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 4: Strike King’s Perfect Plastic KVD Finesse Worm for Successful After-Christmas Fishing
Question: Kevin, what are some other stocking stuffers to add weight and bulk to the stocking, yet will be presents that will make a fisherman smile with joy knowing that he has something useful in his Christmas stocking this year, instead of another tie tack or set of cufflinks that he rarely if ever uses?
VanDam: I’ll tell you what I appreciate and can use the day after Christmas and all year long is the new Strike King Perfect Plastic KVD Finesse Worm. On television, if you’ll watch fishing tournaments, you know that they show pros catching bass almost all the time, but that’s not reality. Often, when fishing is tough, just getting a bite is an accomplishment. Most fishermen know that when getting a bite is tough, you’ve got to downsize your lures and spend more time working the bait each time you cast it out. Two of my go-to lures when fishing is tough are the new 5- and 6-1/2-inch Strike King Perfect Plastic KVD Finesse Worms.
Of course with color, you have to match the water and weather conditions and the color of the bait the fish are feeding on to choose the right color. However, the color that I use most often and most fishermen I know use most often is green pumpkin. With this color in both sizes of the perfect Plastic KVD Finesse Worm, I know I can catch bass when the water, the weather and the mood of the bass are against me.
These little finesse worms are like a hors d’oeuvre served after a big banquet. You’re already full, because you’ve eaten so much, and you’re not really in the mood to eat any more. But when that tasty little morsel with eye appeal appears in front of you, even though your stomach may be saying “No,” your brain is saying, “That little bite of food won’t hurt.” I believe this is one of the reasons that the bass will take the finesse worm when fishing conditions are tough. Too, the green-pumpkin color is one of the most-natural colors of forage that bass feed on anywhere.
Once again, these are the latest and hottest new soft plastics in the fishing market today. Choosing these two sizes of Strike King Finesse Worms will tell the person that you’re giving them to that you’ve put thought and research into your gift. You may even put a note on each pack that says, “When fishing is tough, pull-out these Strike King Perfect Plastic KVD Finesse Worms and think of me.” That little note will tell the person you’re giving the gift to that you know more about fishing than he or she thinks you did, and that you understand that all fishermen have tough days on the water and they need a magic lure that can help them get bites when they haven’t gotten bites all day.
In this list of stocking stuffers this week, I’m trying to pick new and unique lures that are just coming to the market. Most bass fishermen don’t already have these lures in their tackle boxes. However, avid bass fishermen who read, study and watch everything related to bass probably have seen or read about some of these new lures and will love to have them.
Another lure that will add weight to the stocking without adding bulk that a fisherman will appreciate is a Kevin VanDam Swim Jig (found only at Bass Pro Shops) or a Tour Grade Swim Jig (available at any good sporting-goods store). My favorite color is the bluegill color. As a trailer, I’ll use a KVD Chunk or a Rage Craw. The swimming jig is a lure that I use to catch a lot of bass. It’s a fairly-new technique in the professional bass-fishing world but is deadly effective. This lure is one that many fishermen don’t have in their tackle boxes that they need. If I have to add another color to the bluegill color of swimming jig, I’ll choose a sexy shad color. Those are the two primary forage species that bass will be eating in the area where you’ll be fishing the swimming jig, especially if you’re using the swimming jig during the spawn.
PS: Since many of your non-fishing friends won’t be reading the Strike King webpage, print this page out, and give it to your non-fishing friends and say, “This is a really-interesting article I think you’ll enjoy reading.” Then grin.