Lake Amistad, Texas
Credit: Billy Hathorn

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.