HomeFeaturesPro Tip – Mark Menendez – More from a Topwater Popper by Bassmaster Elite Series Pro Mark Menendez The evolutionary changes in fishing continue with each generation of anglers. Anglers are challenged to figure out the best way to trigger the quarry. Topwater artistry can be an exciting thing when a large bass commits to a topwater lure. The KVD Splash and KVD Splash Jr. are the newest entries to the lineup of lures from Strike King Lure Company. These baits were designed to the exact specifications of Bassmaster Classic Champion Kevin VanDam to catch big bass. A topwater popper is a deadly presentation. This technique was once utilized with an extremely slow cadence. Your grandfather would cast it out and let the rings settle from the cast. A twitch of the rod tip resulted in a loud blooping sound followed by waiting for the rings to settle. A single cast would last up to five minutes utilizing a single twitch technique. Entering in to a present day angler’s mind, we find that most of us don’t possess that kind of patience. Over the years our fast paced lifestyle has made us do everything faster. This is where the KVD Splash begins its technique takeover! The KVD Splash is a three inch body that is tail weighted. The ½ oz. bait can be cast long distances or tight around cover. The interior of the lure contains a dual rattle chamber that harbors two distinct pitched rattles. A front rattle produces a deep knocking sound while producing the perfect balancing point for the lure. The mid-body chamber houses a small rattle for a high pitch ticking sound. The center of gravity is specific for the KVD Splash. The weight of the rattle chamber at the mid –ships, allows the bait to be retrieved for a specific action. The bait will make a loud pop for a slow cadence or twitched with a fast pace to produce a “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” retrieve. It will roll, splash, and walk with pace. Anglers can also utilize a bit more slack in the line to make the KVD Splash literally walk in place over a bedding bass, down the side of a floating dock, or over stumps. This larger profile makes it a favorite target for large bass! The KVD Splash Jr. retains all of the fish catch characteristics of its big brother in a smaller package. This 3/8 oz. profile is an exact match for threadfin shad or yearling bluegill. This 2 ¼ inch body can be accurately cast to schooling fish and surfacing fish. The KVD Splash Jr. is great for casting to points, shad spawns, and grasslines. The sleek body style of the bait gives it an unmatched performance in the topwater category. The KVD Splash and Jr. are available in ten baitfish color combinations. These baitfish look-a-likes embody all water conditions conducive to topwater fishing. For ultra-clear water Clear Ghost Sexy Shad (500) and Clearwater Minnow (684) produce a tantalizing silhouette without giving the bass a good look at the bait. Flashy chrome models of Chrome Sexy Shad (514), Gold Sexy Shad (620), and Chrome Blue (401) mimic the flash of forage.Natural color styles and low light conditions choices include Sexy Shad (590), Sexy Blueback Herring (596), Bone (665), Chartreuse Shad (598), and Summer Sexy Shad (652). Each color is paired with a premium feathered treble hook. The white feathered treble resembles the actual tail of a live baitfish that helps to trigger the strike. Each KVD Splash comes with 3D eyes and VMC Cone Cut black nickel hooks. The KVD Splash utilized a #4 size treble to wrestle big fish from cover. The KVD Splash Jr. is paired with #6 size trebles. A seasoned professional or weekend enthusiast can fish the KVD Splash with no modifications for success straight from the package. While most anglers are not skilled dancers, anglers will surely dance a jig after fishing the KVD Splash and KVD Splash Jr.! Mark Menendez is an Elite series angler. You may follow him at Facebook or Twitter.