Live News:

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 …

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 …
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. …

It’s time to fish for big ‘uns

It’s big bass time across the country, and now is when it’s great to be on the water. We’ve had a warmer-than-average winter and spring is popping earlier than normal. I’m hearing about spawning bass in Texas, Alabama and most of the southern states. In fact, we’ve got a lot of open water in northern states and bass are already showing signs of prespawn activity. When approaching this time of the year you have to remember everything is focused around the spawn. This isn’t so much about going to your favorite lake and throwing your favorite baits. To catch big bass, …
The pre-practice debate

The pre-practice debate

The results of the Bassmaster Elite season opener on Cherokee Lake, Tenn., revive the often debated question as to whether pre-practice on a lake is beneficial. Historically, it isn’t worth it to go well in advance of an Elite Series tournament because the off-limit period occurs well in advance of the event and conditions change drastically before competition begins. I’ve been an opponent of fishing lakes during the pre-practice period. You’re usually dealing with fluctuating water levels, differences in seasonal patterns, weather conditions, etc., all of which can be drastically different when the competition begins. On top of that, you can …

Tough conditions? Deal with it

I have to admit I have the jitters as I compile this blog prior to the start of the Bassmaster Elite on Cherokee Lake. Although this is the start of my 27th season, the pre-tournament jitters are always the same. Especially now. We can usually get those jitters out of the way at the Bassmaster Classic, but this year we’re kicking off the season before the Classic. Every man in this field knows the importance of a good start to the season, and the tournament here on Cherokee is really going to make us step it up a notch. That’s because …