"One of the great things about my job is that it allows me to experience a lot of great fishing on a lot of great lakes," says Kevin VanDam, offering up one of the great understatements of sporting history. The reigning Bassmaster Angler of the Year, KVD (as he's known to fans of fishing) is like the Tiger Woods of Bass catching; from his 247 Bassmaster tournaments, he's the winningest pro bass fisher, snagging some $6,000,000 in purses. In a recent chat, he gave us the inside scoop on his favorite spots across the country for finding monster-sized bass (and a few tips for actually catching them). Launch Gallery >>
Lake Amistad, Texas
Some of the lakes on the Mexico-Texas border are truly world-class fisheries, but unfortunately also bring an added layer of danger, thanks to drug cartel activity and Mexican authorities. Still, the lure of some of the biggest bass you'll ever lay eyes or a line on are worth the modest risk, as long as you're careful to stay safely within the U.S. border. "Amistad just might be the greatest lake anywhere, as far as largemouth bass go," says VanDam. Surrounded by deserts with extremely clear water, Amistad is consistently a great fishery, and an especially appealing winter destination when dropping temperatures shut down fishing in the north.
Credit: Billy Hathorn