Live News:

Putting the spotlight on BASSfest

It’s time to go back to work. I’ve enjoyed a festive week, celebrating Memorial Day weekend with family and friends, attended my sons’ high school graduation, sat in on their college orientation and attended a half dozen graduation parties for family and friends. I was very fortunate that our Elite schedule broke in time to give me the opportunity to see my twins, Jackson and Nicholas, graduate from high school, and now they’re prepping for college life at Grand Valley State in Grand Rapids, Mich. But now it’s business as usual and time to focus on Lake Texoma, site of next …

KVDs comeback: In his own words

Bass fishing is a lot like any sport. Fall into a slump and critics crawl out of the woodwork. And with today’s multitude of media, there are way too many opinions flying around — most of all in the realm of social media, where everyone’s an expert. But the squawk boxes are a little quieter this week for Kevin VanDam as bass fishing’s icon commanded a wire-to-wire win at the A.R.E. Truck Caps Bassmaster Elite on Louisiana’s famed Toledo Bend, ending a five-year drought between major wins. With the world watching, the four-time Bassmaster Classic champion and seven-time Toyota Bassmaster Angler …

The techniques I used to win Toledo Bend

I’m getting a lot of questions about the crankbait strategy I used to win at Toledo Bend last week. A lot of questions are about my system which was an integral part of my success. My rods (Quantum KVD Tour cranking 7-11 and 7-10), reels (KVD Tour and EXO 200) and line (XPS Fluorocarbon) made me extremely efficient at fishing those deep-running Strike King 6XD, 8XD and 10XD crankbaits. But there was more to it than casting and winding. I was doing a lot of subtle things to help me catch the fish that I did. The first two days were …

Return of the King!

MANY, La. — Superstar professional angler Kevin VanDam often deals with a different set of circumstances than the average angler on the Bassmaster Elite Series. With such a sparkling resume, many fans' expectations for VanDam are much higher. With such a recognizable name and face, the number of people who want to catch a glimpse of him doing his thing on the water is sometimes off the charts. Because of all that, many people have wondered aloud these past five years if VanDam would ever win another major tournament. But he was never one of them — and now, he's silenced …

Two down, two to go - KVD in 1st

MANY, La. — The biggest thing Kevin VanDam has caught so far this week has been himself.    But there could be far bigger catches ahead of him if he remains on his current path at the A.R.E. Truck Caps Bassmaster Elite at Toledo Bend. VanDam had to have a treble hook removed from his hand during Friday’s second round after landing his biggest fish of the day. But it didn’t stop him from catching five bass that weighed 20 pounds, 11 ounces and helped him hold onto the tournament lead with a two-day total of 50-0.   “The fish had …

VanDam still feeding the monster

MANY, La. — No one is ready to hand Kevin VanDam the title at the halfway point of the A.R.E. Truck Caps Bassmaster Elite at Toledo Bend. But he has led the first two days, which has served as a significant reminder of both what he means to the sport of bass tournament fishing, and how hot his competitive fire still burns. Has there ever been a question about that? Well, yes, a lot of them lately, especially since the man with four Bassmaster Classic titles, seven B.A.S.S. Angler of the Year crowns and 20 Bassmaster tournament wins hasn't added any …

What’s so special about Toledo Bend?

With the Bassmaster Elite Series stopping at Toledo Bend this week, it seems like a great time to look at what makes the lake so special and so legendary for bass anglers. You won’t be surprised to know that there’s a lot to recommend Toledo Bend and that the pros all look forward to coming here.   THE FISHING For starters, of course, there’s the fishing. It’s great. It seems that it’s always been great, but I think it may be better right now than ever before … and that’s saying a lot. Toledo Bend was impounded in the late 1960s …

Capitalize on the shad spawn

The shad spawn is kicking in across the south, including here at Wheeler Lake where the Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Elite event is underway. It’s a pretty cool phenomenon that every bass angler should be aware of. Bass know when the shad are spawning and they gang up on them. Savvy anglers who find spawning shad locations can really log some good catches. Shad spawn at night and especially around full moon periods. They will continue spawning activity into the low light hours, but once the sun gets up, they move off the structure. That’s why it’s important for anglers …

Winyah Bay posed many challenges

We just came off one of the most challenging Bassmaster Elite Series events in recent history at Winyah Bay in South Carolina. It was challenging for a number of reasons, with the logistical options we faced being at the top of the list. Of course, we had never been there before so the fishery was a total unknown for most of us. I like that. However, it’s also a tidal fishery which makes it even more difficult if you’re not that familiar with the area. That, coupled with all the river systems and creeks available to us, made the three days …

Clunn: An inspirational victory

Last week’s Bassmaster Elite Series season opener on the St. John’s River will be one I will never forget. I won’t remember it simply because of how I finished, but for how it ended with 69-year-old Rick Clunn holding the championship trophy. I had a lot of other friends fishing the finals that day, but I was pulling for Clunn, a man who has impacted thousands – if not hundreds of thousands – of anglers over his storied career. Sure, his victory was a long time coming and probably means little to the young people who never experienced Rick Clunn in …