John's Journal...

Finding and Catching November Bass with Kevin VanDam

The King of Clear Water

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: One of the best guides you can have in your boat with you this year is KevinVanDam of Kalamazoo, Michigan. VanDam won two of the B.A.S.S. 2007 Elite Tournaments and finished second in the point standings on the Elite SeClick to enlargeries to win the Angler-of-the-Year title. This week, VanDam will tell you where to find bass and how to catch them during November.

Question: Kevin, what’s your second-best tactic for November bass fishing?
VanDam: I don’t call this my second-best tactic, but feel that a better term may be that it’s one of my best clear-water strategies. At this time of year, if I’m fishing the clear water of the North or the highland reservoirs of the South with their numbers of spotted and smallmouth bass suspending off points or abovestanding timber, I like to swim a King Shad. Most anglers think of the King Shad as a spring and a summertime bait. But this swim bait can be extremely deadly in November. If you’re fishing for suspended bass, especially in the lakes up here in Michigan where I live, another place where the King Shad is very appropriate is around boat docks. Many timeClick to enlarges in the fall, the bass will suspend under boat docks and start feeding on gizzard shad. I’ve seen the bass prefer the Click to enlargebigger gizzard shad, which the King Shad resembles on lakes like the Lake of the Ozarks, Table Rock and Grand Lake. The bass will move shallow at this time of year and relate to structure close to or above deep water, especially along channel banks.

At this time of year, I prefer to fish the King Shad with a slow retrieve and just wake it on top of the water. Sure, you can catch a few bass on a spinner bait and a top-water lure, but you’ll catch the bigger bass with the King Shad because it looks so much like the bigger gizzard shad the bass are eating. The bait also has a really-good sound to it. Because it’s a jointed lure, the King Shad makes a racket and calls in bass from a long distance, or it can pull bass up from really-deep water. When the bass gets close to the bait in clear lakes, especially on a sunny day when the bass can see the lures, bass don’t hesitate or back-off like they will from a spinner bait or a top-water lure, because the King Shad resembles the real shad so closely. Fishing the King Shad during the month of November is one of my favorite ways to fish, especially in clear lakes.

Tomorrow: Let’s Go Tubing

Check back each day this week for more about "Finding and Catching November Bass with Kevin VanDam"

Day 1: You Can’t Beat the Red Eye Shad
Day 2: The King of Clear Water
Day 3: Let’s Go Tubing
Day 4: Let’s Go Slow Rolling
Day 5: Jigs – Any Where Bait


Entry 429, Day 2