John's Journal...

Learn from Top Bass Pros Kevin VanDam and Rick Clunn

Day 4: Kevin VanDam Explains Other Ways to Evaluate Where You’re Bass Fishing

Editor’s Note: One of the most-dominant anglers on the bass-fishing circuit, Kevin VanDam of Kalamazoo, Michigan has won several Bassmasters Classics, besides Bassmaster Angler of the Year titles.

Click for Larger ViewOnce when I fished Buggs Island, also known as Kerr Lake, in Virginia, during and right after the spawn, I mainly fished buck brush. I could go down the bank one day and catch plenty of fish off the buck brush but not get a bite the next day. I finally realized the bass were just resting on the buck brush, waiting to move to deep water. The buck brush wasn’t being replenished with bass after I caught the bass holding on the brush. I learned at that tournament that when I caught bass on one bank fishing buck brush that I needed to leave and go look for buck brush on another bank.

Why Stained Water’s Best – But Not Always:

Click for Larger ViewMost of the time when you can find an area with easy access to deep water, structure, current coming through it and stain in the water, then you’ve got an all-day fishing spot. Of all the ingredients you need for the best fishing spot, though, stained water is the least necessary. At the Great Lakes, where the water often is gin-clear, I often fish all day on some underwater rock piles with current on them. Smallmouth move off of and onto the rocks, which break the current and provide a place for smallmouth to ambush baitfish passing on either side of the rock pile at different times all day. So, I’ll continue to fish these same rock piles all day to catch smallmouth in clear water.

Why More Anglers Are Holding ‘Em Instead Of Folding ‘Em:

Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger ViewBecause of the tremendous amount of fishing pressure that’s put on a lake during a tournament and on the weekends, I’m seeing more and more tournaments won by fishermen who find and fish for bass on one of these all-day spots, rather than the anglers who run and gun and try to fish many-different areas in a day. If you pinpoint a productive feeding site on the lake where you’re fishing, you may learn that you consistently will catch more bass by holding on that spot and fishing it all day with a wide variety of lures and techniques than you’ll catch if you leave that spot and go look for another place to fish. All-day hole sitting isn’t the most-favorite way for anglers to fish for bass. But I’ve learned that often if you hold ‘em instead of folding ‘em, then at the end of the day, you’ll have caught more bass than if you run and gun.

How to Bass Fish Like a ProHow to Catch the Most and Biggest Bass In Any LakeTo learn more about how to fish for bass, click the titles for the new ebooks by John E. Phillips, “How to Bass Fish Like a Pro” and “Catch the Most and Biggest Bass in Any Lake,” or go to, and type in the names of the books to buy them. Too, you can download a Kindle app for free and buy the book from Amazon to read it on your iPad, Smartphone or computer.

Tomorrow: Cranking Tactic for Bass with Rick Clunn

Check back each day this week for more about "Learn from Top Bass Pros Kevin VanDam and Rick Clunn"

Day 1: What Being Readily Adaptable Means to Pro Basser Kevin VanDam
Day 2: Kevin VanDam’s Three Keys to Consistent Bass Fishing
Day 3: Know When to Continue to Fish for Bass and When to Leave to Catch Bass Elsewhere with Kevin VanDam
Day 4: Kevin VanDam Explains Other Ways to Evaluate Where You’re Bass Fishing
Day 5: Cranking Tactics for Bass with Rick Clunn

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Entry 681, Day 4