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.