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BASS Kentucky Lake Winning Baits, Gear & Patterns

Kevin Vandam's Winning Pattern, Baits & Gear

Winning Pattern:

VanDam, who has 2nd- and 3rd-place finishes at Kentucky Lake since 2006 to go along with his two wins, said his first order of business when he arrives at the Kentucky-Tennessee border is to figure out which phase the majority of the quality fish are in.

"Everybody's going to be fishing ledges, but there have been times in the past when the fish were still in the creeks or just coming out (after the spawn), and the stuff around the mouths was real good," he said. "I've got spots there to fit just about any situation, whether it's the main lake or the creeks or whatever."

"On the first day of practice I found some fish way out on the main lake - on the actual river channel itself - and that kind of tipped me off that they were further along toward their summer pattern than what we'd seen before. I think most of them had already spawned prior to the big flood they had (earlier this spring), and all that water moved them out on the main river." He set his Humminbird 1195 unit to side-scan 70 feet in either direction and found several enormous schools.

"The three best spots I found, I just graphed the ledge and I could physically see the bass. Some of those schools, I'd hate to guess how many were in there. There were hundreds of them." If left to their own devices, such groups of fish will spend most of the day in a non-aggressive state. However, they can be coaxed into biting - worked into a minor feeding frenzy, even - by baits that move right through their midst. A crankbait is often the most effective trigger.

"I threw a football jig, a worm, a (Strike King) Sexy Spoon and a big swimbait, but a crankbait was just the best at getting them to fire. You can be a lot more efficient with it because you can make a precise, pinpoint cast and the sweet spot you have to hit can be really small. The biggest factor was having a Strike King Series 6 XD tied on. That bait runs deeper than any other out there and it allowed me to probe those 18- to 22-foot ledges that other people couldn't get a crankbait down to. They'd have to use a jig or something else."

Winning Gear:

Cranking gear: 7'10" medium-heavy Quantum Tour Edition KVD rod, Quantum Tour Edition KVD casting reel (5.3:1 ratio), 12-pound fluorocarbon line, Strike King Series 6XD (chartreuse sexy shad).

He changed out the stock hooks on his baits in favor of No. 1 Mustad KVD Elite Triple Grip Trebles. "That's a big one and it's also a real strong hook. I was able to land a lot of doubles and I didn't have to worry about my hooks being straightened out."

He caught one weigh-in fish on a 10-inch Strike King Rage Tail Thumper worm (green-pumpkin) fished on a 6/0 Mustad Big Mouth tube hook with a 1/2-ounce weight.

He applied Fish Sticks Lure Enhancer to every bait he threw throughout the week. "I was doing everything I could to get them to bite and hold on a little better, and it seemed to help."

Main Factor: "Knowledge of the lake was the biggest factor. When it starts to get really tough, that's when it really shines."

Performance Edge: "My Humminbird electronics because you've got to know they're there before you make the cast, but also the rod, reel, line and bait. I could make a 70-yard cast and it was funny to listen to people in the crowd saying, 'Look at how far he's throwing that thing!'''


Kentucky Lake Winning Pattern June 15, 2010. Bassfan.com (http://www.bassfan.com/news_article.asp?id=3641).

Edwin Ever's Pattern, Baits & Gear

Pattern:

Edwin wasn't on much coming out of practice and had to rely on places he found during the tournament to get him through each succeeding day. "I basically started (practice) over at 10:00 on the first competition day, and I was fortunate to find some fish," he said.

"My best spot was a creek channel swing that was near the main river channel, but I also had a lot of success in the 12- to 15-foot range on main channel ledges. I fished my crankbaits with an erratic retrieve. No pattern seemed to be the best pattern."

"The thing that really made a big difference for me last week was that I never made a cast if I didn't see bass on my electronics. I think a lot of guys make the mistake of fishing a spot just because it looks good. It's not good unless there are bass on it, and the only way to be sure of that is to look with your electronics."

Gear:

Cranking gear: 7'6" medium-heavy BPS Crankin' Stick, Pro Qualifier casting reel (5.2:1 ratio), 14-pound XPS fluorocarbon line, Bomber Fat Free Shad (citrus or foxy shad).

"I caught one (weigh-in) fish on a spoon, I don't even know what kind it was, and one on a generic plastic swimbait."

Main factor:"Patience. I didn't panic on the first day of the tournament when I wasn't able to get on anything and I didn't panic on the last day when there were boats everywhere."

Performance edge:"Without a doubt the livewells on that Nitro boat - I haven't had a dead fish all year. The other thing was the Lowrance HDS-8 - I could tell whether the fish were black bass, sand bass or stripers and I could tell what size they were."


Kentucky Lake Patterns 2-5 June 16, 2010. (http://www.bassfan.com/news_article.asp?id=3643).

Terry Butcher's Pattern, Baits & Gear

Pattern:

"I had a decent practice and I caught a ton of fish," he said, "but I only had a few key areas that were putting out the kind of fish I needed. I'd say I actually had five different areas, but it ended up that only three of them panned out."

His day-4 sack was the best among the dozen anglers who fished that day and he culled another 20 pounds. "For 4 hours straight, it was awesome." In addition to a crankbait, he also caught weigh-in fish on a jig and a swimbait.

"My two best spots were ledges I found a couple of years ago here. One was about 8 feet deep on top, the other about 13 feet. Both of them dropped off into 25 feet of water. All I really did was expand on them as the tournament progressed. I explored everything that was around them and marked it carefully with my electronics. You'd be surprised at what you find if you take the time to look."

"Occasionally, when I couldn't get a bite on the crankbait, I'd drag a brown and purple Booyah Pigskin Jig (football head) across the ledge and over the drop. That got me a few extra bites which made a big difference in the end."

Gear:

Cranking gear: 7'6" medium action Wohali American Eagle rod, Ardent XS1000 casting reel (6.3:1 ratio), 12-pound Silver Thread fluorocarbon line, Bomber Fat Free Shad (foxy shad).

Jig gear: 7' medium-heavy Wohali American Eagle rod, same reel, 14-pound Silver Thread fluorocarbon, 3/4-ounce Booyah Pigskin jig (brown/purple), Yum Craw Papi trailer (green-pumpkin).

Swimbait gear: Same rod, reel and line as jig, Yum Money Minnow (foxy mama).

Main factor: "Getting away from the boat traffic and the crowds."

Performance edge: "My Lowrance HDS. With the StructureScan. I could find all the little hard spots."


Kentucky Lake Patterns 2-5 June 16, 2010. (http://www.bassfan.com/news_article.asp?id=3643).

Jason Quinn's Pattern, Baits & Gear

Pattern:

Jason Quinn usually fares better when a lot of fish are away from the banks, and his finish was his best in a full-field event in 4 years. He fished a clean tournament and had his primary areas mostly to himself for the first 3 days. He fished up toward the dam - about a 35-minute run from the launch - and did his damage with a crankbait and a worm.

"I didn't have a real good practice, but I found some areas that had a few key fish in them," he said. "I had them mostly to myself before (day 4) and I never did see another tournament boat."

Gear:

Cranking gear: 7'3" medium-action Fenwick Elite Tech Crankshaft rod, Abu Garcia Revo Winch casting reel (5.4:1 ratio), 12-pound Sufix Deep Crankin' line, Rapala DT20 (Helsinki shad).

Worm gear: 7'6" medium-heavy Abu Garcia Vendetta rod, Abu Garcia Revo Premier casting reel (6.4:1 ratio), 20-pound Sufix Castable 100% Fluorocarbon line, 1/2-ounce Gambler tungsten weight, unnamed 7/0 hook, 10- or 13-inch Trigger X Hammer worm (plum or green-pumpkin).

"I'd get the little fish fired up with the 10 inch" worm and then I'd switch to the 13 inch" he said. "If the bigger fish were there, they'd bite it."

Main factor: "Staying put and grinding them out. Typically at Kentucky Lake you catch hundreds of fish, but it wasn't like that this time."

Performance edge:"My Mercury Optimax engine. Over the 4 days of the tournament, I burned 150 gallons of gas and it was flawless."


Kentucky Lake Patterns 2-5 June 16, 2010. (http://www.bassfan.com/news_article.asp?id=3643).

Derek Remitz's Pattern, Baits & Gear

Pattern:

Derek Remitz is another guy who's comfort level continues to rise as the fish get farther away from shore. He had a handful of ledges that he rotated through over and over throughout the week. As is always the case at Kentucky Lake, timing was critical.

He didn't get a tremendous amount of bites, but his quality was top-shelf and his best action usually occurred between noon and 2 p.m. "I'd just try to hit them at the right time at some point during the day," he said. "I could get two and sometimes three fish off a spot."

He cranked the majority of the time, but also caught a few on a jig.

Gear:

Cranking gear: 7'10" medium-action St. Croix Magnum Cranker rod, Shimano Curado casting reel (5:1 ratio), 10-pound Sugoi fluorocarbon line, Strike King Series 6XD (sexy shad or chartreuse sexy shad).

Jig gear: 7' medium-heavy St. Croix Legend Elite rod, same reel (6.3:1 ratio), 16-pound Sugoi fluorocarbon, 3/4-ounce Omega Derek Remitz football jig (Ozark special), 5" Yamamoto Hula Grub trailer (green-pumpkin/candy).

Main factor: "Just putting my nose down and cranking as much as I possibly could. The better fish wanted something that was moving fast."

Performance edge:"The long rod and the light line let me get the bait down to 18 to 22 feet where the fish were."


Kentucky Lake Patterns 2-5 June 16, 2010. (http://www.bassfan.com/news_article.asp?id=3643).

Kelly Jordan's Big Bass

Pattern:

"What a big bass! She was a postspawn female with the biggest head I've ever seen. There's no telling what she would have weighed before the spawn - maybe 13 pounds. She was a real brute."

"My spot was a ledge, 8 feet deep, that dropped off into deep water, It was a true big bass haunt, although I'm not sure why. I caught several big bass from it during the tournament including a couple of 5-pounders, a couple of 6-pounders and one 7-pounder - not counting my 10-1."

Gear:

Worm gear: "I caught her on a Texas rigged 10-inch Lake Fork Tackle worm, redbug in color, with a 3/8-ounce Lake Fork Tackle Tungsten Bullet Weight and a 5/0 Owner 3X Offset Shank Worm Hook. My rod was a 7-foot, 3-inch, medium-heavy action Duckett Micro Magic model; my reel was an Abu Garcia Revo (5.4:1 gear ratio) spooled with 20-pound-test Berkley Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon line."


How They Did It: Kentucky Lake June 15, 2010. Bass Insider (http://proxy.espn.go.com/outdoors/bassmaster/members/insider/story?page=bi_details_Elite_Kentucky_10).