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VanDam on Slow-Rolling the Spinner Bait

Kevin VanDamEditor's Note: Thirty-four-year-old Kevin VanDam of Kalamazoo, Michigan, currently ranked second on the tour and number one on www.bassfan.com, has had seven career wins and 43 top-ten finishes. VanDam has won the Angler-of-the-Year title three times. When he has prize money on the line in the fall, he relies on a spinner bait.

When the water temperature dips below 50 degrees, most bass fishermen slow-roll the spinner bait. You can slow-roll any size spinner bait in any depth of water.

I slow-roll a spinner bait under tough fishing conditions, especially after a cold front comes through and a high-pressure front moves onto a lake. These conditions make fish act more lethargic, and their strike zones will become much smaller. They won't chase baits very far to eat them.

When I slow-roll a spinner bait, I'll cast to targets like trees fallen in the water, grassy points, rocky banks or some other type of cover. I always want to make sure the spinner bait swims above where I think bass are holding.

If I bring the lure through fallen trees, I want the bait to barely hit the upper branches of the trees. If I run it over a grass line, I want it to tick the top of the grass. If I fish a rocky bottom, I want the bait to come above the rocks and the bass's head.

Kevin VanDamRemember when slow-rolling a spinner bait that bass will come up to take a bait much easier than they'll turn sideways or dive for the bait. A bait swimming above the bass blends in more with the sky, which helps to disguise the bait better, than if the fish looks down on the bait and sees the bottom as a background.

In my arsenal of lures, I like the spinner bait best because it's such a versatile lure, and I can fish it under any weather, water and structure condition. Spinner baits attract large bass.