March 03, 2022
By Alan McGuckin
Kevin VanDam proudly calls Kalamazoo, Michigan, home and has said many times there’s no place he’d rather live, but he’s also unapologetic for his love and appreciation of Texas’ bass fisheries.
He’s had tremendous success in Texas throughout his phenomenal 30-year pro career. So, during the recent Major League Fishing tournament on Lake Fork, he graciously took time over a cheeseburger and basket of jalapeño poppers at Lake Fork Marina to reflect on his favorite Lone Star lures and lakes.
Lake Fork – “It will never cease to amaze me how many 4- to 8-pounder live in Fork, despite the crazy amount of fishing pressure. And the fact you always have a chance to catch an absolute giant on any cast never gets old. The longevity of this place is a huge testament to great management by the Texas Parks and Wildlife folks,” insisted the Team Toyota angler.
Sam Rayburn – “You could call Rayburn my sentimental favorite. It’s a world-class fishery, too, but it’s also home to some of my earliest success as a pro in the early 1990s. At one time, I set the B.A.S.S. single-day record with a 5-bass limit I caught on a floating lizard that weighed 31-pounds,” he said.
Toledo Bend – “I won on Toledo Bend as recently as 2016 with a 4-day total of 96-pounds, but that giant body of water holds a lot of sentimental memories, too. Heck, the legendary Tommy Martin taught me how to throw a Carolina rig during a day with him on Toledo Bend. Not to mention, it’s a great crankbait lake, and I love to throw a deep-diving crankbait.”
KVD’s Three All Time Favorite Texas Bass Fishing Lures
Jerkbait – “This may be the least talked about of my favorite Texas lures. But man, I don’t come to Texas without a Strike King 300 series jerkbait tied on. From suspended bass in treetops on Lake Fork, to grass lines on Rayburn, it’s just a phenomenal tool,” he said.
6XD Deep-Diving Crankbait – “Once the fish move offshore in late spring, and set up on their summer spots, a 6XD is the perfect tool for dredging underwater roadbeds, points, creek channels, and ledges in 15 to 18 feet of water.”
Thunder Cricket Vibrating Jig – “Ya just gotta have it—especially in the spring! It’s a phenomenal tool around aquatic vegetation, but it’s also extremely effective around wood.”
Like a basket full of jalapeno poppers, tasty honest input from the greatest professional bass angler of all time regarding his love of Texas bass fishing.