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KVD slams door on 24

WADDINGTON, N.Y. — By noon Sunday, Kevin VanDam was already working his way back toward Whittaker Park, where the weigh-in would be held about three hours later.   He knew it was over — and so did most everyone else.   After leading the first three days, VanDam caught five bass weighing 23 pounds, 12 ounces to punctuate a dominant victory in the Huk Bassmaster Elite at St. Lawrence River presented by Go RVing. His four-day total of 90-3 is one of the highest ever recorded by an Elite Series angler weighing in only smallmouth bass.   The closest angler to KVD was Mississippi …

VanDams dominate leaderboard

WADDINGTON, N.Y. — It's been every pro fisherman's nightmare for more than 25 years. Superstar Kevin VanDam — a Michigan native and arguably the best smallmouth angler in the history of the sport — is hammering the smallies with no sign of slowing down. And now, the remaining anglers in the field have just one more day to overtake him and keep him from recording his 24th career B.A.S.S. victory wire-to-wire style at the Huk Bassmaster Elite at St. Lawrence River presented by Go RVing. VanDam added five bass that weighed 22 pounds, 10 ounces Saturday and maintained the lead he's …

KVD extends lead

WADDINGTON, N.Y. — One of the biggest names in professional bass fishing history managed to hold his ground at the top of the leaderboard during Friday's Huk Bassmaster Elite at St. Lawrence River presented by Go RVing. Kevin VanDam — a four-time winner of the GEICO Bassmaster Classic and seven-time Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year — caught five bass that weighed 19 pounds, 8 ounces and remained in the lead with a two-day total of 43-13. The 23-time B.A.S.S. winner from Kalamazoo, Mich., said Friday's weather conditions in upstate New York didn't help the technique he's using. "When the wind …

KVD on top at Waddington

WADDINGTON, N.Y. — After one round of the Huk Bassmaster Elite at St. Lawrence presented by Go RVing, a familiar storyline has emerged. Kevin VanDam, the Michigan superstar who already holds two B.A.S.S. victories on the St. Lawrence River, caught five bass Thursday that weighed 24 pounds, 5 ounces to take the lead in his latest chance at a big win on the fishery that splits upstate New York and Canada. "Back when we used to have a lot of tournaments up here, I always fished the lake (Ontario)," said VanDam, who won two events on the St. Lawrence in 1995 …

Rods and racing

While most of the Daytona International Speedway’s 180-acre infield bristled with campers, RVs, inflatable pools, BBQ grills and corn hole games of every theme imaginable, a 29-acre section known as Lake Lloyd saw a different list of priorities. Here, it was all about jerkbaits, soft plastics, sunscreen and lots of water. A day before this famous east Florida race track kicked off Independence Day weekend by hosting the Coke Zero 400, Toyota Racing and Bass Pro Shops hosted a crossover event in which red-hot driver Martin Truex Jr. joined Bassmaster Elite Series phenom Kevin Van Dam for a morning of contrasting …

Rayburn is great and will get better

If you have been tuning into Bassmaster LIVE, I don’t have to tell you that Lake Sam Rayburn is a pretty amazing fishery right now. Admittedly, I didn’t do much the first day of the Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest to show off the lake. Although my total weight didn’t show what this lake is capable of producing, the tournament is illustrating just how good the bass fishing is here. And man, are we catching a lot of bass. I caught more than 100 yesterday but couldn’t get the big bites that I needed to move higher in the standings. I know …

VanDam family showdown

RIDGELAND, Miss. – There’s a family feud scheduled for the final day at the 2017 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Elite at Ross Barnett. In fact, it’s not the first. This is the third time Kevin VanDam and nephew Jonathon VanDam have made Elite Series Top 12 cuts since JVD joined the circuit in 2011. The previous times came during the 2011 season. On the Harris Chain of Lakes, KVD would finish fifth and JVD would finish fourth. Later that season the younger VanDam would find a leg up, finishing sixth while his uncle finished 10th on the Arkansas River. “Our …

‘Pots and pans’ led VanDam to top finish at Ross Barnett 32 years ago

A lot of things change in three decades, so Kevin VanDam is putting in long practice days on Ross Barnett in preparation for this week’s Bassmaster Elite presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors, because the only time he fished the shallow reservoir previously was 32 years ago, at the age of 17. “Back then, I was fishing team tournaments and B.A.S.S. Nation Series tournaments around home in Michigan, and my team partner Don Stevens and I qualified for an end-of-the-year tournament down here at Ross Barnett,” explains VanDam. “To be honest, I don’t even remember what trail it was.” He may …

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 …

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 …