John's Journal...

Finding and Catching November Bass with Kevin VanDam

Jigs – Any Where Bait

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 Series 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 other lure will you not go to the lake without in November?
VanDam: You can’t go fishing this month without a jig tied onto one of your rods. Whether I’m fishing in Michigan, Texas or California this month, I’ll have a Strike King jig tied onto one of my rods. Regardless of where you’re fishing, you’ll always find a jig bite during November, especially in highland reservoirs where the bass are targeting crawfish. My favorite jig to fish this month is a football-head jig. Here’s why. I’ll tie a 1/2-ounce Football-Head jig on one rod and a 3/4-ounce football-head jig on another rod. Now, I’m set-up to fish any lake depth. The jig’s a very-efficient bait because I can keep it on the bottom and feel the depth changes and the structures it’s crawling over. I can find brush piles, boulders, pea gravel, logs, stumps and any other type of structure on the bottom with the jig. The jig allows me to see the bottom through what I feel on the line. As the weather gets colder, the bass will be keying-in more on underwater channel points. You have to be able to fish these channel points quickly and efficiently, while still keeping the jig in the strike zone of the bass for a long period. This is what the Strike King football-head jig does for me. If the bass are holding on the bottom, the football-head jig will be hard to beat.

Question: What trailer are you putting on the football-head jig?
VanDam: I’m either using a Rage Chunk or a Rage Craw. I personally like to fish the Rage Craw on the football-head jig. The Rage Craw is a little longer than the Rage Chunk. I like the Rage Craw because when it comes over a rock, that crawfish-looking trailer on the back appears to jump over the rock just like a crawfish will. Those pincers have great action. When you combine that action with the fish-catching ability of the Rage Craw on the back side of big bass bait like the football-head jig, you have the most potential for catching the biggest bass you can catch in a day of fishing. I’m not trying to catch 100 fish a day when I’m fishing the football-head jig with a Rage Craw trailer. I just want to catch a quality stringer of bigger bass.

Question: What are your three favorite colors?
VanDam: All the crawfish-type patterns. I like the Peanut Butter and Jelly, Green Pumpkin/Brown and the Texas Craw. I prefer the Texas Craw when there’s color in the water, the green pumpkin/brown when the water’s a little clearer, and if the water’s stable, I bet on the Peanut Butter and Jelly color. This week, I haven’t been able to tell you one magic lure in a particular color that you can take out on the lake today and catch the biggest limit of bass you’ve ever caught in your life. However, the lures I’ve mentioned for November will give you the best chance to catch the most bass in most of the lakes you fish. If I knew how to catch really-big bass every time I went fishing, I’d win every tournament I enter. But I don’t. You still have to evaluate the water and the weather conditions, learn what the baitfish are doing on the lake and learn where they’re holding and pick the appropriate lure to catch them. The tactics and the lures I’ve mentioned are the way I’ll be fishing with you, if you and I are fishing together in November. I hope these suggestions help you, and please let us know what you’re catching.

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 5