John's Journal...

Finding and Catching November Bass with Kevin VanDam

Let’s Go Tubing

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: One of the best guides you can have in your boat with you this year is Kevin VanDam 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 SClick to enlargeeries 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, as the weather begins to cool down toward the end of the month, what lure will be your go-to bait?
VanDam: Toward the end of November, I really like to fish the Strike King tube, especially on really-tough fishing days. Like most bass fishermen, Idon’t get to pick the days I go fishing. I fish practice days, tournament days or my off days, regardless of the wind and weather conditions. So, when you fish like this, you have to fish when a cold front’s hitting, rainy, snowy or windy conditions are happening, and when the weather’s the worst it can be. When I have to fish in bad-weather conditions in November, I need a bait I can get down on the bottom and fish really slowly to make those bass that don’t want to bite, bite anyway. So, the tube is my go-to Click to enlargebait on those days. When I need a bait I can fall back on and know I can get some bites on it, a tube will do that for me. When I’m fishing the tube, I’ll catch some big fish on it.

Question: Kevin, how are you working the tube?
VanDam: I doClick to enlargen’t believe there’s a wrong way to work a tube. So, I experiment with a lot of different types of retrieves. I’ll usually fish the tube on a spinning rod with 8- or 10-pound-test line. Many times I’ll pop the tube a little to make it dart and hopefully trigger a reaction strike. Sometimes I’ll just drag the tube around on the bottom with a football-head jig on it. If I’ll be hopping and jerking the tube, I’ll use a regular tube-head jig. One of the beauties of fishing the tube is when you pull it up off the bottom, it never falls the same way twice. It always has a very-erratic action. It doesn’t have that straight, steady action that the ribbontail worm has, and that’s what gives the tube its tremendous ability to trigger strikes. This is why a tube produces so many bites during extremely-bad and/or cold weather.

Question: What are your three favorite colors of tube?
VanDam: I like natural colors, especially in very-clear water. I always pick a color that will blend in with the color of the bottom I’m fishing, because that’s what the crawfish does. One of the crawfish’s self-defense tactics is to change colors to the color of the bottom. Then it blends in and is less likely to be seen by predator fish, as long as it’s staying still. So, if I’m fishing the tube around grass, any shade of watermelon will be my preferred color. If I’m fishing it around rocks, I’ll choose green pumpkin or chameleon craw because they’re ground types of colors. If the water’s stained, I’ll use black and blue because the water’s darker. I want the tube to blend in with the bottom in clear water and present a darker silhouette in stained water.

Tomorrow: Let’s Go Slow Rolling

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 3