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Kevin VanDam Prefers Smallmouth Bass Fishing in Michigan

provided by John Phillips

Mossy Oak Fishing Pro 52-year-old Kevin VanDam of Kalamazoo, Michigan, one of the most successful bass fishermen in the nation (the winner of 5 Bassmaster Classics and the Angler-of- the-Year title 8 times), is a rapid-fire caster, consistent winner, innovative lure designer, family man, friend of the press and master of new technology and electronics. But who is Kevin VanDam really? We wanted to share his backstory with you to help you understand why he was the first professional bass fisherman selected for Mossy Oak’s Fishing Team. To learn more, visit his Facebook Page.  

Kevin VanDam smallmouth

On the more than 11,000 lakes in Michigan, I’d rather fish for smallmouth bass than any other subspecies of bass. Smallmouth bass are aggressive, fight hard and will pull drag off your reel. I believe that any bass fisherman will tell you that smallmouth bass are very special. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t enjoy catching them, although, we also have quite a few largemouths in Michigan. So, I’ve had the opportunity to learn when, where and how to catch both smallmouths and largemouths. 

Usually, when I go smallmouth fishing, I use a dropshot, a jerkbait, a spinner bait, a swimbait or a crankbait. Although these are my favorite lures, I especially love throwing a crankbait or a swimbait to catch smallmouths. I use natural colors for each lure and try to match the color with the dominant forage fish that the smallmouth are feeding on, based on location. Depending on where you’re fishing, smallmouths eat a lot of crayfish, perch, emerald shiners, gobies and mayflies. Lure color depends on what type of bait the smallmouth bass are feeding on, the time of year that you’re going to be fishing, and the specific lake where you’ll be fishing. 

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