Top Lakes for Spots
Spotted bass can be found in most southern states and range from coast to coast, although they are most prolific in the southeast. Some of the top lakes for spotted bass include the following:
Lake Lanier, Georgia – At over 38,000 acres, Lanier is probably one of the most well-known spot lakes in the country. Lanier was the site of the 2010 FLW Championship, and Kevin Hawk of California won the event catching big Coosa Spots. This lake is one of the busiest impoundments in the country at over 4 million visitors a year, which makes the spots there well-educated and sometimes tough to catch. Being so large, there is no shortage of habitat for Lanier spots, and if you have the chance, it is well worth a visit.
Lake Burton, Georgia – Lake Burton has broken the Georgia state record several times in the last few years. The lake is deep, cool, and extremely clear. Brown trout and big Coosa Spots feed on blueback herring there, which were introduced illegally in the lake in the 1990’s. The lake is only 2775 acres, but has all the reputation of producing monster spots as larger impoundments.
Carter’s Lake, Georgia – Rivaling Burton is Carter’s Lake to the west. Also a small impoundment at 3220 acres, many believe that Carter’s has strong potential for breaking the Georgia state record. Carter’s Lake is located on the Coosawatee River, the native home of the large Coosa Spot.
Lake Shasta, California – Central California has several great lakes for big spotted bass, and Lake Shasta is probably the best known of all of them. At approximately 30,000 acres, this impoundment lies in the northern part of the state and is California’s largest impoundment. The lake’s spotted bass record was broken in April of 2011 with an 8.85 lb monster, which would have been a state record just about anywhere but California.
Smith Lake, Alabama – Another great spot lake in the southeast, Smith Lake has a little over 21,000 acres and is full of big spots. And like most good spot lakes, most bass fishermen there target spots rather than largemouth. Smith lake is deep, rocky, and clear, and provides great habitat for big spots.
Lay Lake, Alabama – Site of the 2010 Bassmaster Classic, Lay Lake is incredible water for both spots and largemouth. Located just below Logan Martin, another legendary bass lake, Lay Lake was originally built in 1914 and has big flats as well as deep rocky areas, provided a great deal of variety for fishermen. Lay lake regularly produces largemouth over 10 lbs and spots over 7 lbs, and is a popular tournament fishing location.
Lake Jordan, Alabama – Like Carter’s Lake, Lake Jordan is an impoundment of the Coosawatee River. You may recall that the Coosawatee River is the native home of the larger spotted bass variety: the Coosa (aka “Alabama”, m.p. henshalli). It is suspected that big Lake Jordan are where the Coosa Spot was originally labeled as an “Alabama Spotted Bass”. Jordan is located 25 miles north of Montgomery in central Alabama. Lake Jordan is 6800 acres, and is not to be confused with B. Everett Jordan Lake in North Carolina, which is 14,000 acres.
Pine Flat Lake, California – We have to mention Pine Flat Lake, 30 minutes east of Fresno, on our list of popular spot lakes, not only because it currently holds the world record spot at over 10 lbs, but because it continues to produce monster spots throughout the year. This little impoundment is only 6,000 acres, but the big spots there feed heavily on trout, making them big, fat, and plentiful.
Table Rock Lake, Missouri – Probably well regarded as one of the best overall bass fishing lakes in the country, Table Rock is legendary for its huge largemouth. The spots there grow huge as well, and rightfully so, as this lake as the complete formula for growing monsters. It is deep, clear, rocky, and nutrient rich. A popular destination for BASS and FLW events, Table Rock is an incredible lake and should be on every bass fisherman’s bucket list.
Lake Martin, Alabama – Although you won’t find big Coosa Spots here, Lake Martin is FULL of Kentucky Spots. You can literally catch 100 spots on a good day. They are everywhere and easy to catch, making it a great lake for novice fishermen. Lake Martin has also been labeled as one of the best striper lakes in the country---a fact that probably isn’t too far removed from there being so many spot-snacks for the striper to chew on. This lake has multiple species of herring, but like many great spot lakes, it has swarms of spottail minnows around the banks in warmer months. Throw a cast net, load up on these guys, and go have some fun.