Jay Kumar

KVD Likes Red Flake for Clear Water: You?

At the St. Johns Elite earlier this spring, Kevin VanDam fished a Strike King Ocho (Senko-like) – or, to be more specific, a 7″ Ocho in watermelon/red/black. Here’s what he said about color:

I’ve learned that anytime I’m fishing clear water, a lure with some red or red flake in it seems to always produce the most bass. That’s the reason I always throw watermelon-red or the double-header-red color in a situation like we had in Florida on the St. Johns River. Those two colors are very similar, but the bass seem to react well to them under those weather [high sky] and water [clear] conditions.

Huh. I’m not the best basser in the world (I know, I know…yet it’s true), but my favorite clear-water colors are grape and black, sometimes with a chartreuse tail. Has even worked for me in Florida when nothing else will…but then again, I’m no KVD.

We all know that red in spring is good, but red all year round in clear water? Anyone else with KVD on that?


> Here was the rest of his sight- and bed/fishing rig: 14-pound-test Bass Pro Shops XPS Fluorocarbon line (“With that 14-pound-test line, the Ocho fell somewhat faster than if I used heavier line. I wanted it to reach the bottom quickly, so I could cover a lot of water quickly.”); 5/0 hook.

> “I’d cast the bait in areas where I knew the bass were bedding, let it fall to the bottom, jerk it up off the bottom and allow it to fall back again. If I didn’t get a strike, I’d reel in the Ocho and make another cast. This tactic proved very productive when I was in a spawning area and couldn’t spot a bass.”



  1. Wacko

    May 20, 2011 at 7:07 am

    Watermelon/red is excellent in the clear waters here north GA. But I usually start with Junebug in Florida.

    Maybe I know better now thanks to “The Man”!

  2. Avidbasser

    May 20, 2011 at 9:12 am

    Watermelon/red flake is my favorite clear water color also.

  3. Texaginian

    May 20, 2011 at 9:29 am

    I suspect KVD could catch fish with just about any lure, plastic, etc., in any color made. He just “has it”. In fact, I bet if he just gives a laydown “the look”, the fish will just give up and float to the surface for him.

    The rest of us, okay, myself, don’t have 80+ hours a week to spend on the water figuring things out. We don’t have sponsorships that pay us to use Strike King, or some other lure/plastic maker, so we experiment to find what works in OUR water…

    So for ME, in the waters I fish some of which are clear, watermelon with black and gold flakes work best, then Senko’s watermelon magic, and so on. Light line, finesse rigs always out produce stuff (for me, again) that Kevin uses for his power fishing.

    And red has rarely produced for me. Maybe I’m not patient enough, or using the wrong color at the wrong time when red would be doubling my catch rate… sigh. Is there a KVD mind-meld in the works yet?

    Kevin rocks, no doubt. He’s a fish catching enigma.

  4. johnny

    May 20, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    Watermelon is the key not the red flake, I get way more bites here in TX with plain watermelon black flake that the one with the red in it. Grape or black with a chartreuse tail in clear water?, thats a new one for me, that don’t work at all here you use those colors when the water looks like choclate milk.

  5. Chad Keogh

    May 21, 2011 at 10:53 am

    I fish mostly clear lakes on Vancouver Island and in the southern Okanagan Valley desert lakes like Osoyoos and nothing can beat a 4″ tube in black with red flake as an all-year bait. I fish every month of the year and the black/red tube is my go-to bait.

  6. Rich Arnold

    May 23, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    If your fishing Guntersville, use watermellon red when it is clear. However, in mid June through August throw that big red worm: Tomato, Red Shad, or Cherry Seed. Maybe that’s why KVD does so well here!

  7. MattBass

    March 10, 2012 at 10:42 am

    For stickworms (Senko’s, Ocho’s, Stik-O’s, etc.) – only 3 colors: (1) Watermelon / Red-Flake, (2) Smoke (or Clear) w/ Grey / Black / Silver Flake, or (3) Sweet Potato Pie. I fish with one outstanding angler who swears that the “flake color” makes a big difference. However, I’ve never seen it – even when I’m fishing with him. I know that Swt Pot Pie sounds crazy – I had a hard time even trying it – but the fish really seem to like it. It’s become my “first-choice” for general use. Also, with only 3 colors in the box, it keeps thing simple for me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Gitcha Bassin' Fix

To Top