Lake Fork - I have been here 3 times & know lots of people who visit regularly. Probably regarded as the best big bass lake in the world, its had its ups & downs of late, but it seems to be on an upswing again. Probably not going to produce the world-record, but you can sure go out there and load the boat with 5-8lbs on a consistent basis, not too shabby.
Lake Amistad - Have not been there, but headed there in early March to observe the Bassmasters Elite Series tournament and do some fishing. This lakes seems to be on an upswing, a recent 5 bass limit of 39+ lbs for a Bass Champs tournament, that is huge, not too far off of Rojas's mark. There is a lot of talk about this lake breaking Rojas's 4 day total of 108#. I am pumped to take part in the action and maybe witness history. There was recently a Stren Series tournament with a 4-day total of a 105lbs, that is awfully close to Roja's Toho performance.
Lake Guntersville - Have not been there yet, but I am targeting next spring. Where else can you toss rattletraps and catch - 6 lbs plus fish on a consistent basis, I have watched to many "Big Mommas" caught on TV not to get there some day. Need to hit up my Nashville Buddy and head down there.
Lake Champlain - Have not been there, too busy fishing in MN to get there so far. A perfect blend of green & brown bass, not going to catch any giants, but great numbers of 4 lbs plus fish to be had. June seems like the perfect month to head there for a smallmouth & bucketmouth combo platter bonanza.
Great Lakes - I did sneak out on Chequamegon Bay (Lake Superior) one afternoon, caught several 3-4 lbs fish in a few hours, just enough to really wet the appetite. The kicker is that part of the great lakes is not even that great for bass fishing comparatively to Erie, Michigan & Huron. I would lump St. Claire & the Detroit River into this mix as well. Too much water to fish them all, you should try one of these at some point. Probably the best pure Smallmouth waters in the world and on windy days you can harass some largemouth in the boat harbors.
Santee Cooper - Need to get here still as well. There have been a lot of huge weights out of this chain. Seeing & reading about Zell Rowland, Kelly Jordan and others in/on Bassmasters makes this just too tempting. Looks like there is everything from great structure fishing to sight fishing available.
Lake Minnetonka - Been there a bunch, probably should fish more, its right in my backyard. Still in the top 5 of all time for total catch in Bassmasters events. Takes 5 fish - 20lbs plus bags to win out there on a consistent basis and Largemouth up to 8 lbs are possible. There is also a nice population of smallmouth, they do not get a lot of pub, but they are nice change of pace. This lake has every kid of cover you could want, there is truly something for every angler on this chain of interconnected bays & lakes. If you are interested in getting to Minnetonka - click here
Clear Lake, Ca - WEST SIDE! That's for Byron & his swimbaits. California's largest natural lake and its full of huge greenies! Tons of ways to catch them, almost always takes a huge sack to win tournaments out there. When I see the lake on TV, it looks a lot like lakes that I fish in MN. Just another place I need to get to.
California Delta - Have not been... All I have to say is 10# plus bass on frogs, enough said. Probably the best big fish tidal fishery in the world. Looks like I need to make a West Coast swing!
Mexico - Guerrero, Mateos, El Salto, Baccarac..... It does not matter where in Mexico, they are all tremendous and probably is just a matter of time or some trout stocking away from kicking out a world record. If I had only known El Salto was so close to Mazatlan when I was on spring break...
Honorable Mentions: Pickwick, Columbia River, Toho, Big O, Lake Allen Henry, San Diego area lakes, Potomac.....I think its pretty clear, its hard to get down to a Top 10.
So many places, so little time. Good thing I am still young. This list could easily be my life goal list at the same time. Do you agree, disagree, got better ideas?
Let me know.