Jonathon VanDam has access to the same chocolate chip cookies his uncle Kevin VanDam does — and he eats some of the lucky cookies at every tournament. “It’s a family recipe,” he told us during today’s B.A.S.S. Twitter chat. There must be something to the lucky cookie recipe, based on Kevin’s stellar career and Jonathon’s great start.
Jonathon didn’t divulge the recipe today during the chat, but he did answer an array of questions, from how to use the Strike King KVD Dream Shot to what he’s looking for at the upcoming Ramada Championship on Oneida Lake in New York.
Below is a transcript of the chat. The tweets have been lightly edited to improve clarity and fix spelling errors.
Keep up with Twitter chats, tournament news and bass fishing advice by following B.A.S.S. on Twitter at @BASS_Nation.
JonathonVanDam It’s good to be here. I’ve been enjoying a couple of weeks off, but it’s good to get back at it and answer some questions!
T_Burtam JVD, did you have any help on Green Bay? (waypoints, etc.) or did you find the fish on your own?
JonathonVanDam I didn’t have any help. I was able to pre-fish a little bit and that helped a lot, but I didn’t have any waypoints.
twreed What did it mean to win with your family there?
JonathonVanDam That was the biggest part for me, they’ve been supporting me the whole year. It was great to share that experience.
MK_Bassfishing JVD congrats on your win at Green Bay! How were you able to shake off those lost fish on the final day?
JonathonVanDam It was tough. I could see a lot of big fish, so that helped me stay focused.
shuttashutta Question on the Dream Shot: I’ve tried dropshotting a caffeine shad and didn’t get the horizontal float while nose hooked..
shuttashutta …unless it’s got some current. Does the Dream Shot sit horizontally while nose-hooked in dead still water?
JonathonVanDam It doesn’t. You need to move it a little bit and it will.
twreed How did you feel on the last day after that noontime bite? Did you feel like you had it won?
JonathonVanDam I wasn’t sure if I had it won, but I felt like I was probably close.
MK_Bassfishing The final day was a roller coaster ride for you, what was key in the area you were fishing where you weighed in the heaviest bag
JonathonVanDam It was a transitional area from spawn to summer pattern.
twreed How is this year different than last year for you?
JonathonVanDam I haven’t approached it any differently, but I’ve learned a lot through experience on the water.
JonathonVanDam I bought a new gun, an AR-15. That was my gift to myself, and I haven’t even had time to shoot it yet.
MK_Bassfishing JVD what tips could you give me on drop shotting since clearly you are one of the best in the Elites!
JonathonVanDam The biggest thing I can say is don’t move your bait, don’t give it too much action. It doesn’t look natural then.
JonathonVanDam Being a college angler myself I’ve learned you need to make sure you get your degree, even if fishing is going well.
Saints859 Favorite go-to bait for those hot summer days?
JonathonVanDam A Strike King 5XD in sexy blueback herring.
JonathonVanDam I’m not sure exactly where they are as far as getting their inventory up.
HellaBass Do you like straight fluoro or braid/fluoro leader for drop shotting?
JonathonVanDam I like braid/fluoro leader because I feel like you can feel a lot more with it. It’s more sensitive.
paducahdave What is your favorite way to fish?
JonathonVanDam I like throwing a football jig deep a lot. It’s probably my favorite technique.
JonathonVanDam Obviously, I like to drop shot for smallmouth too!
twreed What’s it like to be on this industry with the last name VanDam?
JonathonVanDam It has its highs and lows, but it’s pretty good all around.
lpstonecipher What’s your favorite bait and technique to use when fishing offshore?
JonathonVanDam I would say a Strike King 6XD for cranking.
JonathonVanDam Yeah, I was a little surprised, but I was excited and it was really cool!
BhamJen What’s your favorite lake to fish when you’re just fishing for fun?
JonathonVanDam I like to fish Lake St. Clair up in Michigan.
aspadafina JVD, did your technique change from Green Bay to the Northern open?
JonathonVanDam Those two fisheries are different. The technique didn’t change, but the way it fished did.
MK_Bassfishing JVD, what will be your approach/game plan at Oneida in a month. Any thoughts yet?
JonathonVanDam I’ve been there once, but my game plan is to fish deep for smallmouth and try to catch a couple big largemouth.
MK_Bassfishing Thanks, JVD, for answering my questions. I’m glad you were able to win in front of family and home crowd! Best of luck at Oneida!
JonathonVanDam Thanks for your support!
BhamJen Oneida is coming up in August, what will you concentrate on, heading to the last Elite Series tournament of 2012?
JonathonVanDam Now that I’m in the Classic, I’m going there to try to win an event again. Points aren’t a big deal at this point.
JonathonVanDam I’d like to end the season with a good finish.
MikeEQuotes I’m heading to Lake St. Clair this weekend, I have never fished there before. Any tips for me?
JonathonVanDam Cover a lot of water, the fish can go anywhere on that lake. Try a Strike King Series 5 crankbait and a drop shot.
BhamJen What was it like fishing against your uncle & coming out on top? Are y’all competitive w/ one another?
JonathonVanDam We are very competitive. It was good to beat on him a little bit because he beats on me enough!
shuttashutta Will the dreamshot lay flat when nose hooked in dead calm water?
JonathonVanDam It won’t, you have to move the bait.
mtg1983 blindfolded on a lake you get to bring one bait with you on the water, what is that bait?
JonathonVanDam I would bring a Strike King Series 5 in sexy shad.
JonathonVanDam I’d probably fall out of the boat if I was blindfolded!
BASS_nation What does it feel like to be qualified to fish in your first Classic?
JonathonVanDam I’m excited for the overall experience of competing. I’ve been to many, but this is the first one I’ll fish in.
mtg1983 Have you ever tried your aunt’s secret cookies? Who is the lunch lady anyway?
JonathonVanDam I get cookies every tournament, either my mom or my aunt makes them!
JonathonVanDam I don’t know the lunch lady, but I know the muffin man.
twreed Do you feel different now that you’ve won an Elite Series event?
JonathonVanDam No, I don’t feel any different at all. I feel a little relieved I’ve got a spot in the Classic. That’s less pressure.
JonathonVanDam Brandon is a good friend of mine. There is a lot of camaraderie as well as a lot of competition.
MikeEQuotes I’m a fellow Michigander, what id you favorite crank bait pattern to use up her and on Lake St. Clair?
JonathonVanDam I like to use the sexy blueback herring.
mtg1983 FYI I was a fan of yours way before the elites. Check your MySpace we are friends, but you never would talk to me.
JonathonVanDam I’m sorry, I haven’t check my MySpace in years.
mtg1983 Thank you…tight lines bud
curtcairns I am a beginning angler… If you could choose one soft bait and one hard bait to fish bass in the north east what would it be?
JonathonVanDam I would say a Strike King Rodent and a Strike King Series 5 crankbait.
JonathonVanDam Thank you all for your great questions and encouragement!