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Bass Fishing In Idaho

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Guide to fishing for smallmouth and largemouth bass.

By Rick Seaman

Bass fishing At Daybreak

Idaho Bass Fishing

Bass fishing in Idaho is a beloved pursuit, cherished by anglers of all ages, backgrounds, and skill levels. Few experiences rival the thrill of hooking into a largemouth or smallmouth bass, making it a timeless pastime that transcends cultural boundaries. Whether you're a seasoned pro or a novice angler eager to learn the ropes, mastering the art of bass fishing can be immensely rewarding. That's why this page is dedicated to offering invaluable insights and tips on bass fishing, providing a comprehensive guide on everything from bass fishing techniques to essential bass-catching strategies. Whether you're seeking advice on selecting the perfect lure or honing your casting skills, we're here to equip you with the knowledge and expertise needed to excel on the water. Dive into our wealth of information to discover the secrets of successful bass fishing and unlock the full potential of your angling endeavors.

Bass Fishing Favorites

Smallmouth Bass Fishing In Idaho

Smallmouth Bass

Idaho is also home to thriving populations of smallmouth bass. While smallmouth bass don't grow as large as their cousin the largemouth, they make up the difference with tenacious fights. Known for long battles and spectacular jumps, smallies grow fat and strong but rarely exceed ten pounds. Their range and locations are often with or nearby the largemouths. The state record smallmouth bass is over 9 pounds.

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.

Largemouth Bass Fishing In Idaho

Largemouth Bass

Largemouth bass are the most abundant, and most pursued bass in Idaho. They are available in most warm-water lakes in the state, they tend to thrive in most water conditions and grow to bragging size in relative short order. Often called big mouth bass, or wide mouth bass, they are savvy predators that feed on most things that live in their territory. Bass in the 5 to 10-pound range are common in Idaho. The state record largemouth bass is over 10 pounds.

Finding & Catching Bigmouth Bass

Anglers can target big mouth bass in various lakes, reservoirs, and rivers. Spring and early summer are typically the best seasons for targeting largemouth bass as they are more active and feeding in the shallows near shoreline cover. Start with topwater baits, as they cover the water most efficiently. Reaction baits like crankbaits and spinnerbaits are the next choice. For finicky bass, plastic worms and jigs may entice a bite as you can move them very slowly around cover. In the heat of summer and the cold of winter bass move to deeper water, usually following the baitfish. Jigs, drop shot rigs and spoons are a good approach for bass holding in deep water. Vary your retrieve speed and action to find what the bass like today!

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.

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 fishing basics video.

Best Bass Fishing Lakes In Idaho

Bass fishing lures

There's plenty of bass fishing in Idaho. Visit the Bass Knowledge Center for additional, 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 this year

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.

AL Bass Fishing AR Bass Fishing AZ Bass Fishing CA Bass Fishing CO Bass Fishing CT Bass Fishing DC Bass Fishing DE Bass Fishing FL Bass Fishing GA Bass Fishing HI Bass Fishing IA Bass Fishing ID Bass Fishing
IL Bass Fishing IN Bass Fishing KS Bass Fishing KY Bass Fishing LA Bass Fishing MA Bass Fishing MD Bass Fishing ME Bass Fishing MI Bass Fishing MN Bass Fishing MO Bass Fishing MS Bass Fishing MT Bass Fishing
NC Bass Fishing ND Bass Fishing NE Bass Fishing NH Bass Fishing NJ Bass Fishing NM Bass Fishing NV Bass Fishing NY Bass Fishing OH Bass Fishing OK Bass Fishing OR Bass Fishing PA Bass Fishing
RI Bass Fishing SC Bass Fishing SD Bass Fishing TN Bass Fishing TX Bass Fishing UT Bass Fishing VA Bass Fishing VT Bass Fishing WA Bass Fishing WI Bass Fishing WV Bass Fishing WY Fishing
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.