John's Journal...

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

White Oak Plantation

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 lClick to enlargeess 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.

White Oak Plantation, located outside Tuskegee off of I-85, about a 1/2-hour drive from Montgomery, Ala., has eight lakes. Fishermen may take bass and bream from sixof these lakes. White Oak considers two of the lakes trophy lakes and practices catch-and-release only at them. They contain Tiger Bass and Gorilla Bass, genetically-engineered largemouth that bite aggressively and grow quickly.

Female Tiger Bass, a cross between the Florida and the northern strain of largemouths, have documented weights of 8-pounds-plus within 3 years of stocking and have a history of producing offspring weighing over 10 pounds. The Gorilla Bass are some of the fastest-growing and most-aggressive northern strain of bass to be found anywhere. The older lakes, like the ones behind the lodge, consistently have produced bass that weigh 11-pounds or more each year. Click to enlargeThe lakes’ design features structure planted on the bottom to home and maintain trophy-sizeClick to enlarge bass.

Carroll Whitener fished for 5 days at White Oak recently and caught-and-released 338 largemouth bass that weighed from 2- to 6-pounds each. John Sloan and Larry Woody, sportswriters from Nashville, Tennessee, fished 1 day and caught five bass that weighed from 2-1/2- to 5-pounds each. Angler Don Grove caught an 11-pound, 8-ounce largemouth bass on March 21, 2007. I know that catching 50 to 75 bass a day of this size and caliber happens often at White Oak, where for many years I’ve caught plenty of nice-sized bass on every trip I’ve made there. I’m convinced that I’ve had a bass on my line that weighed more than 10 pounds at White Oak.

A family-friendly place, White Oak’s lakes also home plenty of bluegills and crappie for everyone to catch. Members of the outdoor press fish there frequently, and several television shows have filmed segments there. Known for years as one of the South’s premier turkey- and deer-hunting lodges, this year, White Oak has opened-up its trophy bass lakes to all anglers, who have experienced phenomenal catching.

For more information on this trophy-bass fishery, go to, or call 334-727-9258.

Tomorrow: The Lakes of Leavellwood

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 1