The Buffalo portion of Lake Erie ranks first in the Northeast and fourth in the nation on the Bassmaster's compilation of the "100 Best Bass Lakes" issued this week.
That will come as no surprise to area fishermen, or those who travel from well outside of Western New York to fish for smallmouth bass in Lake Erie waters.
Lake Erie within a 30-mile radius of Buffalo came in fourth nationally behind Toledo Bench (Texas/Louisiana), Santee Cooper lakes, Marion and Moultrie (South Carolina) and Clear Lake (California). It tops the East, finishing ahead of No. 2 Lake St. Clair (Michigan) and No. 3 Lake Erie (within a 30-mile radius of Sandusky, Ohio).
4. St. Lawrence River (Thousand Islands), 8. Lake Champlain, 11. Oneida Lake, 12. Cayuga Lake, 20. Chautauqua Lake.
"More than three months of research went into this year's rankings," James Hall, editor of Bassmaster magazine, said in a news release. Input was sought from B.A.S.S. members, state fisheries biologists and others.
"We scoured the Internet for current catch-rate data, using the results of more than two dozen tournament organizations and several state 'lunker' programs to narrow the field to 100. It's a brutal process, but the results give bass anglers the ultimate bucket list of lakes for 2016."