Jay Kumar

What Else Do The Pros Know…

…That They’re Not Telling Us?

A pretty good number of ord’nary bassers think they can beat the pros or a pro on any given day. That belief is one of the many great things about bassin’ for fishes, but in reality most of those folks must’ve caught one too many fly balls with their noggins.

No way.

Not consistently, anyway.

I’ve had the privilege (that’s definitely what it is) of being in the boats with these guys while they’re fishing. I’ve also had the privilege (same) of being in the boat with ord’nary non-bassin’ pros, including Federation Classic qualifiers. With the greatest respect to weekend warriors everywhere…ain’t no comparison.

Now, I’m not necessarily talking all pros. Because just like in all sports, not all pros are created equal. Or maybe they haven’t had enough experience yet. In fact, that’s one reason I created the BassFan World Rankings about a decade back, to show the world that some pros are consistently better than others, that every tourney wasn’t a blank slate that produced a random winner.

But I digress.

Here’s why this came up: a recent post on Bassmaster.com about some KVD tips on deep crankin’.

Not only was it interesting as heck, made me wonder: How long has KVD known this stuff? And what else does he know that he’s not saying? Because like all pros, he definitely doesn’t spill the beans on everything (would you?!).

Here’s what I’m talkin’ ’bout, some excerpts:

> Line diameter influences running depths. For example, the depth difference between 17- and 12-pound line is 18 inches.

> The difference in diving depth between holding the tip near the water verses up at 11 o’clock can be as much as 4 feet.

> The 7-foot, 10-inch Quantum KVD cranking rod I use gives me additional advantages. If I kneel-and-reel with this rod, I can get the bait at least 3 feet deeper.

> I also will add lead coated, Storm SusPenStrips to the throat of the lure or on the bill. Center the adhesive strips forward of the front hook hanger where the bill meets the lure body.

> I’ve also clipped 1/8-ounce XPS drop-shot weights onto the front hook hanger to get the bait to dive steeper and run deeper. If you want the bait to suspend, clip off part of the bottom of the weight.

Are you kiddin’ me! Amazing stuff, man.

And personally speaking, THAT is why I love talking to these guys and why I got into this whole bassin’ circus in the first place.

What I love, and what also pains me, is how much these guys know. Love it because it’s a never-ending buried treasure of knowledge. Pains me because I know we’ll never capture all of it, and that’s a bummer. But we’ll take what we can get, right?

[P.S. If you’d been gettin’ the free BassBlaster e-newsletter you would’ve read those KVD fishin’ tips already. Subscribe at the to right of this page or here.]



  1. Chris

    June 8, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    I think what really separates the pros is not just knowing little tricks like the ones KVD mentioned, but having experience with them and being able to incorporate them seamlessly as conditions change.

    Lots of weekend warriors like us know about clipping a weight to the front hook hanger, I think I tried it once for a few casts but it felt weird. But KVD has probably spent hours and hours experimenting with that particular trick on all kinds of crankbaits. He knows how much weight to use, how it affects the action and depth of each bait, and how he can use that different action and depth to trigger strikes. He’s got lots of feedback from the fish about what works and what doesn’t. He’s comfortable enough with it now that it’s just another arrow in the quiver that he can deploy when the time is right. That level of knowledge isn’t something you can just pull out of a magazine and win tournaments with, you’ve got to put in your own time on the water. In that regard they know waaaaaaaaaay more than they’re telling us.

  2. Jim Kelley

    June 8, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    Yeah, Jay I agree. No weekend angler is gonna compete against a touring pro. The biggest difference I see in a weekend angler is time on the water. a pro will fish over 200 days a year, not to mention all the off time they spend looking at lakes for the next year, and physically going there and using the tools they have including sonar, sidescan, etc.. to locate the best parts of any given body of water. I’m a crankbait guy, I can honestly say I did know a lot of what KVD is talking about, its time on the water that has led him to that knowledge of how to tune his DD crankbaits for what he’s fishing, or how he’s fishing. Theres always this misnomer that you just take a crankbait out of the pkg and start fishing it, a lot of us do including myself, but if there’s something that I want that bait to do outside of the “stock” performance characteristics you have to start messing with it. adding lead is no secret, nor “kneeling and reeling” line size is always plays a very large part of how the bait “works” while in the water, heck line size is very important in any technique specific approach in bass fishing. I know I’m getting off topic, but I will say that yes the pros know way more than we do, but its based off of the all the years they spent learning their craft, its not different than a tradesman or a doctor, you think that a patient is gonna live if some kid fresh out of medical school started hacking away?? I seriously doubt it, the guy is gonna go through several more years of training to learn those “tricks” until its 2nd nature to him, same with a tourning professional, most of them have so much time under their belts, a lot the things people think are “tricks” or secrets, are just things they’ve learned over and over and over again. well thats my 2 cents. Jim.

  3. Catch-N-Release

    June 12, 2012 at 7:46 am

    Agree 100% that the TOP guys are better than the average weekend angler…but the bottom guys? Come on look at BASS. Brent Broderick, Dave Smith, etc. I have a feeling most consistent weekend guys could easily hang with them.

    • Flip'N'Pitch

      June 14, 2012 at 8:40 am

      Easy there, you seem be operating under the assumption that they would be competing on the “consistent weekend” guys’ home waters (or something similar). Take those weekenders and put them 1,000 miles from home against the “bottom guys” and see how they do. Then move them 500 miles in another direction the very next week and see how they do. Who do you think the “bottom guys” were before they qualified for the Big Leagues? They were REALLY GOOD, REALLY CONSISTENT weekend guys. They didn’t just hand out Tour Cards at the bus station one day, they had to compete to get theirs.

  4. Kenny3Times

    June 13, 2012 at 11:52 am

    Is there an ap for this??

  5. paul zuest

    June 13, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    its not the mechanics of of using a lure, its when and where its used.

    • Flip'N'Pitch

      June 14, 2012 at 8:45 am

      I don’t think there’s anyone else on the planet that make a crankbait do what it takes to “make them bite it” like KVD can. The same goes for the “frog” guys like Rojas, Monroe, etc.

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