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Get familiar with the fire ring
The glow of a campfire, the crackle of fresh food on the skillet and an endless blanket of stars await anglers who are willing to forgo some of the luxuries of a hotel in favor of the campground. It’s a fact not lost on our Elite Series pros, many of whom choose to hitch up a RV and bring their families along for the tournament season. We surveyed them to compile a list of the best campgrounds for bass fishermen around the nation — and one a little further.
All captions by Joe Sills
Photo: Joe Sills
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Wind Creek State Park, Alabama
Cabins, campsites, ziplines, mini-golf and horseback riding all await at Wind Creek State Park. This family-friendly, wooded retreat on the shores of Lake Martin has an astounding 586 slots along with a pizza and sandwich shop, plus a full-service marina. The campground offers standard Jon boat rentals along with bass boats, making it truly one of the most bass angler friendly campgrounds in the nation.
Photo: Wind Creek Campground
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Crazy Horse Campgrounds, Arizona
The only campground in America that anglers will need to cross London Bridge to reach, Crazy Horse Campground sits on an island at Lake Havasu. Yes, that’s the real London Bridge — or, rather, a London Bridge circa 1830 that was transported to Arizona in the 1960s. Crazy Horse Campground was established shortly after, and it walks a fine line between Route 66-esque pitstop and a fish camp on one of the nation’s most breathtaking lakes.
Photo: Adobe Stock
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Blue Water RV Resort, Tennessee
Few towns have rallied behind bass fishing like Dayton, Tenn. Blue Water Resort is a shining example of the city’s dedication to the sport. This Lake Chickamauga campground spoils anglers with a choice of waterside, RV-centric campsites or entire lodges and lake houses for rent. They’ll even arrange a sandhill crane tour with an expert wildlife photographer for anglers hoping to expand their skillset.
Photo: Blue Water RV Resort
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Cassels-Boykin Park, Texas
Book a campsite at Cassels-Boykin Park and you’ll find yourself overnighting on the shores of Sam Rayburn Reservoir. The iconic Texas fishery needs no introduction, and this county-owned campground will place you steps away from a wonderland of flooded timber. Though space at this park is limited to 16 powered campsites, they do come complete with WiFi and access to any of nine boat ramps at the park.
Photo: Ronnie Moore
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Bull Shoals-White River State Park, Arkansas
This isolated campground in the heart of the Ozarks, Bull Shoals-White River Campground is perched on the shores of one of bass fishing’s most iconic fisheries. This state-run campground offers an array of campsites that can accommodate recreational vehicles as well as tents and vehicles with camper tops. Traveling without your boat? No problem, just bring a rod and reel to the park office and rent a Jon boat or kayak.
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Temple Bar Campground, Nevada
Desert sunsets overlooking the site of the very first Bassmaster Classic? We’ll take that in a heartbeat. Temple Bar Campground places anglers on an outpost in the Nevada desert that feels miles away from civilization but lies less than two hours from Las Vegas. Amenities at this National Park Service campground include only toilets, electricity, water and sewage, but the real draw here is the landscape and the short drive to Temple Bar Marina.
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Pettibone Resort, Wisconsin
La Crosse bound anglers will find Pettibone Resort located on an island in the Mississippi River just south of Lake Onalaska. There, anglers have access to riverside campsites with RV plugins, just minutes from a campsite luxury — actual restaurants — in La Crosse. The resort features its own bar, along with canoe rentals and an on-site laundry facility.
Photo: Pettibone Resort
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Rodman Campground, Florida
Rodman Reservoir may not get the publicity that nearby lakes like Toho and Okeechobee get, but the 9,500-acre compound is still a highly productive lake for trophy bass, and it serves as a gateway to the legendary St. John’s River. The 67-site Rodman Campground on its shores hosts primitive campsites along with restrooms, an ADA accessible fishing dock, boat ramp, fire rings and showers.
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Lake Guntersville State Park, Alabama
Camp beside the host site for the 50th Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk at Lake Guntersville State Park. This historic campground is a favorite for Elite Series pros honing their skills on the most storied lake in bass fishing, and as campgrounds go it’s no slouch. The park includes more than 300 campsites along with a country store and access to bathhouses, fire rings, water and electrical hookups.
Photo: Seigo Saito
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Lisbon Beach and Campground, New York
The St. Lawrence River sweeps past the campsites at Lisbon Beach, where anglers can connect to full RV hookups, picnic on the shores of the river or take a swim from the beach. The campground hosts an on-site launch ramp and dock, as well as its own baseball diamond, volleyball court and tennis court.
Photo: Town of Lisbon
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Cypress Bend Campground, Louisiana
Cypress Bend Park holds the keys to Toledo Bend, but you won’t need to bring your own set of RV keys to enjoy it. The site hosts nearly 70 campsites along with 10 cabins, equipped with waterfront views, full kitchens and air conditioning. Cypress Bend Park hosts an excellent, six-lane boat launch along with two floating docks, laundry facilities and a first-class fishing pier.
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Codgers Cove RV Park, South Dakota
Lake Oahe garnered highlight status during the 2018 Bassmaster Elite Series season, and it remains an excellent fishery for anglers in search of adventure. Codgers Cove RV Park lies on the outskirts of Pierre, S.D. The park offers sublime sunset views over the rolling hills of South Dakota, water and sewage amenities at each lot and access to three nearby boat launches.
Photo: Seigo Saito
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Oneida Shores County Park, New York
Shoulder up beside majestic Lake Oneida at Oneida Shores Park. This sprawling campground features a full-service array of RV hookups, as well as its own lodge, beach and boat ramp. Campsites come with water and electric connections, along with access to showers and shaded, lakeside plots.
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Tamarack Island Wilderness Lodge, Ontario
Reaching this tiny, three-acre island in the middle of Lake of the Woods requires a boat ride from the nearby town of Morson. On arrival, a revitalized 1920s fish camp complete with rustic cabins, dock slots and a homegrown restaurant await. Up here, the bass play third fiddle to walleye and muskie, leaving a lake full of bulging bronze backs ripe for the picking.
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Antlers RV Park and Campground, California
Mount Shasta looms over its namesake lake, dominating the sky for miles around on the approach to Antlers RV Park and Campground. Located just off of I-5, this Northern California campground is actually built into Shasta National Forest. It’s one of the few places where anglers can camp beneath a volcano, catch a boatload of bass and take an afternoon dip in the pool.