Kevin VanDam (KVD) has won more money in fishing tournaments than any other professional angler and is one of the most successful anglers in history. Outdoor Hub Reporter John Phillips caught up with KVD to learn more about his fishing style and what make him such a success on the fishing tournament trail. Check out this previous part of the interview on bass fishing ledges by clicking here.
Question: Kevin, we know that one of the reasons you and the other Strike King pros are consistently successful is that you help design the lures you fish. Why did you decide that the world needed a different finesse worm when there are so many finesse worms on the market already?
VanDam: Strike King and I wanted to develop shapes and colors that made our soft plastic lures better than any others on the market. But first we wanted our soft plastic lures to have an edge. We wanted our soft plastic lures to be constructed with better material than the material other companies used to make their soft plastic lures. So, we came up with a new type of plastic – the Perfect Plastic – for our finesse worm. We wanted a softer plastic with a heavy salt content to give the bait a good sink rate, especially when the worm was rigged wacky style. The salt also allowed the worm to be heavier than most finesse worms, allowing you to cast it without having to add weight to the worm or the hook. The tail on most straight-tailed worms (finesse worms) had no action. We wanted the Strike King Perfect Plastic Finesse Worm’s tail to have action. The tail’s always flipping and moving, making this finesse worm very versatile, whether you’re fishing it on a Carolina rig, a shaky-head jig or a Texas rig.
Question: What size finesse worm do you fish most often, and why?
VanDam: I primarily fish the 7 inch 3X Elaztech Finesse Worm. Of course, that decision on what to fish depends on the lake I’m fishing. In tournaments, I fish for big bass. The 7-inch finesse worm gives me the properties and the actions of a finesse worm in a longer profile. When you say the words finesse worm, you usually think about a 4-1/2 or a 5 inch worm. However, if you can get the action and the finesse technique in a larger-size finesse worm, then you can attract larger bass. If I’m fishing a smallmouth lake, I’ll choose a 5 inch KVD Perfect Plastic Strike King Finesse Worm. If I’m fishing a lake with a number of spotted bass, I’ll use the smaller Finesse Worm. I’m not a one lure fisherman. If I’ll be fishing a Finesse Worm, I want it in my boat in several sizes to let the bass tell me which size they want to eat on the day I’m fishing. If they won’t eat the 7 inch Finesse Worm, I’ll present them with the 5 inch worm. However, when I’m targeting bigger bass, the 7 inch Finesse Worm is my lure of choice.
Question: We know that you choose your lure colors based on water clarity, the amount of sunlight the water gets and the depth at which you’re fishing. But if you only can pick three Finesse Worm colors, what will they be?
VanDam: If I only could pick one color to fish anywhere in the nation, more than likely I’ll choose green pumpkin. But dirt-colored Finesse Worms are my favorite almost anywhere that I fish, if the water’s clear or slightly stained. If the water’s dirty, or I’m fishing in Florida, I prefer the junebug or the redbug color.