Great Southern Outdoors

Great Southern Outdoors

Jun 5, 2012

Bass on the ol’ plantation

Great Southern Outdoors, Union Springs, Alabama

Rex Pritchett knows the entire history of the Bughall Plantation, which has been in the Pritchett family since the 1880s. He also has a naturalist’s grasp of the woodland game – quail, boar, whitetail deer and turkey – and habitat on the 6,000 acres owned by Great Southern Outdoors, the famed sportsman’s plantation in Union Springs, Alabama.

But Rex knew almost nothing about the amazing bass fishing on the plantation until Mark Davis asked if he could drop his bass boat into one of the GSO lakes.

“You have some of the best bass fishing in Alabama,” reported Davis, who earned much of his reputation as a bass angler before taking to the sea and becoming host of the “Big Water Adventures” television show.

Davis and I hit freakishly cold weather on our first trip together at GSO.  After a bone-chilling morning that never did top 30 degrees, we lit into the big girls in the afternoon on Davis’s giant tricked-out Booyah spinnerbaits and Xcalibur Xr and Xrk lipless crankbaits. (see “Xr to the Rxcue” in this issue of Small Waters Fishing.) With 25 mph winds and afternoon temperatures hitting a balmy 35 degrees, we managed to boat 35 bass, with many in the four- to six-pound category.


Mark Davis, host of “Big Water Adventures,” discovered the bass bonanza at GSO.

On a return trip the following year, Davis led me to the most exciting largemouth bass fishing I’ve ever experienced. Period! In one incredible flurry, I boated bass of 10-1/2, 8-plus, 7-plus, and 6-plus pounds in no more than six casts. My partner that day, James Therrell, claims I caught them on consecutive casts, but the truth is that I was simply too buzzed by the experience to recall if any unproductive casts tainted the bunch!

But I can tell you that our best five fish for the day topped 46 pounds!

James Therrell, former head of Zebco’s Cajun Line research department, admires his 9-lb. GSO largemouth.

Now I can’t promise you that kind of action, but, trust me, the lakes of Great Southern Outdoors have the potential to produce more days like the ones I’ve enjoyed there with Mark and James.I detailed the modified spinnerbait technique Davis used to connect with big GSO bass in winter in a 2010 Bassmaster feature. (Hint: He replaces the blades on the one-ounce Booyah Double Willow spinnerbait with a single #7 to #9 Colorado blade) Check out our “Xr to the Rxcue” feature for tips on winter/spring lipless crankbait fishing. Both techniques are deadly at the lakes of GSO!

Rex Pritchett also has plans for a new lake in 2011, and we hope to get back there soon to report on the new water and Mark Davis’s lake management tips. So stay tuned to Small Waters for updates on this fabulous sportsman’s destination.

And tell Rex that you discovered GSO at Small Waters Fishing/Small Waters Outdoors!

—  Mike Pehanich

Great Southern Outdoors: phone 334-738-5066 and

Author Mike Pehanich holds up a 10.5-pound bass from GSO.

This 10.5-pound bass hit an Xcalibur Xr 100 lipless crankbait in Foxy Shad.

Read more about fishing at Great Southern Outdoors in Xr to the Rxcue, part of the Small Waters Fishing lipless crank bait special




  1. Very great post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wanted to say that I have really loved browsing your blog posts. After all I’ll be subscribing for your feed and I am hoping you write once more soon!

    • Thanks for your support! Rex has several incredibly productive waters at Great Southern Outdoors, and I can’t say enough about their Southern Hospitality! And, yes, we’ll be filling up posts and pages every week with fresh features and videos.

  2. Hey Mike, Great article. You are welcome back any time.

  3. Sure appreciate the kind words…and tip.

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