By Al McGuckin
Unless your favorite fishery is clearer than Sprite, you probably can’t see for sure if bass are actually on spawning beds. But Kevin VanDam says if you see dogwood trees blooming along the shoreline, you better start casting ultra shallow, because there’s a super high chance your local largemouth are making babies.
“I don’t care if you’re in Michigan, Missouri, or somewhere in between, I’ve always said if the dogwoods are blooming, then you can pretty much bet the bass are spawning,” says the Team Toyota angler.
Moon phase/water temp matter: “Dogwoods are an easy indicator, but you need to pay attention to the moon phase and water temperature too, especially the moon phase,” says VanDam. “Water temps can fool you a little, because I’ve seen bass build beds in a pretty wide range of water temps. But if you have either a new moon or a full moon, like we’ve got coming later this week, and the dogwoods are blooming, you can count on bass spawning.”
John Fuchs from Mishawaka won the Co-Angler division at The Bass Federation (TBF) National Championship on Kentucky Lake recently.
Fuchs, a member of the St Joe Valley Bass Masters, won the three-day event with 28.5 pounds of bass which was almost 7 more pounds than his next competitor.
The event attracted 102 TBF State Champions who traveled from across the US and Canada.
He was awarded the $30,000 “Living the Dream” prize package to include a $20,000 prize check and fully paid entry fees into the FLW Series division of his choice. He also won an entry into T-H Marine BFL All-American Tournament which will be held on the Potomac River in June.
He earned a berth in the National Championship by placing in the St. Joe Valley Bass Masters’ top 8 then placing high enough in the Top - 8 Tournament held on Lake Wawasee. That qualified him for the Indiana/Illinois National Semi Finals at Patoka Lake where he finished second in the Co-Angler division. Indiana was allowed to send the top 2 anglers and top 2 co-anglers because of the number of entries they had had qualify for the National Semi Finals.
By Al McGuckin
If you live in Texas, Florida, Southern California, Arizona or Cancun you may decide to scroll ahead.
But if you live within 300 miles of Charlotte, St. Louis, Nashville, Syracuse, Minneapolis, Tulsa, Indianapolis, or anywhere else where snow flurries still threaten to fly, the “Kalamazoo Kid” has chosen three lures you might want to make sure you have ready for your first big bass fishing trip of the new season.
“The first fishing trip of the year for most people involves water temps in the 40s or really low 50s. So the three lures I’m choosing here are among my three favorites to cover a variety of conditions when the water is still really cold,” says VanDam.
½-ounce Strike King Red Eye Shad – “It’s hard to beat a lipless crankbait in some shade of red or crawfish in late winter or early spring. It really shines well if there’s aquatic vegetation – but that’s not critical. It wasn’t critical when I won the 2010 Classic on Lay Lake with a Red Eye Shad, and there was actually still a thin layer of ice on some of the backwaters when we started practice that week in Alabama,” remembers the Team Toyota angler.