John's Journal...

Pay-to-Fish Trophy Bass Lakes Give You the Most for Your Dollar

Dream Lake and Tiger Lake

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: If you want to catch a trophy bass, you can spend thousands of dollars on equipment and hours on the water. You may find yourself traveling all over the country and only catching a few quality bass. My home state of Alabama homes intensively-managed private lakes full to the brim with big, beautiful bass. You can have the greatest day of bass fishing you’ve ever had in your life and spend less time and less money than you’ll normally spend on a big bass-fishing expedition to Mexico, Cuba, south Texas or Florida. By visiting these Alabama trophy-bass lakes, you can land that lunker of a lifetime, catch and release a large number of bass in the 4- to 10-pound range in one day and have an amazing fishing trip. I’ve fished five of the listed lakes, and my children and the friends I’ve taken with me never have forgotten these trips and the fish we’ve caught. Each lake can produce your bass of a lifetime and has the potential for you to catch and release 20 to 100 bass or more that will weigh from 4- to 10-pounds plus any day you fish there.Click to enlarge

Dream Lake:

The granddaddy of trophy-bass lakes, Dream Lake, also just outside of Livingston, Ala., has a reputation of anglers catching and releasing over 400 bass that have weighed 8 pounds or more from this lake since 1998. Donald Myrick caught the lake record of 14 pounds, 6 ounces on April 4, 2006. Like the other lakes mentioned, Dream Lake homes plenty of string stretchers. While fishing Dream Lake, I saw an angler in a boat land a 10-pound-plus largemouth.

With the first part of Dream Lake built in 1990 and comprised of approximately 77 acres, the owners constructed the second section – 50 acres – of DClick to enlargeream Lake in 2000. Both lakes have had stockings of Florida-strain largemouths and F-1 hybrids. The lake features a lodge, food service, well-equipped boats and plenty of fish. And you will have the opportunity to catch and release 50 to 100 bass in a day that will weigh from 2- to 10-pounds each.

For more information about Dream Lake, go to, or call 205-652-4545.

Tiger Lake:

Tiger Lake, located east of Montgomery, Ala., in the Pike Road commClick to enlargeunity, contains loads of Tiger Bass and some of the biggest bluegills and shellcrackers I’ve ever seen. I don’t know anyone who has fished this 60-acre lake who hasn’t left saying, “Wow, what an experience!”

I’ve fished this lake several times and never have failed to get my line broken. You can fish the lake from the bank or a boat, and I’ve found the lower end of the lake near the dam often the most productive during the hot summer months. However, early in the morning and late in the evening, the shallow ends of the lake will produce outstanding top-water fishing. Tiger Lake is another 100 fish-a-day lake that will build a lasting memory of a bass-fishing trip of a lifetime.

For more information on Tiger Lake, call John Swearingen at 334-284-5543.

Tomorrow: Donavan Lakes and the Triple D Ranch

Check back each day this week for more about "Pay-to-Fish Trophy Bass Lakes Give You the Most for Your Dollar"

Day 1: White Oak Plantation
Day 2: The Lakes of Leavellwood
Day 3: P-Arrow Plantation
Day 4: Dream Lake and Tiger Lake
Day 5: Donavan Lakes and Triple D Ranch


Entry 459, Day 4