Mille Lacs gets fishing mag's top honors for being all about that bass

Bassmaster Magazine raves about Mille Lacs' smallmouth bass.
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You can't keep its walleye, but the bass in Mille Lacs make the lake the top destination for fishing in all the U.S.

Bassmaster Magazine ranked the central-Minnesota lake the best bass fishery in the nation Thursday – up from No. 6 on last year's list.

So what launched Mille Lacs Lake up to the top of the 12-lake list?

Bassmaster cites its "unbelievable production of smallmouth bass," specifically during last September's Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year Championship. During the event, there were 94 limits of smallmouth that were above 20 pounds, Bassmaster Magazine Editor James Hall said.

"Had that been a four-day event, eventual winner Seth Feider may have topped the 100-pound mark with smallmouth, a feat that has never, ever happened before," he added.

But even more research showed that wasn't a particularly impressive feat for Mille Lacs, with Hall noting 30-pound limits were weighed in five team events in 2016.

"Just incredible," Hall said.

Mille Lacs is the second-largest lake in Minnesota. Explore Minnesota says the best spots for smallmouth tend to be in the southern half.

Who else is on the list?

Bassmaster Magazine has done this for six years now, picking the top 12 bass fisheries in the U.S., and then also providing a top 25 for different regions. You can read those here.

And Minnesota, a fishing destination, surely has some others ranked highly ... right?

Well, no actually. Minnesota shows up once more in the top 25 for the central region – and it's a shared honor with Wisconsin. Mississippi River Pools 4-10 came in 23rd on that list.

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