KVD talks Waves, Where to find Fish and What to Throw as Elite on Erie Approaches

Category: Tournament

 Jul 28th, 2008 by OutdoorsFIRST 

Modified Jul 28th, 2008 at 12:00 AM

Kevin Van Dam and tools of the trade

Announcing that Kevin Van Dam currently leads the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year race delivers the shock value equivalent of saying Tiger is the PGA's best golfer.

BASS now swings north to the part of America where Smallmouth are prolific and Van Dam cut his bassin teeth catching them.  This puts KVD in position to win his fourth Angler of the Year trophy in the same manner that a bogey on 18 would suffice for Eldrick to win again.

But as the Bassmaster Elite on Lake Erie fast approaches, Kevin swears it's not that easy.  "I may have a little advantage in knowing the details of Smallmouth behavior, but in the Elite Series, mostly everybody knows how to fish for Smallmouth.  It would be crazy to say I'm certain to win or have a Top 5.  All you have to do is look at last year."  He finished 16th in 2007, and says that was truly the best he could do, citing no major regrets in his rearview mirror.

A fast-scan of Erie looks like a massive freshwater ocean, leaving beginners with a "where do I start?" mentality.  Kevin says it's about minor, subtle changes on the lake's floor.  "You look for minor irregularities on your sonar, a place where the bottom dips less than a foot might hold a massive school, but you also have to find the baitfish, and they tend to shift locations constantly."

So what do you throw when you find them?   "I'd be sure to pack lots of tube baits, drop-shot rigs, and 6 – 10 pound line," said Van Dam.

And as far as navigating the freshwater ocean, Kevin warns to come prepared.  "I've seen 8' tall waves more than once, and you better be looking far in front of you so you can steer around them, because you sure don't want to be caught by surprise and drive straight into one.  You also need to have a 4 or 5-blade prop for lots of low-end torque, which helps you avoid "blow outs" in rough water.  Lastly, pack Dramamine to treat sea-sickness, and a jockstrap might not be a bad idea either," VanDam concluded with a laugh.

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