Live News:

What is the Classic Bracket tournament?

You've probably heard the words "Bassmaster Classic Bracket tournament" mentioned several times this week. What is it exactly? It's a brand new idea. The Top 8 finishers (listed below) at the Busch Beer Bassmaster Elite at Cayuga Lake will go head-to-head in a bracket format tournament on the Niagara River out of Buffalo, N.Y., July 19-22. The tournament will have $50,000 in prize money, and the winner is guaranteed a spot in the "Super Bowl of Bass Fishing," the 2017 GEICO Bassmaster Classic. The Classic Bracket will be streamed live on Bassmaster.com and will feature — for the first time ever …

Sticking with your strengths

A huge congratulation goes to my good friend Greg Hackney for winning the Geico Bassmaster BASSfest presented by Choctaw Casino and Resort on Lake Texoma last week. His performance demonstrated how important it can be to fish your strengths and a technique and pattern in which you have a ton of confidence, even when it may not be the best pattern. Want more proof? If you look at every Elite Series win this year, the angler who won was fishing lures and techniques in which he excelled and had a lot of confidence. Believe me, confidence overcomes a lot of things …

Playing in the mud

If you’ve been following Bassmaster LIVE, you know that the lake conditions we’re dealing with here at Lake Texoma in the GEICO Bassmaster BASSfest are flood-like. It’s part of being a pro angler and fishing around the country. You have to be ready to deal with whatever Mother Nature deals you. This week she dealt us a doozy with high muddy water that began dropping rapidly. We’ve faced similar situations over the years. I remember a Bassmaster event earlier in my career on Buggs Island when the lake was extremely high. We also had to deal with it on the Mississippi …

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 …