John's Journal...

Catch Deep Summer Bass with Kevin VanDam’s New Strike King Series 6 XD Crankbait

Day Two of the BASS Elite Kentucky Lake Tournament

Editor’s Note: Kevin VanDam of Kalamazoo, Michigan, one of America’s top bass fishermen, has solved a major hot-weather bass-fishing Click to enlargeproblem for all of us.  When the weather’s too hot to breathe, a new lure that VanDam has designed – the Strike King Series 6XD crankbait – will help us catch bass holding on deep ledges. In 2008, on Kentucky Lake, VanDam needed a crankbait to dive 18- to 20-feet deep to win. But getting a crankbait down that deep is pointless unless the crankbait has the right wobble and will run true to attract bass on deep-water ledges during hot summer months. So, VanDam worked with the Strike King lure designers to develop a new crankbait that would deliver the performance he needed Click to enlargefor the June, 2009 BASS Elite Series event on Kentucky Lake in Paris, Tennessee. VanDam was willing to gamble $100,000, thefirst-place prize in this tournament, on this newly-designed bait. Although the Series 6 XD crankbait hadn’t yet come to the market (it should be available in August, 2009), VanDam had six or eight prototypes in factory-painted colors to use in this tournament event. This week, VanDam will tell us about the new Strike King Series 6 XD crankbait, and how he fished it in this year’s tournament on Kentucky Lake.

Question: Kevin, what happened on the second day of the tournament?
VanDam: I had a much-tougher day. I tried to find a school of bigger bass but didn’t have much success. I finished the day with 22 pounds, which was a fair day, but I just couldn’t locate the big bass I needed. Although I fished a number of spots and ran a lot of water, I never caught a bass that weighed over 6 pounds. I caught some 4 and 5 pounders and was able to scratch out a solid limit. Click to enlarge

Question: I’m sure that by bringing in two 7 pounders and a 6 pounder on day one, a lot of spectators followed you on the second day. How many spectators followed you the second tournament day?
VanDam: About 15 or 16 spectators followed me. The spectators at Kentucky Lake don’t just follow a contestant to see how he’s fishing. They follow you to find your fishing spots. Click to enlargeYou’ll always see several of them move onto your spot as soon as you leave it. When you leave a fishing spot, you can write it off. You have to manage your fishing sites and not go to each one on the first day or two, because if you do, they’ll be fished- out by the end of the tournament. Although I didn’t find the big bass I needed, I knew I’d had a decent day, and I still hadn’t gone to my best fishing places. In this tournament, you have to catch bass for 4 days. So, I had a number of different places to fish. But I also had to know at what time the bass would show-up at each one of these areas. Being on a spot at the right time was critical to catching the bass that moved onto those sites at that time. If the bass moved-up to one of those ledges, then being at that location when the bass moved-up was essential to catching them. You could go to one section and not get a bite and return to that same spot a few hours later or earlier and load the boat. I had many spots I could fish, but not all of them were productive all the time.

Question: At the end of the second day, in what place were you?
VanDam: At the end of the second day, I was in second or third place.

Tomorrow: Day Three of the BASS Elite Kentucky Lake Tournament

Check back each day this week for more about "Catch Deep Summer Bass with Kevin VanDam’s New Strike King Series 6 XD Crankbait"

Day 1: Practice Days with the New Strike King Series 6 XD
Day 2: Day One of the 2009 BASS Elite Kentucky Lake Tournament
Day 3: Day Two of the BASS Elite Kentucky Lake Tournament
Day 4: Day Three of the BASS Elite Kentucky Lake Tournament
Day 5: Final Day of the BASS Elite Kentucky Lake Tournament


Entry 515, Day 3