Making the most of the holidays

There may be five weeks between the last Bassmaster Elite event and the next one on the Mississippi River at LaCrosse, Wis., but I’m staying busy.

For example, I spent several days this week filming TV shows for The Bass Pros by Bass Pro Shops and taping promotional videos for Strike King.

But before I tell you about that, I want to convey my family’s saddened heart and prayers for those Oklahomans who lost so much in the recent tornado tragedy.

And while I’m at it, let’s not forget what Memorial Day Weekend is truly about – showing gratitude and appreciation for our country’s Armed Forces who have sacrificed so much to keep us free.

The holidays are always special for Elite pros for a number of reasons, not the least of which is we get to spend time at home.

I made the most of it this week by filming here in Michigan on my “home” waters. We have a closed bass season until Memorial Day Weekend, but we are given the month of May to enjoy a “catch-and-release” bass season which is what most Michigan bass anglers practice anyway.

I’m so grateful that our DNR opened up the catch-and-release period because it’s such a great time to fish up here and a good time to do how-to videos. Like the rest of the country, our spring arrived late but we’ve had a string of nice warm days and the bass are swarming the flats.

Some fish that live in our shallower, wind-protected Michigan lakes are spawning but there are still a lot of prespawn bass to catch. The full moon this weekend should move more bass onto beds.

While doing this week’s video-taping, I got to play with several new lures from Strike King that we’ll be introducing at the Las Vegas ICAST tackle trade show in July. The Strike King videos, to be shown to retail and wholesale buyers, were designed to demonstrate the action and performance of the lures that you will see on store shelves in late summer and early fall.

One of the things I love about my relationship with Strike King is that I’m able to work closely with designers on several lures the company creates. We keep expanding the product line and coming with newer and better tools to compete with.

That goes for other companies that exhibit at ICAST, too. I am constantly amazed at the innovation that comes from tackle companies each year. When you think there’s nothing that a company can do to make something better, they do.

All anglers are fascinated with new lures and continue to search for that magic bait that’s going to give them an advantage over their buddy. That fascination is what drives the good lure companies to make better, more efficient lures.

Aside from the filming and preparation for ICAST I’ve done, Sherry and I also are busy gearing up for my KVD Charity Classic with the Detroit Lions on June 10.

Several Elite pros and top Michigan anglers will join me in a fishing contest with members of the Detroit Lions to raise money for the Lions’ philanthropic initiative and youth/conservation efforts.

It’s become a major event in the Detroit area. For more details, visit

Remember, it’s all about the attitude!

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

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