Lake Fork, Texas
Credit: Dave Shafer / Getty Images

If you're gunning for bass, as it were, then Texas should be your Mecca. The state has some of the best fishing waters anywhere and, like everything else in this state, the bass come bigger. VanDam doesn't hesitate to pick Lake Fork as a standout. Located just east of Dallas, Lake Fork Reservoir is a stocked fishery, one of the world's greatest trophy spots, where 15 of the top 20 largest largemouth in Texas have been caught. "It's my go-to lake out of all the central Texas reservoirs," says VanDam. "They have done a great job managing the lake, and even with the drought, you'll still have a shot at a big bass as big as 15 pounds." Plan your visit for March, April and into May when the bass are spawning but the suffocating Texas heat is still in check.