The next cast could be a giant!

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.

Get ready to see some really big bass.

I’m here at the Toyota Texas Bass Classic on Lake Fork this weekend and giant bass are biting. Several of the other pros fishing this charity event have been posting photos of “10s” on their respective Facebook pages during practice.

I’ve caught my share of 8-pound-plus this week and I’m eager to see what develops during competition.

The Toyota Texas Bass Classic is a cool event. It brings together the top 15 Angler of the Year pros from last year’s Bassmaster Elite Series, FLW Tour and the PAA Tournament Series, plus a few others who qualify through sponsor exemptions.

We fish Friday through Sunday with a variety of activities ongoing for the public, including concerts and family events, scheduled throughout the three days.

The tournament will raise $250,000 for the Texas Park and Wildlife Department that has collected $1.75 million from the event since its inception in 2007. Funds are used to support the TPWD’s youth fishing and outreach programs.

Toyota, one of my sponsors and a big sponsor of the Bassmaster Elite Series, has been a driving force and huge supporter of this tournament.

The idea was conceived by Bassmaster Elite Series pro Kelly Jordon and TPWD commissions during a fishing trip. The first couple of events were held at Lake Fork before it was moved to Lake Conroe, and now it’s back at Fork, one of the nation’s greatest big bass lakes.

I’ve been here numerous times over the past 20 years and always look forward to it. More 13-pounders are caught here than from any other Texas Lake.

And for good reason. The lake is managed for trophies and the TPWD does an outstanding job of protecting the big bass fishery. Several other states have taken notice as to how Texas biologists regulate each lake based upon individual needs.

In this tournament, we’re going to fish under special rules. Each boat will have an official who will weigh and record our fish before we release them. The angler with the five biggest each day advances to the finals.

We will be permitted to take one big fish to the weigh-in and there will be some giants for the fans to see. I expect several 10-pound-plus bass caught.

This is the place where any cast could produce a state or even world record. Guntersville, Toledo Bend, Falcon and Okeechobee are great lakes, but Fork is right there near the top.

As good as the lake is, it’s not an easy place to fish and maneuver because of all the standing timber. But all that wood provides excellent habitat.

The lake has grass, too, but a combination of low water and a cold winter has diminished a lot of the shoreline vegetation. We’re in the postspawn season, so a lot of fish are moving toward summer haunts. Because of the lack of grass, I believe it makes the fish to want to move offshore more quickly.

For that reason, I expect a lot of fish to be caught on ledges. Look for deep crankbaits like the Strike King 6XD and 10XD to come into play along with big plastic worms and perhaps even some jigging spoons.

This is seasonal pattern I really enjoy fishing and expect to do well. One thing is for sure – it’s going to be fun fishing for big bass and knowing the next one could be the fish of a lifetime!

Remember, it’s all about the attitude!

Kevin VanDam's column appears weekly on Bassmaster.com. You can also find him on Facebook and Twitter.

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