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Attacking the postspawn funk

One of the toughest times to catch bass is during what I call the postspawn funk. We ran into that during the Bassmaster Elite Series event on Toledo Bend, and it is something that occurs everywhere just after the spawn. At Toledo Bend, some of the fish were still spawning, but the bulk had just come off the beds. The fish were scattered and there wasn’t one pattern or theme that worked consistently. You can tell it’s going on when it’s difficult to get multiple bites in one area because the fish have yet to group up. The one pattern that …

The magnitude of winning

In today’s society, it’s all about winning. It doesn’t matter whether it’s NASCAR, PGA, NBA, MLB or any sport, fans, media and sponsors of those sports gravitate toward winners. You can finish second 17 times or consistently be among the leaders, but nothing delivers the recognition or importance to one’s career like winning does. Especially in our sport of professional bass fishing. Think about this: We have only nine Elite events, one Classic and a Toyota Bassmaster Angler of Year Championship. During the Elite events, there are 110 anglers vying for one spot in those regular season events. Most other sports …

Daily Limit: KVD, Zona family ties

STURGIS, Mich. – The Zonas and VanDams are family. They became close through a shared experience, and that bond has strengthened through the years. Both families had sets of twins born premature at 25 weeks, and each went through the trying experience of living at the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) coping with their boys’ struggle to survive. Today the families spend as much time together as they can. “I know this is going to sound crazy – he’s been like an older brother,” Mark Zona said. “He’s given me life advice, he’s given me business advice, and I owe him for just …

Lovin’ East Texas lakes

Every time I come to East Texas, it brings back pleasant memories. The Bassmaster Elites are at Toledo Bend this weekend and we're at nearby Sam Rayburn in May. I've been fortunate to win Bassmaster events on both lakes. My first time on Toledo was very memorable. It was 1992 and I was practicing at Sam Rayburn for an upcoming tournament. I had a phenomenal day catching more than 100 bass on spinnerbaits that I worked through flooded bushes. When Rayburn went off limits, I left there and drove to Toledo to fish with former Bassmaster Classic winner Tommy Martin and …

VanDam: “Wind is not your friend on Toledo Bend”

Wednesday morning had a weird vibe at Cypress Bend Park’s well-known boat ramp on Toledo Bend. It was as though all the stars slept in on the final day of practice for the Bassmaster Elite Series presented by EconoLodge. The top-notch boat ramp that normally has 50 to 70 pros launching from it, only had eight at sunrise. Gerald Swindle who is staying nearby, could be seen driving over the hill toward a far more distant ramp. Finally, Skeet Reese showed up at Cypress Bend. Then came Aaron Martens and Kevin VanDam. VanDam had barely put his Tundra in park when …

Fish with me and help the kids

Back in 2014, my wife Sherry and I launched the Kevin VanDam Foundation. Our thoughts were that we could use my name and reputation as a pro angler to help youngsters through creation of our own charitable organization. I’ve been very blessed with a successful career, and my foundation gives me another means to help youths experience and pursue their dreams in the outdoors. Since inception, we’ve made several donations in the form of cash, scholarships and fishing equipment to groups and organizations that help kids and support youth programs. Some of our previous funding has gone to children’s hospitals, youth …

Bass Pro Shops and Kevin VanDam Foundation to raise funds for children

Bass Pro Shops and Kevin VanDam Foundation to raise funds for children and build a love of the outdoors   YOU can win the fishing trip of a lifetime with Kevin VanDam at Omaze.com/KVD More on the Kevin VanDam Foundation here: KevinVanDam.com/kvd-foundation     SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Bass Pro Shops and the Kevin VanDam (KVD) Foundation today announced plans to give one lucky winner the fishing trip of a lifetime alongside legendary pro angler Kevin VanDam as part of a fundraising campaign benefitting youth programs.   VanDam, winner of 25 professional events, seven-time Angler of the Year recipient and four-time BASSMASTER Classic …
Focusing on tomorrow’s stars

Focusing on tomorrow’s stars

When you read this I will be out practicing on Lake Conroe getting ready for the biggest week in bass fishing. We’ve got a real diverse and talented field that likely will make this another great GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods. And while there will be considerable media focus on Classic veterans and local favorites, I’d like to turn some of that spotlight on scholastic fishing, the fastest growing segments of our sport. I think it’s a fitting topic at this Classic because Southeast Texas is a real hot bed for high school and collegiate fishing teams. There …

The power of the wacky rig

It must seem out of place for me to be writing about a slow, methodical technique. When you’ve built your reputation as a power fisherman who covers water and fishes fast, it hardly seems fitting for me to talk about something at the opposite end of the technique spectrum. But I’ve learned the hard way. Wacky rigging is an important tool that can be so darn deadly in a variety of situations. Like now. Fish are beginning to spawn in the southern half of the country and bass are more fickle about lure presentations than any other time of the year. …