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Kevin VanDam’s Best Follow-Up Bait

Strike King Ocho

My number-one follow-up bait is a Strike King Ocho, whether I’m fishing it in grass and lily pads or on ledges. I usually cast the Ocho rigged wacky style right back to the place where a bass has missed a lure. The Ocho has a slow, back-and-forth action as it wiggles when it falls. A great percentage of the time, I can catch that same bass that has missed my frog, my spinner bait or my topwater lure using the same color of Ocho that the baitfish are in the area where I’m fishing. For instance, if the bass are feeding on shad, I prefer to use a white or a shad-colored Ocho. If they’re feeding on bluegills, I like an Ocho that’s colored like bluegills. If they’re feeding on crawfish, I’ll fish a crawfish-colored Ocho.

One of my favorite times to fish an Ocho is when I’m frog fishing. Although I’ll catch a good percentage of bass in the grass with a frog, the frog sometimes is easy for a bass to miss. So, if I can throw right in that same spot where the bass has missed the frog, I generally can catch it on the Ocho.

Even when I’m fishing offshore on ledges and/or drop-offs, I’ll still fish an Ocho. However, I may put a nail in the Ocho’s head to make it fall faster than it will if it’s rigged wacky style. There’s just something about this big plastic worm wiggling or dropping head first that seems to make bass bite. More often than not, if I don’t hook a bass but do get a strike, if I’ll follow-up with the Ocho, I usually can catch that bass. The Ocho is one lure I always tied onto a rod on my casting deck. Then I’m prepared to always follow-up with the Ocho when a bass strikes at but doesn’t get hooked by the original lure I’m fishing.

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