Kevin VanDam clearly understands the stress, sadness and long-term economic threats of the times we’re living in. But in true superstar fashion, he’s made it a point to stay engaged with fans through a number of social media live-stream interactions and he’s working hard to find the goodness in each day until we’re back to better days ahead.
Fishing has been a favorable way for a lot of Americans to maintain sanity and safe distancing the past few weeks. Let’s start with you recommending two lures every bass angler should consider fishing with right now.
I’ll choose a Strike King 1.5 square-bill crankbait and a KVD 300 suspending jerkbait. Both are great choices throughout the country during springtime.
The squarebill is like a 4-wheeler. I can take it anywhere – especially in off -olored or dirty water. Through shoreline rocks, laydowns, stumps, whatever. It hunts that shallow zone where most bass want to be right now.
In clear, clean water, the jerkbait will suspend as deep as 6 feet on 12-pound line to pull bass up to bite that may be a little deeper before heading ultra shallow to spawn.
Q: Amid the live sessions you’ve done on social media lately, a lot of fans asked about your all-time favorite places to fish. Give us your top two of all-time.
Man, it’s nearly impossible to only choose two, but I’d say St. Clair, Michigan because I love to catch smallmouth bass, and they eat there from now through November. It’s full of big ones and it’s not one of those places where they only bite a couple months a year.
Secondly, I’d say Table Rock Lake, Missouri. It’s sort of a sentimental pick because I’ve had such an awesome relationship with Bass Pro Shops and Nitro my whole career and their headquarters are near Table Rock. I’ve shared so many cool experiences on Table Rock and at Big Cedar Lodge. Plus, it’s a great fishery – it holds quality sizes of all three species of bass – smallmouth, spotted and largemouth. And they’ll dang sure eat a square-bill and jerkbait there.
Lastly, tell us two things or experiences that have served as really positive compensation to the tough times we’re moving through right now.
Well, my twins boys and I have been pretty inseparable the past couple of weeks. So when we haven’t been raking lawns for my in-laws or mulching around our house,my two favorite things have been fishing with them and grilling with them.
When I was growing up in the ’70s and ’80s, we ate every meal as a family, and the challenges of recent weeks have brought us back to that.
My son Jackson is actually in a culinary arts institute in Grand Rapids, but one of our all-time favorite recipes is a grilled wings recipe from Davy Hite’s wife Natalie that includes teriyaki marinade, hot sauce and brown sugar. It takes about 2 1/2 hours to smoke them on the grill – and they’re world-class awesome!
I really believe these tough times have made us all think about what matters most in life and mostly, that’s time with family in the outdoors. Whether it’s raking a lawn, chasing big smallmouth, watching gobblers strut, hunting wild mushrooms or grilling – it’s about time in the outdoors with family.
So my hope is one of the greatest things that will come forth from all these challenging times is way more people will reconnect to the outdoors.
(Editor’s note: This Q&A feature came from Alan McGuckin of Dynamic Sponsorships.)