"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 Okeechobee, Florida
Okeechobee is Seminole for "big water," and the Florida lake known as The Big O is certainly that: At 730 square miles, it's the state's biggest lake, and probably its best freshwater fishery, too. "While there are plenty of great bass fisheries in Florida, Lake Okeechobee is better right now than it has been in years," says VanDam. Although be warned: Since the O is just 30 miles from the Atlantic Ocean, 60 miles from the Gulf of Mexico, and 45 miles from the Everglades, a casual trip can quickly turn into a grand fishing tour of southern Florida.
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