"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 >>
Table Rock Lake, Missouri
Spring and winter are great times to go to Table Rock, an impossibly clear-watered manmade lake that's home to smallmouth, spotted, white and largemouth bass (along with crappie, catfish and bluegills). "Big Cedar Lodge, right on the shores of the lake, might be the best fishing resort in the United States," says VanDam. In addition to being located in the heart of the Ozarks, it's also the home lake of one of fishing's biggest retailers,Bass Pro Shops. "It's just one of those special places in fishing where the scenery, activities, and fishing are all first rate," says Van Dam. It's also close to the Vegas-lite mid-western mecca Branson, so you can end your fishing foray with the comedic stylings of legendary funnyman and resident Yakov Smirnoff.
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