Strike King pro Kevin VanDam shares his “go-to” spots for targeting bass in Zone 5 during the hottest time of the year.
“Surface temps are at their highest levels and the fish are locked into solid summer patterns across the region. This means that most of the population is either on main lake offshore structure or outside of weed lines and matted vegetation,” shares KVD.
Optimal fishing locations in Zone 5? For KVD, he looks for, “super-shallow boat docks, ‘cheese mats,’ duckweed, and algae on the top of the grass where bluegill is the main forage.”
If the water is clear, KVD prefers 5XD in Green Gizzard Shad. In stained water, he switches to Chartreuse Perch. For muddy water, he will favor a Black Back Chartreuse.
VanDam frequently utilizes a drop shot when tangling with aggressive smallmouth throughout the year. He opts for the Z-Too to imitate smaller species of baitfish but will also keep a KVD Dream Shot and a Fat Baby Finesse Worm tied on depending on the size of the forage on a particular body of water.
VanDam’s choice for clear water is Z-Too Arkansas Shiner, while he opts for a Fat Baby Finesse Worm Morning Dawn if the water is stained. In muddy water, KVD picks up the 5” Ocho in Black Blue Flake.
The Rage Punch Bug is KVD’s top choice when punching around matted grass.
He opts for Green Pumpkin in clear water, and switches to Okeechobee Craw if the water is stained.
VanDam pairs the 3.75” Rage Swimmer with a swimbait head when fishing near the bottom.
If the water is clear, he will throw a KVD Magic, while more stained water calls for a Green Pumpkin/Pearl Belly. In low-vis conditions, KVD grabs the Pearl.
Strike King’s KVD Sexy Frog is VanDam’s top choice when fishing around matted vegetation.
He opts for Black in clear water. If the water is stained, KVD will throw Leopard Frog, while he will switch to a Pearl White if the water is muddy.