I have had the awesome pleasure of fishing with four time Bassmaster Classic champion Kevin VanDam a few times.
The first time I fished with him was on Lake Conroe and the first question I asked him was what is the most important skill for an angler.
“Proper casting is the most important thing an angler can do to up his game,” Van Dam said. “Being able to make long casts with soft landings and with pinpoint accuracy is crucial to making a strong presentation to bass, especially the really big ones which are shy to begin with.”
As he said this, Van Dam was pitching 25-pound fluorocarbon line extremely long distances by flipping standards into nooks and crannies along Lake Conroe’s developed shorelines. Fluorocarbon is not easy to cast, flip, or do just about anything with, much less with line the size of Weed Eater string. However, watching him work it left me amazed and realizing my flipping skills need serious help.
Most of Conroe’s shoreline is lined with boat docks, riprap, and other manmade structure, which can make it difficult for anglers used to fishing grassy lakes.
“On lakes like this, a lot of the fish are going to be way in the back of boat docks and in spots where it is difficult to reach them, which is why precision is so important,” Van Dam said.