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Power through the spawn

To find quantities of bass, you have to be efficient at covering water. That’s why I’ve made power fishing the foundation to my success. I not only can cover water fast but I can mix up techniques to find the best one on that day for that season. It works exceptionally well from spring through fall, but the dynamic and fast-changing spawning season can make it perplexing. The mood of the fish and their willingness to react to a lure can change 180 degrees in less than a day. It’s a tricky time of the year. I’ve seen periods when …

10 best tips for fishing wood

If both bass and bass fishermen have a magnet, it is a strategically positioned piece of wood. That can take many forms: a fallen tree with its roots on the bank and its branches extending well underneath the surface; a stumprow situated on a deep water ledge; shoreline bushes freshly flooded by rising water; a forest of standing timber; the extensive root system of a cypress tree; a brushpile anchored in a secret spot; a dock piling; a lone log hugging the lake bottom. Those are just a few examples of the types of wet wood that attract both angler …

Cover water with swimbaits and soft stickbaits

  We all know that if the water is dirty, the fish are going to be shallow, so flipping, cranking and spinnerbaits come into play. But this is the time of year we start encountering clear water, and swimbaits work into my strategy. They allow me to cover water but yet I can fish a little slower, keep the bait in the strike zone longer and make the fish react. When you have post-frontal conditions and clear water, bass are less likely to bite the standard reaction baits, but they will eat a swimbait. There are two types of swimbaits …

How KVD Chooses Crankbait Colors

  If you think Sexy Shad is Kevin VanDam’s favorite crankbait color, you’d be right … but only a third of the time.  “Sexy Shad is awfully good in a lot of situations, but I only choose it about 30-percent of the time, based on its fit for the conditions,” says VanDam. He defines crankbait conditions, and subsequently his color of choice, by three parameters. 1.) Water color 2.) Season 3.) Available forage. Rather than establish a combination of conditions larger than you’d find in a college statistics course, here are the six colors KVD uses that you can count …

Prespawn power fishing with jigs

  Everyone knows the prespawn is a time to catch big fish. Bass can be easy to pattern when the weather is stable this time of year, but they can be tricky to figure out during changing conditions because they make fast location changes. The first step is to determine where they winter and where they go to spawn, then spend time searching between those areas. Power fishing with spinnerbaits, crankbaits and jerkbaits can be very effective for locating prespawn bass, but a jig can be just as efficient when warranted. In fact, I use jigs often during the early …

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 …

Baitcasting made easy

  While I was being filmed for a Bass Pro Shops commercial, local onlookers walked onto their docks and began asking me about the use of a baitcaster. “I never could get the hang of how to use a baitcaster,” one man said. “How do you make it look so easy?” It’s a comment I get at sport shows and public appearances. People say they can’t use baitcast gear and prefer spincast and spinning reels that are easier to use. But baitcast gear gives you a mechanical advantage over other types of reels and the utmost control in making precision …