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Bassin Alabama Style at Dream Lake (continued)

The drama ensured when Cal cast the Triple Trout towards the timber and on the retrieve on the very first cast a big bass took the bait. On the way back to boat the fish jumped and shook the lure free, and when it landed in the water another fish around 5lbs in size exploded on the lure! Right as Justin prepared to grab the net the second fish popped off right at the boat. Without hesitating Cal tried to recapture the interest of the fish and cast the swimbait out again to the same spot. the lure did catch the interest of the fish, but not the same one, instead a lunker over 10lbs rose up and slapped the bait, then descended back down. Zander could here both Cal and Justin gasp from over 300 feet away, and the splashes from all the strikes and jumping fish had played out like fireworks on the surface of the lake.  

Chad shows us the lodge

As everyone head back to the lodge for lunch all we could talk about were those lost fish. Cal was still reeling from the event, which had lasted only 60 seconds, if that. Back at the lodge we settled in for just one of many excellent meals here at the Dream Lake lodge.

Inside there is plenty of room to relax, and lots of food, did I mention there is a LOT of food

WARNING, if your trying to lose weight this is not the place for you. The lodge specializes in Southern style cooking, and with Southern hospitality to match its hard not to gorge yourself on fried chicken, hamburger steak, pork chops, mash potatoes and gravy, skillet corn, baked beans, cornbread, biscuits, and lets not forget the pecan pie topped with ice cream. Both Zander and Cal went home over three pounds heavier, but it was worth every second, or third helping of that excellent home-style Southern cooking.

Zander prepares some baits for the afternoon in his room

With the rest of the crew resting Zander and Cal head out with Chad for an inside look at the operation. Chad explained that when they sought out to create this fishing paradise it was all two people at a time. They built the lodge we were staying in with the money from anglers who kept coming back to fish the lakes, each time bringing more friends with them.

Jeremy and Benny relax outside the lodge

The lodge is built on a point of Dream Lake II. There are five bedrooms with two Queen beds in each room, private bath, Direct TV and even a King and Queen bed in one of the bedrooms. One of the bedrooms is set up special for people who are handicapped. There is an oversize roll in the shower, handicap sink and toilet. Even their boats and docks are handicap accessible. There is a bunk-room upstairs which has four bunk-beds with Queen beds on the bottom and Super Twin up top. Also there are two more sets of bunk-beds with Super Twin top and bottom, with two full baths. Total of 7 1/2 bathrooms. The lodge can accommodate up to 22 people or more with special arrangements.

The covered dock area is adjacent to the lodge

Chad couldn't go into too much detail about the special management program they have in place, as there are special trade secrets they have in place to improve the fishing quality. The lake record is 14lbs. 6oz. and was caught in 2006. If anyone catches a bigger fish on the lake they will win a 2500 dollar prize. All fishing on the lake is strictly catch and release only and all fishing must be done from the boat, no bank fishing is allowed. There are a few other rules on the lake as well to keep the fish alive and growing, these include no live bait fishing, no wide gap hooks, no braided line, and no sinking soft plastic baits like the Senkos we are so used to fishing on the Delta. Texas and Carolina rigged plastics and crankbaits are typically the hot baits here, and anglers should spool up with 12-20lb line, bring plenty of sunblock and always carry that camera as there is plenty to take pictures of.  

A look at one of the three brood ponds

During the tour Chad drove us to the back areas on the land where he showed us three brood ponds where fish grow year round gorging themselves on protein rich Tilapia. The brood ponds are rotated and when the fish are ready they are moved to both of the main lakes.  

Cal takes a shot out of one of the shooting stands

While Dream Lake is mostly about the fishing it is also a premier hunting destination. Anglers that enjoy hunting can even mix it up on a trip doing a bit of both. Hunting is limited to small groups and hunting is limited to a certain number of says. Hunters see an average of 20-70 deer per hunt, and while we were touring the property we saw over 20 just in the span of two hours. There are many elevated shooting houses from 11-32 feet tall on the property and each is carpeted with swivel chairs and 18" bench rest with sand bags. Some of the fields have corn planted in the middle and most of the property's fields are planted in two or more directions to insure that the wind factor is minimized. No bow hunting is allowed, and they encourage one shot-one kill.

Cal taking pictures from the stand

Back on the other side of the property we got a good look at the rear of Dream Lake I, here we could see an entire submerged forest section. The edges of both lakes are lined with trees and just about everywhere we looked we could see turkeys running about. It was all very serene until Zander stepped right smack in the middle of a fire ant pile while shooting pictures. Being from California we don't see a lot of fire ants, and it became painfully clear where they got their name. A few fire ant stings later we were back on the water.

The back of Dream Lake I, plenty of structure to fish

Jeremy finished the day strong getting into a rhythm landing 10 fish in a row on plastics, all in the two and three pound range. We stayed out until dark and between both boats landed over 70 fish. We had to work for them at times, and while we never got on a pattern the fishing was still good. the next day Zander and Cal would partner up and tackle Dream Lake II.

Jeremy gets into a good plastics bite

The next morning we got into some exceptional topwater and at one point it was every single cast on poppers. After the sun rose over the tree line the bite slowed, but the fishing was still solid through the day. Cal boated a few 4lb fish on swimbaits, including a few new baits he was testing. Overall Dream lake II does feel quite a bit smaller than Dream Lake I. Both Zander and Cal preferred the scenery on Dream Lake I, but the topwater bite on Dream Lake II was mind-blowing. Comparing notes with dealers fishing the lake it seemed that the lakes would often fish completely different even though they were only a few miles apart.

Cal might have missed the big ones, but the dealers got them

Both the lakes have a peaceful quality, and large trees help protect the lakes from the wind. The trolling motors proved to be more than enough to get us around, but watch out because snags abound everywhere, and while this snaggy structure makes for great structure for fish you will constantly be bumping into it. At times it was so thick that we would have to pull out the oar to free ourselves. 

Dealers land fish tight on the bank of Dream Lake II

Dream Lake is what happens when a body of water is planned around bass, these lakes are designed specifically to create a ideal largemouth habitat and the result is nothing short of angling heaven. We fished tough bluebird sky conditions and the fishing was still decent. One can only imagine if big fish weather were to roll around. Chad confirmed this as he showed us pictures of anglers with lunkers, many of which were wearing thick coats. "Cold weather is when you get the big ones," Chad remarked.

A healthy bass boated on Dream Lake I

As the sun set on us on Dream Lake II we head back in and were met at the dock by Jeremy who told us that while fishing the exact spot where Cal had lost those fish the day before a double digit bass had been boated on the other lake. "That makes it hurt even more, who caught it and what were they caught on?" Cal inquired. Jeremy responded "Bantam's boat, dealer got them finessing worms." Zander added "looks like we will just have to come on back when its a little cooler to get them on swimbaits."

The sunset on Dream Lake II

And come back is exactly what you will want to do after a few days on Dream Lake. The entire experience at the property was exceptional. So what does a trip to the lake cost? A deluxe fishing trip is $350.00 per person per day with a 2 person minimum per boat, this includes lodging, meals, and the boat. A day trip is $250 dollars per day with a 2 person minimum per boat, this includes the boat but no lodging or meals. Hunting and fishing combo trips are available, and the best way to book a trip is to call the office at 1-205-652-4545. Office hours are 8:30-5:00 Mon, Tues, Thurs, and Friday. You can also email them here, just tell them you want the TackleTour treatment.

Cal heads back in as the sun drops behind the trees

Conclusion: We absolutely loved our time at the lodge, and for tackle junkies like us Dream Lake proved to be an ideal testing ground to see just how reels, rods, and lures held up to a lot of fish. The fishing was great, the lodging was top notch, the food was downright spectacular, and the southern hospitality was just as you would expect. Dream Lake is very well managed, and we have no doubt that fishing will only improve when it comes to both quantity and quality in the years to come. Its hard to decide what the name of the lake can be most attributed to, perhaps it is the dream of building a bass paradise, or the painted sunrises and sunsets that take your breath away, or the image of that double digit bass slamming your lure. Most likely it is all of those things and more, and since that trip we often dream of returning to the lake to get the one that got away.











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