Bass fishing legend Kevin VanDam recently delivered this unique spring Damiki rigging video and followed up with this informative crankbait piece in another prespawn scenario. KVD explains how to target prespawn bass on highland reservoirs by finding and targeting bottom composition changes with crankbaits. While the process sounds easy, there’s some nuance that requires your eyes to observe the shorelines and fish finders to see what’s below the surface.
TACKLE AND GEAR
- CRANKBAIT – Strike King Pro Model 3XD Crankbaits, color – Baby Carp
- HOOKS – Mustad KVD Elite Series Short Triple Grip, size #4
- ROD – Lew’s KVD Composite Cranking Cast Rod, 7′ Medium
- REEL – Lew’s KVD LFS Casting Reel, 6.2:1
- LINE – Bass Pro Shops XPS KVD Signature Series 100% Fluorocarbon Fishing Line, 12-pound
Bottom changes, where different rock types meet, are prime locations to find bass consolidations as they make their initial push into shallower water. KVD explains what to look for on the shore with your naked eye and how to find “sleeper” underwater transitions using contour mapping in conjunction with 360 sonar. While a range of baits work, he favors using compact, mid-depth crankbaits in hues of crawfish-imitating browns and red during this timeframe. Crankbaits can’t be beat for covering water and triggering bites!
To speed finding prime spots, KVD uses contour coloring (depth highlight) to help quickly identify likely areas on the map, with steep to flat contour transitions being prime. Humminbird’s MEGA 360 adds information by revealing structure and cover elements that lay on top of the contours. KVD then lines up high-percentage casts that keep his bait in the strike window the longest. He favors wind-blown shorelines for this pattern, as the wind cuts down on light penetration, creates current, and makes the fish less spooky and more active while enhancing casting distance.
Lastly, KVD discusses the importance of using a crankbait-optimized rod setup built around a moderate speed 6.2:1 reel affixed to a composite cranking rod. While the slower action rod helps hook and keep bass buttoned, perhaps, more importantly, the rod and reel combo is optimized to feel the bait and get the most action out of it.
- LIVE SONAR – Humminbird MEGA Live Imaging
- 360 SONAR – Humminbird MEGA 360
- BOW GRAPHS – Humminbird HELIX 12 CHIRP MEGA SI+ GPS G4N
- TROLLING MOTOR – Minn Kota Ultrex
- MAPPING – Humminbird LakeMaster PLUS, Great Plains V1
- Hydrowave H2 Kevin VanDam Electronic Feeding Stimulator
- SIDE GRAPH MOUNT – T-H Marine KVD Kong Electronics Mount
- CENTER GRAPH MOUNT – T-H Marine Kong Wave Tamer
MISC. BOAT AND ACCESSORIES
- ENGINE – Mercury 250hp Pro XS FourStroke
- ENGINE COVER – Mercury ProXS 200-250 4-Stroke Vented Motor Cover
- TRUCK – 2022 Toyota Tundra
- T-H Marine G-Force Eliminator Prop Nut
- T-H Marine G-Force Trolling Motor Handle, color – Red
- SHALLOW WATER ANCHOR – Minn Kota Raptor Shallow Water Anchor, 10 ft