Where to Go
Robert Trent Jones trail
The Robert Trent Jones trail in Alabama is famous for its golf, but leave the clubs at home and trailer a boat in search of largemouth bass and barbecue. These Alabama lakes (Eufaula, Logan Martin, and Guntersville) make up the heart of the Bassmaster circuit. Make the pilgrimage to Lake Montgomery in Georgia, where George Perry landed his world-record largemouth 71 years ago. The Route Start in Atlanta and head south to Helena. Then go west to Alabama’s Lake Eufaula, and north through Birmingham to Guntersville. Drive south to Logan Martin, and back to Atlanta. The Fishing Though Lake Montgomery, an oxbow lake off the Ocmulgee River in Telfair County, has problems with siltation, make a cast anyway. You never know. Lake Eufaula has been a consistent producer of big bass for 20 years-a BASS Master Classic there was won with 15 bass that averaged 5 pounds apiece. With its weedbeds maturing, Guntersville Lake is one of the best up-and-coming bass lakes in the country. On Logan Martin, look for largemouths lurking under boat docks. Local Color Visit the plaque on Georgia Route 117 that commemorates Perry’s bass. Stop by Tom Mann’s Fish World in Eufaula (334-687-7045) and pay your respects at the carved tombstone to legendary bass Leroy Brown, the fish so famous that over 800 people attended his funeral. Insider Tips After the spawn, the bass will stay shallow until the water warms, when you’ll find them with crankbaits near river ledges. Try topwater lures early and late. Where to Stay and Eat Lakepoint Resort State Park has campsites on Lake Eufaula (334-687-6676); stop in at Demetri’s (205-871-1581) in Birmingham for arguably the best barbecue in the nation; camp at Lake Guntersville State Park (256-571-5455).