"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 Champlain, Vermont
Bass are popularly thought of as a southern fish, but anglers venturing north of the Mason Dixon line will be pleased to find plenty of water for the feisty fish, and Vermont's Lake Champlain is VanDam's favorite. "It's a big body of water in a beautiful part of the country," says VanDam. He says there are great numbers of both smallmouth and largemouth bass, and the lake trout fishing is pretty stellar, too. "My go-to tactic on a big lake like Champlain is to use a lure that quickly covers a lot of water," VanDam suggest. "Once you find the fish, you can always stop and use a jig and a worm. But tying on a crankbait or top-water lure is the efficient way to fish your first hit on the water." Should your outing prove fruitless and fishless, there's always Ben & Jerry's headquarters just 30 minutes away, where you can take solace in a tub of Chubby Hubby.
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