I recently noticed a book by KVD about bass strategies circa 1995 on amazon.com for practically nothing and had to buy it. Call it an impulse buy but the cost of the book was less than the $4 shipping.
This book is totally awesome…. totally.
It answers a ton of questions I had about what happens to bass with different conditions…. at least what KVD thinks. It’s like you’re calling the guy up and asking for his advice.
I learned that there’s an old adage that bass bite better with a rising barometer and if it’s above 30. Like all adages, they don’t hold true a lot of times but it can be used effectively as a guage sometimes. I didn’t know about this since I go fishing every chance I get regardless of weather.
If the bass are feeding on crawfish and shore minnows, then they’ll be shallow most of the time. If they’re eating perch, then they’ll be deeper and could be anywhere if they’re eating shad.
Bass prefer milfoil over everything, even hydrilla.
Bass are finicky eaters in Spring and Fall, so it’s critical to match the size and color of your bait during this period.
The baitfish are at their largest size during the pre-spawn and KVD uses big baits during this period. This is probably common knowledge but admit I didn’t know this.
During pre-spawn in a reservoir, KVD says to concentrate on deep structure areas like creek channel drops, ledges/drop offs near large spawning bays and flats. Look for deep water adjacent to areas less than 10 ft deep.
In a river, bass like slack water areas in all stages of spawn. Key on main river banks during summer. In winter, look for the deepest slack water area like a marina.
In tidal water during pre and post spawn, look for deep water out of current but close to the river and adjacent to a spawning flat.
The book also covers cold fronts. KVD believes river fish are the least prone to cold fronts. He says to look for moving water areas in backs of creeks or upper end of the lake in a reservoir.
During the fall, a cold front can be beneficial by activating the fall pattern of shad moving to the backs of creeks. In late fall, the bass will move to a winter pattern where KVD loves channel banks and bluff walls.
He also believes clear water bass roam more and more apt to move upwards to eat. They’re also easier to catch in cold water so he’ll move towards the dam where the water is typically the clearest.
Conversely, muddy water bass tend to stick tight to cover, prefer shallow water and hard objects. He suggests making multiple casts to an objects and use spinnerbaits and buzzbaits when the shad are active and jigs and plastics when they’re inactive.
Muddy water also can activate the shad and move them towards the influx of freshwater typically found in the backs of creeks. This exactly what happened at the 2009 Bassmaster Weekend Series National Championship on Lake Dardanelle during the Fall.
Supposedly, bass always migrate with rising and falling water except in the winter when they stay deep. They also become more inactive as water falls and more active as water rises. I noticed this during the BASS Open as Smith Lake. The fish were outright spooky the more they dropped the water.
If I had this book, I would’ve known that the fish I was catching in the flooded bushes moved to the flooded bushes on secondary points in the same creek arm or if it fell a lot, then they were on the main lake points. I would’ve looked for the same depth they were holding in before the water fell in those areas. If they were on grass, then I would’ve known that the inside edge would’ve been key early on in the drawdown.
Supposedly, this is where you’ve got to be careful not move ahead of the fish and the migration associated with water level doesn’t happen immediately.
Conversely, if that tournament was on a river I would’ve known that bass move quickly with water fluctuations and moved to deeper slack water areas such as the mouth of sloughs and deep marinas.
A few other tips I picked up was to lean more towards crankbaits in stained water and jigs/spinnerbaits in muddy water.
KVD also thinks that 2 or 3 hits is enough to assess an area during practice.
There’s obviously tons more knowledge in the book, but these are some of the points that stuck out to me.
Anyway, the book is worth every penny and already a better fisherman because of it.