Below is a re-cap of our fans' conversation with Kevin VanDam in February, 2014.
Q: How important is social media to your career as a pro angler? Do you take advantage of online mapping apps to study water that you're going to fish?
Kevin: It's a great way to connect with your friends, and yes, mapping is a good way to learn about a lake before you get there.
Q: Do you fish that fast when your just fishing for fun?
Kevin: Yes, that is my style.
Q: Any tips on fishing fast and being more efficient at it?
Kevin: I use a lot of high-speed reels so when my lure is in dead water, I can make another cast quicker.
Q: Why do jerk baits seem to work better in cold water rather than in warm water.
Kevin: I use them both, as long as it's clear.
Q: Do you use different rods for shaky head and drop shot fishing?
Kevin: I like my 7'4" KVD Tour spinning rod if I'm casting both. If I'm drop shotting vertically, I like my 6'10" model.
Q: What is the best way to log your days out on the water, is there a specific app or journal you use?
Kevin: I don't use anything, I just have a good memory (insert smiley face here).
Q: Do you have a "system" that you use to evaluate a body of water before you even arrive to fish it?
Kevin: I like to follow seasonal patterns based on the type of lake that it is.
Q: I'm 14 years old and am wondering how I could start tournament fishing if I don't have a boat?
Kevin: There are a lot of tournaments you can sign up for as a co-angler. When you do that they'll usually pair you with a boater. It's not a guarantee that you get in every time, but it's a great start!
Q: I live in Oklahoma near a power plant lake and during the summer the hydrilla takes over the lake, covering it to the top so much so that I can't punch through. Any ideas?
Kevin: I use a 1-1/4 oz. tungsten weight pegged to get through the thickest grass.
Q: I have an opportunity to be a Marshall for the first time on the Delaware, what are some do's and don'ts?
Kevin: B.A.S.S. will give you a good list of guidelines to go by, but pack a big lunch and be ready for a great experience!
Q: Do you ever get a chance to do any saltwater fishing?
Kevin: I have gone to Florida the last couple of years for redfish, tarpon and sharks. Fun!
Q: If you only had one bait to throw at smallies, what would it be?
Kevin: A tube jig.
Q: What is your favorite cold-water crankbait?
Kevin: Strike King KVD 1.5 Flat.
Q: If you could only use one cranking setup, what would it be: rod, reel, and line?
Kevin: Tour KVD cranking rod in 7' medium action, a Tour KVD reel with 5.3:1 gears, and 14-pound fluorocarbon.
Q: In the summer I go out when it is sunny or cloudy and very early in the morning and I catch 5-10 fish but after 11 it's very hard to get bites. What are some baits you would use to get them to bite?
Kevin: I like deep diving baits when it get later in the day.
Q: Any suggestions for a good punching rod?
Kevin: You can't beat Hackney's flippin' stick.
Q: How did you learn to bass fish so well?
Kevin: I grew up fishing Michigan's very diverse waters. I always try to keep learning.
Q: Does bass fishing ever get old at all when you're a professional?
Kevin: NO! I love what I do!
Q: What do you prefer, jerk bait or cranking?
Kevin: What ever it takes to get them to bite!
Q: If you could only fish for smallmouth once a year, when and where would you go?
Kevin: Lake St. Clair in June.
Q: How do I get better when I feel like I'm reaching my limit in my skills?
Kevin: Compete against people that can beat you, it's very humbling. I still learn all the time.
Q: When you throw big crankbaits in deep water, do you use a medium or medium-heavy action rod?
Kevin: I use my Quantum KDV Tour crank bait rod in 7'10" medium action.
Q: What's the best lure in summer on a heavily pressured lake?
Kevin: I like to burn a crank bait to trigger reaction strikes.
Q: Is there anything different to do when locating bass on a river as opposed to a natural lake or reservoir?
Kevin: Yes, river fish are extremely current-oriented.
Q: What's the best bait to use for smallies in a river with a lot of current?
Kevin: I like to use a tube jig with just enough weight to keep along the bottom.
Q: What's the recipe for the cookies?
Kevin: Nice try :)
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