Strike King pro Kevin VanDam uncovers the secrets to fishing during the summer to fall transition in Zone 5 during September.
“It's the time of the year when they make that transition from Summer to Fall. Bass are focused on moving back shallower towards the flats,” shares VanDam. “Bluegill and perch are moving from being suspended in deeper water to related around the edge of grass flats,” KVD continues.
For targeting fish during the migration, VanDam says, “These are great conditions for a mix of techniques.” He suggests jerkbait over grass and around the edges of flats and rock, and cranking for both smallmouth and largemouth, while noting that the bait is the most important factor to pay attention to.
If the water is clear, KVD prefers Bluegill. In stained water, he switches to Bone.
KVD Sexy Dawg is a great bait when bass are actively chasing prey.
VanDam’s choice for clear water is Perch, while he opts for Sexy Shad if the water is stained.
KVD J300 is a lethal choice when fish are suspended over cover.
He opts for Chartreuse Perch in clear water, and switches to Chartreuse Blue Back if the water is stained.
The 5XD dives to around 15-feet and is ideal for deflecting off deeper structure as fish make their way back into shallower flats.
From one end of Zone 5 to the other, drop shotting has become a go-to technique for targeting smallmouth and largemouth. The Baby Z-Too and KVD Dream Shot baits are reliable choices when fish are congregated around cover on the bottom.
When fishing with the Baby-Z Too, KVD will choose Arkansas Shiner if the water is clear, and he will throw The Deal in more stained water.
VanDam picks up the KVD Dream Shot in KVD Magic for clear water and uses Chartreuse/Blue Glimmer Back if the water is stained.
The Denny Brauer Structure Jig is unbeatable when drawing a strike out of fish when targeting cover. The shape of the head and zero-degree line tie are designed to move through brush with less hang-ups.
He opts for Green Pumpkin in clear water. If the water is stained, KVD will throw Hard Candy, while he will switch to Black/Blue if the water is muddy.