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John's Journal... Entry 213, Day 1


Kevin Vandam's Tackle Box

Editor's Note: Kevin VanDam of Kalamazoo, Michigan, an avid angler all his life, has won the Bassmasters Classic and the title of FLW Angler of the Year and has remained number one on www.bassfan.com for more than a year.

Question: If you're going fishing this weekend and taking a tackle box that has 10 trays with each tray holding only one style of lure, how will you stock your tackle box?
Answer: "The first tray I'll fill-up with spinner baits, including several 1/4-ounce ones, three or four 1/2-ounce spinner baits and a half-dozen 3/8-ounce spinner baits," VanDam says. "Some will have Colorado blades, others willow-leaf blades, and still others a combination with a silver Colorado blade on the front and a gold willow-leaf blade on the back. My basic spinner bait skirt colors will be shad, chartreuse-and-white and white.

"I'll stock tray two with jigs in a wide variety of colors and sizes from 1/4- to 3/4-ounces, but mostly 1/2-ounce jigs because I believe this size is the most versatile. I'll have watermelon and pumpkin colors for clear water, and black-and-chartreuse and black-and-blue for dirty water. I'll match the color and the size of trailers I use with each of these jigs. I like the new 3X Craw trailers and Denny Brauer Chunk trailers. I also will have smaller and bigger jigs to fish all types of cover situations, because there's very few places you fish where you won't catch bass on a jig.

"Tray three will hold Strike King Tube Technology tubes for flipping and for fishing on jigheads. I'll have tube jigs stacked-up, packed-down and hanging out the edges of that tray. I like the Strike King Denny Brauer Flipping tubes and the Kevin VanDam Pro Model Tubes. I'll have a wide variety of colors to match any type of baitfish or crawfish the bass may be eating in any lake. Matching colors of lures to natural bait works for fly-fishermen and also for tube baits for bass fishing. I'll have more different colors of tubes than I'll have of any lure in my tackle box, including tubes colored like shad, bluegill and crawfish. Too, I'll have some colors to fish in dirty water like black, black-and-blue, chartreuse, black-and-chartreuse and other darker colors.

"I'll use tray four as my top-water tray. My favorite top-water lure is a Strike King Spit-n-King. I'll also need a few walking baits, like a Zara Spook or a Lucky Craft Sammy. I want the top-water lures to be in big-fish colors like baby bass and shad patterns. At almost any time of the year, I can lure a bass to the surface with this style of lure.

"I'll devote tray five to shallow-running crankbaits in many colors. My primary colors will be chartreuse, crawfish and shad. But I'll use a good mix of colors on the shallow-running crankbaits like Strike King's Series 1 XS, the Bitsy Minnow and some Series 3 crankbaits.

To learn more about Strike King's lures, go to www.strikeking.com.




Check back each day this week for more about SECRETS OF THE CLASSIC WINNERS: KEVIN VANDAM AND RICK CLUNN ...

Day 1 - Kevin Vandam's Tackle Box
Day 2 - More Of Kevin Vandam's Tackle Box
Day 3 - Rick Clunn on How to Mentally Pick Apart a Tree
Day 4 - Fish The Shadows, And Hide The Bed
Day 5 - Hunt The Holes, And Take The Easy Bass First

John's Journal