Tips, Tricks and Tactics From the Pros
Editor’s Note: Right now, everyone is scurrying to find stocking stuffers and last-minute gifts for Christmas. If you’re not a fisherman, or if you have very-little knowledge about fishing, who will you want to advise you on the best stocking stuffers for bass-fishing family, friends, co-workers or bosses? Kevin VanDam won the Bassmaster Classic and Angler of the Year in 2010. This past year, he was the most-successful professional bass fisherman in the nation. So, we asked VanDam, “What stocking stuffers and major gifts will bass fishermen most appreciate?”
Part 1: Santa and Kevin VanDam Like Strike King’s KVD 1.5, KVD 2.5, Baby Rage Craw and Baby Rodent
Question: Kevin, if you were going to stuff a stocking for an avid bass fisherman, what would you put in first?
VanDam: I’d choose two lures – the KVD 1.5 and the KVD 2.5 by Strike King.
Question: Why would you choose these two lures?
VanDam: These are two of the hottest, newest lures on the market. They’ve proven themselves to be bass catchers in tournament competition. Not everyone has these lures right now, because they’re so new. These unique lures have a different action from any other type of crankbaits, and they swim at a different water depth than most-other crankbaits. These lures have been built to have an erratic action that triggers strikes from bass.
These two lures are the lures that fishermen will call their buddies about after they’ve gotten them in their stockings and say, “Guess what I got for Christmas?” These lures are designed to run off-balance and search for bass back and forth as they’re being retrieved. You don’t have to be a highly-skilled fisherman to use them, because the action is built into the lure for you. They’re brand-new on the market, and most fishermen don’t already have these lures in their tackle boxes.
Question: What color would you pick that most bass fishermen could use, regardless of where they live?
VanDam: Of course, water clarity for the lake you fish always determines color. But you can’t go wrong with the sexy-shad color, the hottest color lure pattern in the nation for the last few years. There are many imitations of sexy shad, but Strike King is the only company that has the original. If you choose the 1.5 and 2.5 in the sexy-shad color, you’ll really impress the person whose stocking you’re stuffing with your knowledge of bass fishing. I’ll choose the original sexy-shad color, even though these two lures come in a variety of different sexy-shad colors.
Question: If we need some more stuff to fill-up our stockings, what are some other lures you suggest for bassing?
VanDam: Two of the hottest new soft-plastic lures that Strike King has that are brand-new are the Baby Rage Craw and the Baby Rodent. These downsized baits have a variety of uses and can be deadly effective the day after Christmas, depending on where you fish. The Rodent is one of the hottest soft-plastic lures on the market this past year. Anglers use it as a flipping bait and both Carolina-and Texas-rigged.
It has a wide variety of ways it can be fished. After a year on the tournament circuit, many of our pros said, “We need a smaller Rodent to fish when bites are hard to get, and the bass want a smaller version of the Rodent.” Therefore, Strike King came out with the 3-inch Baby Rodent, and it’s flying-off the shelves. You’ll impress and excite any bass fisherman with a pack or two of Baby Rodents in his or her stocking.
You can fish the Baby Rage Craw all the same ways I’ve mentioned for the Baby Rodent, and it’s also an excellent jig trailer. Once again, if you stuff stockings with these lures, the people who receive them will know that you know what the hottest new lures are and that you’ve spent time choosing the gifts that he or she will use.
PS: Since many of your non-fishing friends won’t be reading the Strike King webpage, print this page out, give it to your non-fishing friend, and say, “This is a really-interesting article I think you’ll want to read.” Then grin, and hopefully he or she will take the hint.
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