John's Journal...

Kevin VanDam on 12 Months of Successful Bass Fishing

Day 4: Kevin VanDam Recommends You Rely on Your Instincts to Bass Fish the Best

Editor’s Note: Kevin VanDam tells us the five things that have made him so successful in tournament bass fishing, especially during the 12 months of 2010 and 2011 in which he won the Bassmasters Classic Championship and the Angler-of-the-Year title on the BASS circuit.

Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger ViewAccording to Kevin VanDam, “When I’m out fishing, and there’s a weather or a water change or something in the environment is different than it has been, I have thoughts pop into my head like, ‘Kevin, since the bass have moved more shallow, you need to put-up your Series 6XD and pick-up a Series 3 crankbait. Or, perhaps, instead of fishing ledges, you need to move to the visible grass.’ Over the years, I’ve learned that when I’m not catching bass, I need to trust those ideas that pop into my head from out of nowhere. I think many people are afraid to take that kind of a chance, especially if they’re fishing a pattern, a location or a bait that’s been producing bass for them. You have to have a lot of confidence and belief in those ideas that seem to come from nowhere that tell you to give-up on a pattern that’s not producing and try something totally different.

“But when you do that, you’re doing what many of us call intuitive fishing. Yes, it’s a gamble, and, no, it doesn’t always pay-off. And, I think one of the things that helps anglers to become more intuitive fishermen is to not be afraid to fail. I know that by fishing intuitively, I’m still going to lose more times than I’ll win. However, I also know if I’m fishing a particular area, type of bait or pattern, and I’m not catching bass, I’m not going to win staying with the technique I’m using right then. So, I’m willing to gamble on those thoughts that pop into my head from nowhere. I’ll take that chance. Sometimes listening to that intuitive voice works out, but most of the time it doesn’t. However, if you’re not catching fish doing what you’re doing, you really don’t have anything to lose by learning to fish intuitively. Probably 75% of the time an intuitive thought results in my catching more fish.

Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger View“And, let me tell you why. Even if I don’t catch fish, when I follow my intuitive sense and make a change, whatever that change is usually leads me to a technique or a lure or a tactic that does produce bass. I’ve learned that my intuitive sense pays-off more often than it doesn’t. I’ve learned that I can follow my instincts (intuitive thoughts), and that intuition generally will lead me to fishing better and catching more. And, I believe if as a fisherman you learn to develop and learn to rely on your intuition, you may find that it also works for you.” To learn more about Kevin VanDam and his fishing, go to

How to Bass Fish Like  a ProTo learn more about how to catch bass successfully, click here, or visit, and type-in the name of John E. Phillips’ book, “How to Bass Fish Like a Pro” that’s now available from Kindle books and contains information on all aspects of bass fishing across the country from top pros like Denny Brauer, Mark Davis, Mark Rose and others.

Tomorrow: Kevin VanDam Explains Why Not to Be Afraid to Fail When Bass Fishing


Check back each day this week for more about "Kevin VanDam on 12 Months of Successful Bass Fishing "

Day 1: Kevin VanDam Suggests You Prepare and Fish Your Strengths in Bass Fishing
Day 2: Kevin VanDam Has Confidence in His Bass Fishing
Day 3: Kevin VanDam Says to Use Your Body’s Metabolism and Don’t Be Afraid of Change
Day 4: Kevin VanDam Recommends You Rely on Your Instincts to Bass Fish the Best
Day 5: Kevin VanDam Explains Why Not to Be Afraid to Fail Whenb Bass Fishing

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Entry 662, Day 4