ICAST 2012 - Orlando, FL, Jul 11 - 13, 2012

‘Dream’ week at ICAST

About the author

Kevin VanDam

Kevin VanDam

In the world of professional bass fishing, Kevin VanDam is at the pinnacle and arguably the best in the world.

I’ve spent the last few days at the tackle trade show in Orlando talking to buyers and media from around the world about my sponsors’ new products for 2013.

One item that’s getting a lot of attention is the Strike King Dream Shot, a 4-inch soft plastic drop-shot that my nephew Jonathon used to win the Green Bay Challenge two weeks ago.

Strike King is one of the few lure companies that  puts prototype lures in the hands of their pro staff for testing before releasing them to the public.

That ensures that the baits you get have proven themselves under a variety of fishing conditions by the best anglers in the world.

The Dream Shot passed that test in flying colors and Jon’s win has drawn a lot of interest from buyers in Orlando.

The bait will join Strike King’s “KVD Perfect Plastics” lineup and is one that Bassmasters TV host Mark Zona and I designed to provide a different drop-shot presentation.

Zona is a huge fan of drop-shot fishing, and since we live nearby in Michigan, we put our heads together to come up with a finesse bait that catches more fish. Jonathon’s win proved we accomplished that!

The Dream Shot is super soft and loaded with salt, which is what you want in a drop-shot bait.

Most anglers fish 4-inch straight-tail worms for drop shotting. We do too, but we wanted something that has enhanced action when shaken.

The Dream Shot combines a worm with a minnow bait. It’s a miniature version of the Caffeine Shad, Strike King’s soft jerkbait. In fact, I whittled on a Caffiene Shad to come up with our initial design. The folks at Strike King took it from there and began fine-tuning prototypes that we’ve been testing for several months.

The Dream Shot has a flat bottom which allows the tail to quiver even when the bait is sitting still. I’ve used it to catch fish while sight fishing and on a shaky head.

It comes in several colors, most of which are natural and built for clear water. One of my favorites - and one Jon used - is KVD Magic, which gray and green with a blue flake. It’s great where bass are feeding on bluegill, smelt or shiners in clear water.

Another new soft plastic is the Rage Tail Menace, a grub/minnow bait with a split, high-action swimming tail on the back. It can be Texas-rigged or fished as a jig trailer.

I’m equally excited about a new slash-style jerkbait we’ve been working on for more than a year. It’s got a weight transfer system that casts easily into the wind on baitcast gear. The harder you jerk, the more it responds, and it’s got good side-to-side and darting action with a lot of wiggle built in. It’s offered in two sizes.

I’ve filmed several shows with it that will air this winter, including one for Zona’s Awesome Fishing Show on Lake St. Clair.

There are several other baits and colors coming from Strike King. Most of the new products shown at the trade show won’t be available until later this year, but you can see all of ours right now on the company’s website, www.strikeking.com.

Remember, it’s all about the attitude!

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