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Dworshak listed in top 100 for bass fishing

Dworshak Dam.

Photo by Andrew Ottoson
Dworshak Dam.

Salmon and steelhead are well-heralded fishing headliners for North Central Idaho. But another game fish, bass is as well a great sport draw for fishermen to the region.

One of the top recreation locations in the nation for best bass fishing is Dworshak Reservoir, located near Ahsahka, on the North Fork of the Clearwater River. Bass club and other outdoor recreation groups frequently choose Dworshak for group events and tournaments, according to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ park rangers at the dam.

Dworshak reservoir extends 53 miles upstream of Dworshak Dam, with dozens of secluded inlets, streams, rocky points, stumps and long bars creating ideal bass fishing conditions. Dworshak Dam is a large straight-axis concrete gravity dam 717 feet high and 3,287 feet long. Its construction created various marinas, boat launches and camping facilities on the reservoir.

The state-record smallmouth bass record, weighing in at 9.72 pounds, was caught on Dworshak Reservoir by Dan Steigers of Juliaetta, Idaho, on Oct. 28, 2006.

“We’re pleased to consistently offer some of the best bass fishing in the nation,” said Paul Pence, natural resources manager for Dworshak Dam and Reservoir. “Combined with our campgrounds, marinas and boat launches, it makes for a great outdoors recreation experience.”

Advice for bass fishermen at Dworshak is to use jigs or deep-diving crankbaits to reach fish in deep water off points, drop-offs and near rocky structures.

Dworshak is known nationwide as a regular listing in the top 100 best places to fish for bass, according to B.A.S.S. (Bass Anglers Sportsman Society). Previous rankings were 2015 (74), 2014 (47), 2013 (26) and 2012 (85).

To schedule an event at Dworshak, call the visitor center at 208-476-1255 to find out how to apply for a special-use permit.

Dworshak State Park is located on the western shore of Dworshak Reservoir. Park activities are open to camping, boating, fishing, swimming, hiking and waterskiing. A boat ramp and handling dock provide easy launching most of the year. A fish-cleaning station is nearby to help with the day’s catch.

Information from Idaho Parks and Recreation: .

Information about Walla Walla District outdoor recreation opportunities is available at


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