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Kevin VanDam Uses Technology to the Max to Find and Catch Bass

Kevin VanDam

I try to use all the technology I can to help me find more bass. That’s why I run four Humminbird Helix 12 depth finders on my boat. I have two on the front deck to look at while I’m fishing, and I have two on the console to watch while I’m running my boat. 

I also use the LakeMaster mapping system that’s been developed by Humminbird to have the lake map on one screen to see where I’m at on the lake. I also can see and learn what the entire region around me is like. On my depth finder, I can watch the contour lines, too, showing the depths below and in front of me. But the big advantage to using this depth finder is that I can adjust the contour lines that I see on my depth finder to match the water level at the time I’m fishing for bass. 

This year at the 2019 Bassmaster Classic, Fort Loudoun Lake was almost 5-feet low. I went into my mapping program on my depth finder and adjusted the contour lines on the bottom to be accurate when the lake was 5-feet low. So, if you’re fishing a drop-off or a ledge, that contour line won’t be in the same place it’s been when the lake’s at full pool. But by being able to adjust that contour line to the water level, you can fish right on the contour line. Then I get an accurate depth anywhere I fish on the lake. I have one depth finder set just on the mapping program.

My second Humminbird unit gives me down-imaging and side-imaging as well as 2D sonar. I can determine whether the bottom is soft like a mud bottom or hard like a shell bottom. I have all this information available on the front two units and the back two units. One of the settings I use on one of my front units and dedicate it to is a 360-degree view. This view allows me to see the bottom all around the boat, and this feature is one I use often. I can spot isolated rocks, stumps, logs or any type of ambush point that a bass may use to stay out of the current and hold there waiting for bait to come by and that’s within casting distance of my boat. Having so many depth-finder units may sound like overkill. However, I get a ton of info from these four units that helps me determine a pattern and actually see where the bass are holding on structure, no matter where I am in my boat – at the console or on my casting deck. 

To be able to fully utilize all the technology available to help me find and catch more bass, I’ve integrated this MEGA imagining that’s very detailed and clear with my Ultrex  trolling motor, sonar, mapping capabilities and shallow-water anchors. I use this technology to navigate to a waypoint where I’ve spotted structure I want to fish. I feel I’m using the best technology on the market today to be as efficient as possible at catching bass.

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