes that made the top 10.

  • 5. Fellsmere Reservoir

    Sometimes known as Headwaters Lake or Lake Egan, this is a 10,000-acre manmade lake in Indian River county. This place was made to be a bass fishing lake with underwater features and am ideal habitat.  Recommended lures are topwater lures and weedless soft plastic jerkbaits or stickbaits. When the lake was originally flooded, it was stocked with 1,000,000 Florida bass.

    Fellsmere Reservoir

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  • 8. Orange Lake

    This lake is 20 miles southeast of Gainesville. A lot of vegetation on this lake, making some areas inaccessible. The deeper areas are good fishing for largemouth bass. This lake also features a handicap-accessible pier with a fish attractor to provide for good fishing.

    Orange Lake Public Fishing Pier, 5041 NW 191st Pl, Reddick, FL 32686

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  • 10. Lake Okeechobee

    In the Seminole language, this literally means ‘big water’. Because Lake O is so heavily affected by rainfall, it’s levels vary. The current restriction “For largemouth bass only one may be 16 inches or longer in total length per angler per day, with no minimum length limit. The bag limit remains the same, at five.” Because the releases of Lake O always make negative headlines here in SWFL, it’s easy to forget that it’s a really good spot for bass fishing. 

    Lake Okeechobee, Florida

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    Some Florida lakes that just missed the top 10. 

  • Lake Tohopekaliga

    Lake Toho is an 18,810-acre lake located southeast of the city of Kissimmee. The FWC has installed fish attractors, so check here for locations of the best spots. 

    Lake Tohopekaliga

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  • Lake Seminole

    A reservoir at the juncture of the Florida, Georgia, and Alabama state lines. 80% of this lake is in Georgia, but Florida fishers can fish up to an imaginary line. More details on that here. Beautiful place.

    Lake Seminole

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  • Lake Placid

    Lake Placid has 27 freshwater lakes. Cool small town. I like it because it’s not too far from here. My neighbor has a place on one of those lakes and it’s a really nice change of pace from Southwest Florida. 

    Lake Placid, FL 33852

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  • Lake Panasoffkee

    This place is more well known for it’s trails, but four spring-fed creeks enter the lake which provides for some solid bass fishing. Bass as big as 8 pound on up to double digits. Just to the northwest of Orlando.

    Lake Panasoffkee, FL 33538

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  • Lake Istokpoga

    Lake Istokpoga is five miles northeast of Lake Placid. There’s fishing resorts on the lake with accomadations. Excellent largemouth bass fishing can be done from the bank near the canal. 

    Lake Istokpoga

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  • Lake Rousseau

    West of Ocala, this is a man made reservoir on the Withlacoochee River. A real old Florida feel out here. You might even see a manatee. 

    Lake Rousseau

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