Strike King News

KVD Whoops Em’ in Waddington

Submitted by Full Limit Outdoor Media

The fact that KVD would eventually hoist the champion’s trophy at yesterday’s conclusion of the HUK Bassmaster Elite event at the St. Lawrence River should have surprised no one. His historic 24th BASS win came on a smallmouth fishery that was the first lake that he ever fished a BASS tournament on. What was perhaps a little surprising was the fashion in which he won it. Kevin’s wire-to-wire domination of the event was due to an enormous cumulative total of 20 smallmouth bass weighing a staggering 90 lbs. 3 oz. That is an average of 4.5 lbs. per smallmouth bass that eventually would net him the winner’s purse of $100,000 plus a couple grand more for contingencies.

I caught up with KVD this evening after his first day of practice on Champlain. He took some time to explain how his 4 tournament days unfolded. Here it is, straight from the GOAT’s mouth.


Day 1 (24-5) – Day one was crazy good. I caught a ton of big smallmouth exactly where I expected to. Every fish I weighed that day came on a Chartreuse/Blue Glimmer Dream Shot paired with a Tour Grade Tungsten weight. The trick was matching the weight to the depth and current. You wanted just enough weight to feel the bottom without getting snagged, but you want it light enough that it can swing and move naturally in the current. The Dream Shot is money for getting that bite-evoking action. Day number one was about as much fun as you can have. I weighed over 24 pounds of smallies on the Dream Shot.


Day 2 (19-8) – I started day 2 with the same set up as day 1. I had them pretty dialed in a couple spots, so I followed up the Dream Shot with a few colors of the Half Shell to try and show them something different. I had my best results on the colors “Edge” and “Prism Shad”. I caught a several fish on a jerkbait on Day 2 also. I was throwing the KVD 200 and 300 in “Ayu” and “Sexy Ghost Minnow”. I caught a couple of my better fish that day on a wacky-rigged 5” Ocho in the “Honey Candy” color. That color is sick on smallmouth lakes. It has this “glow” about it in the water that they just have to eat.


Day 3 (22-10) – I actually ran to a largemouth spot and started the day with a decent limit on a bluegill-colored KVD swim jig and Rage Craw. I felt like starting out with 15 to 16 pounds in the box would take a little pressure off and allow me to fish my spots with more confidence. When I moved to my smallmouth spots, I went to work with the Dream Shot and Ocho. Once again, I mixed in the jerkbaits. I was throwing the 200 on shallower spots as it’s spectacular in the 5-7’ range. I would throw the 300 on deeper spots that were 7-15’. That afternoon it slicked off and I caught a couple on a spy bait.


Day 4 (23-12) – It was windy, but the fish were kind of onto to my usual deal. I dumped a big one right off the bat on the dream shot. They were just kind of bumping my Rage Swimmer. So, I pulled the spy bait back out and caught my final day fish on it. It is kind of a finesse deal and you lose some fish on it, but it’s pretty deadly when they get tough.

KVD packed up his new trophy, his big check and headed his Toyota towards Plattsburgh, NY. He’s third in the AOY standings with nothing but smallmouth venues left on the schedule. I bet his confidence is brimming like his livewell was in Waddington……

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