Kevin Van Dam explains how a subtle, single swimbait is his tool of choice when chasing fall transition bass during tough conditions.
TACKLE USED (retail links)
- BAIT – Strike King Rage Swimmer, 4.25″
- JIG HEAD – Strike King Baby Squadron Swimbait Head, 5/16-ounce
- ROD – Lew’s KVD Series Spinning Rod
- REEL – Lew’s KVD Series 3000 Spinning Reel
- LINE – Strike King Tour Grade Fluorocarbon, 10-pound
- FISH FINDER – Humminbird HELIX 12 CHIRP SI+ GPS G4N
- LIVE SONAR – Humminbird MEGA Live Imaging
Various environmental changes can mess with the fishing as summer transitions to fall. KVD dealt with high, clear skies, no wind, and some wildly scattered fish on this particular day — this is when he knows covering water is vital, and the slower finesse tactics get put away until the fish are found. At the same time, overpowering baits like Alabama rigs and spinnerbaits are a little too much for bass in a funk. For KVD, a subtle single hook swimbait can be cast great distances while appearing to be a natural, easy meal for finicky smallmouth.
Van Dam uses Humminbird LakeMaster mapping and focuses on large flats with steep breaks near deeper water. There are grass transitions and forage, meaning bass are never far behind. Covering water with a single swimmer not only gets him bites over these vast flats, but it will often reveal fish that follow up to the boat. Then, a change to slower tactics is implemented once the fish have been found.