KVD was the prize, but he received one as well.
Winners of the Busch Catch One Win Big contest to fish with Kevin VanDam, a popular 2016 sweepstakes on Bassmaster.com, voted to go to Alaska, and VanDam couldn’t have been happier. That meant several days galavanting about in Otter seaplanes to fishing camps on the Kenai River and Crescent Lake, a glacial lake in the mountains. It was a first-class experience with spectacular sights and a great group of people, VanDam said.
“It was killer. Alaska is incredible,” he said. “We fly into that lake and there’s a grizzly bear 200 yards across on the opposite shore walking down just hunting for fish. A great big one, a 1,000-pounder. While we were fishing, a sow and cub swam across the stream about 80 yards upstream from us. They played in the river for a bit while we were fishing.”
The group, which included five contest winners, their guests, KVD and Busch folks, had top-notch accommodations at Tower Rock Lodge in Kenai, where the world record king salmon was caught. VanDam and crew caught and ate silver salmon, and he recorded a first by catching a Dolly Varden trout.
As the all-time top money earning in B.A.S.S., VanDam has been afforded some great outdoor opportunities via a bevy of friends and sponsors. Last year, he and Busch sweepstakes winners fished for peacock bass in the Amazon.
So, maybe the true measure of a trip for him can be how bad he wanted to go back, and KVD gushed about The Final Frontier.
“That flyout was just unbelievable. When we left (the lake), the pilot took us through the mountains and right over the glacier, and I’ve never seen anything like that,” he said. “It’s pretty amazing, but it was too dang short. I got to see enough to know I wanted to go back.
“I’d love to take my boys there. I’ve been to Montana, Idaho, Colorado, even Arizona. There’s a lot of great places in the country with some incredible sights, but there’s nothing I’ve ever seen like the places in Alaska.”