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5 baits for cold water power fishing

Most anglers think you have to fish ultra slow or use finesse tactics during cold winter months. While it’s true that a bass’ metabolism slows down, he still has to eat. And remember, the baitfish continue to dart and glide quickly for survival, so a bass has to move equally fast to eat during cold water months. Therefore, I still stick to my power fishing principles because I can cover a lot of water, but I work them differently to match the conditions. Here are the five baits I will have rigged for cold weather fishing and how I use …

Lesson 1: What Is Power Fishing?

  Power fishing.It's a strategy most Bassmaster Elite pros employ, but no one is more devoted to its principles — nor has anyone been as successful with it — as Kevin VanDam.Many anglers define power fishing as simply using heavy line, big baits and fishing heavy cover. VanDam takes it further, adding elements of time management and efficiency with a broader range of tools and tackle."It's not simply a matter of fishing spinnerbaits and crankbaits or flipping jigs and plastics into heavy cover," he insists. "It's about maximizing your time with the lures and techniques required to catch fish under …

KVD’s 6-season bass guide

  Kevin VanDam needs no introduction. He's done everything there is to be done in the world of professional bass fishing ... multiple times. I've shared a boat with VanDam several times, and I have been amazed at his uncanny ability to find and catch bass on lakes he either hasn't fished for years or has never fished before. When I asked him about his gift, he shrugged his shoulders and said, "I just follow my Seasonal Guide. It works on any bass lake, anywhere in the country." Just what is this mysterious "Seasonal Guide" VanDam refers to? How is …

KVD: Learn from the Best - Elite Marshal guidelines

  BASS recently announced its new Marshal Program for the Elite Series. I'm really excited about it. In my opinion it's one of the best things to happen to our sport in years. Let me explain why I say that and why I'm so excited about the program.  If you want to become a better competitive bass angler, the best and quickest way to do it is by spending time with as many different quality competitive anglers as you can as often as you can. And where else can you learn more about bass fishing in a competitive environment than during a …

Be a Marshal!

  We're kicking off another Bassmaster Elite Series season in Florida where two great waters will undoubtedly reveal some not new lures and techniques. I can't think of a better way to have a front row seat to that action than serving as an Elite Series Marshal. Now that we've got a few years under our belts with the marshal program, I am more excited about it now than before. There were skeptics who said no one would want to sit in the back of the boat with a pro and not get a chance to fish. However, I can …

Attracting sponsors

  As the appeal for tournament fishing grows, so does the demand for sponsors to help defray the costs. It's one of the most common questions I am asked, "How does someone go about getting sponsors?" Make no mistake about it — professional fishing can't be done without financial backing. But sponsorship is a two-way street, and companies willing to hire you to represent them demand a solid return on their investment. That is an aspect that many anglers overlook — they don't realize what sponsors expect in return, including those anglers who only receive free product to use. Nothing …

The business side of being a pro

  In last week’s blog “How to become a bass pro,” I outlined what you have to do to become a skilled competitor at the highest level. But there’s more to being a successful pro than being a good angler. You have to be a good businessman with a long-term plan; never get ahead of yourself and put your family or career in jeopardy by doing too much too quickly. I’ve seen many great anglers who came on tour without an understanding of the business side. They didn’t survive because they couldn’t weather the financial ups-and-downs everyone faces early on. …

The fishing side of becoming a pro

  One of the most popular questions I get asked is, “How can I become a bass pro?” There’s not a simple answer nor do I believe my way the only way, but I have advice on how to make that happen. Essentially, there are two dynamically different, yet equally important, aspects to achieving this goal. This week we’ll deal with the fishing aspect which might seem obvious, yet most neophyte bass fishermen lack an intricate understanding of how it is to compete on the pro level. And next week, I’ll cover the sponsorship and the business side that often …