2011 Elite Series - Ramada All-Star Semi-Final
Lake Jordan - Wetumpka, AL, Jul 23 - 24, 2011

Fired up for Jordan

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 just finished my first day of practice on Lake Jordan, site of the first leg of the Toyota Trucks All-Star Week in steamy Alabama. Let me say, I liked what I saw.

We’re here about the same time this year as we have been for the past two years (for postseason events on Jordan and the Alabama River) but the lake isn’t fishing quite the same. Some of the usual stuff has worked but I’m discovering different lures and techniques are coming into play.

It’s very hot weather, but not as hot as it’s been in the past. Maybe I’ve acclimated well since where I live in southern Michigan has experienced mid-90s temperatures and high humidity for the past week or so.

Now, I didn’t smash ’em in practice, but I feel good about this entire week because I’m fishing free of pressure. I have a good history on these two fisheries.

That history, coupled with some of the stuff I discovered today, should help me as conditions change throughout the tournament. When I recognize those changes, I’ll be able to make better and faster decisions and adjustments. That’s always huge in an event like this.

Everyone’s goal is the same – finish in the Top 10 to make it to the finals on the Alabama River. I finished sixth and third on Jordan during the previous two postseason events held here and would be happy to duplicate either one of those.

But it won’t be easy. This field of 12 is extremely strong, and every guy has a shot. It’s going to be the type of event where you can’t hold back anything.

The lake is down a few feet as a result of the steamy weather they’ve had in Alabama this summer, but it is loaded with fish. It’s taken about 15 pounds per day the two previous years, but that’s not going to be a given this week. I figure if I can get 15 each day, I can make the top 8 and advance.

I’m using some of the new lightweight Quantum EXO reels this week and, man, what a difference! The weight difference is most noticeable after I’ve fished them for awhile and pick up my regular equipment. You wouldn’t think a little less weight would be that meaningful, but the difference is remarkable.

That goes for the spinning gear, too. When I switched from older spinning outfits to the EXO, the difference was stunning.

My new KVD crankbait reel isn’t an EXO, but Quantum also reduced the weight in it and the latest KVD Tour cranking rod. The lighter weight makes a huge difference in this heat, and I’ve noticed I’m feeling my lures better, too.

The first day of practice also gave me a chance to try out some new Strike King prototype lures that we designed to test at this event. I’m not going to reveal what those lures are other than to say that I liked what I saw and that they will definitely be players here.

Remember, it’s all about the attitude.

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