The Five Best November and December Bass and Crappie Hot Spots with Kevin VanDam and Ronnie Capps
Texas and California – Falcon Lake, Lake Fork and the California Delta with Kevin VanDam
Editor’s Note: Although water and weather temperatures are cooling down, don’t put away your rod and reel just yet. There are plenty of big bass and fat crappie to be caught in November and December. To find out where to catch the biggest and the most bass and crappie this month, we asked two of the best professional fisherman in the industry – Kevin VanDam of Kalamazoo, Michigan, four-time BASS Angler-of-the-Year and two-time Bassmaster Classic winner, and Ronnie Capps of Tiptonville, Tennessee, who, along with his partner, is co-winner of more than $1.4 million earned catching crappie, as well as co-winner of the 2009 Crappie USA South Region Regional Event – to name their favorites. VanDam has proven that he’s one of the best bass fishermen in the nation, and with his tournament wins so far in 2009, VanDam has 15 victories on the BASS Elite Series and is approaching $3.5 million in bass career earnings. Today, VanDam will discuss three great bass lakes in Texas and California.
Kevin VanDam’s Picks:
Falcon Lake in Zapata, Texas – This is the best big-bass lake in the nation. There’s never a bad time to fish Falcon Lake, but in November and December, the weather’s mild and the bass start spawning around Christmas time. Falcon is probably the best lake in the country to catch a 10-pound-plus largemouth bass.
To catch big bass in Falcon Lake, fish big spinner baits (a 1/2- or a 1/4-ounce) around the shallow mesquite bushes in the shad patterns. I also fish a number of big plastic lures, such as Strike King’s 7-inch Ocho, a stick-type worm, creature baits like the Strike King Rage Hawg and big plastic worms like Strike King’s Anaconda. You’ll catch a tremendous number of 3 to 7 pounders, and this is the best lake to catch a 10 pounder at this time of year. Falcon will be my pick for bass fishing in November and December.
Lake Fork near Quitman, Texas – In Lake Fork, one of the premier trophy-bass lakes in Texas, the bass are starting to move shallow for the pre-spawn at this time of year. Fish a lipless crankbait like the Red Eye Shad around hydrilla on the lower end of the lake and fish a 1/2-ounce jig in the black and blue colors with a Strike King Rage Craw trailer pitched to the trees on the edge of the creek channel.
California Delta near Sacramento, California – This tidal body of water has a tremendous amount of hydrilla and tulies. Plus, the incoming and outgoing tide creates a lot of current. During November and December, the bass will be relating to the main shoots (canals) and the outside edges of the reeds and to the hydrilla. This area is a maze of canals. One side of these canals generally is lined with rocks and the other side is often lined with tulies. There are plenty of little lakes and bays because it’s a Delta region where the Sacramento area dumps into the bay. The bass fishing is tremendous at this time of year. Anglers can catch an 18-pound largemouth there and plenty of other nice-sized bass weighing from 5- to 10-pounds each.
To catch the bass, I recommend using crankbaits like Strike King’s Series 3 and Series 5. Red is one of my favorite colors because the crayfish in this area turn a very-red color at this time of year. Because there’s a good deal of matted vegetation here, fishing a rubber frog like a Strike King Rage Toad across the top of that vegetation can get your line stretched and your rod bowed up. The flipping tactic also will produce bass here.
Tomorrow: Alabama – Lake Guntersville and Neely Henry for Wintertime Crappie