Bassmaster Magazine is considered by many to be the worldwide authority on bass fishing, providing readers with tips and advice to improve their success rate on the water. This year, Lake Erie and the Upper Niagara River were ranked eighth on their annual list of the 100 Best Bass Lakes in the country.
The formula to determine positioning on this list is based upon several factors, including professional angler feedback, tournament results, quality and quantity of fish, assessment by the local fishery management, and access to the waterway.
2022 is the first year the Upper Niagara River has been recognized for this annual designation, and it has been a number of years since Eastern Lake Erie has cracked the top 10.
“Without a doubt being ranked in the top 10 creates increased interest in visiting the area to see what the hype is about. As bass fishing goes, Bassmaster is the Bible, and people put a great deal of faith in what the magazine publishes in the top 100 listing,” said Frank Campbell, outdoor promotions director for Destination Niagara USA.
Campbell had the opportunity to take James Hall, Bassmaster editor-in-chief, fishing in the Upper Niagara River in June. The trip solidified the eight-place ranking to Hall, who was able to yield 70 smallmouth bass up to 5 ½ pounds.
“This fishery not only deserved its ranking, but should be a priority on every bass angler’s bucket list,” Hall said in the September/October issue of Bassmaster.
Bass fishing is open year-round on Lake Erie and the Upper Niagara River, with New York offering free fishing days on Saturday, Sept. 24, and Friday, Nov. 11. No fishing license is required on those dates, providing a great opportunity to fish for the first time or get the whole family involved.