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Kevin VanDam Breaks the $3 Million All-Time Career Winnings Mark at the 2008 Kentucky Lake Elite Event

The Third Day of the Tournament

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: Kevin VanDam won the 2008 Bassmaster Elite Event at Kentucky Lake, taking home a payday of $100,000 plus. He also moved past the $3 million mark in all-time career winnings on the BASS circuit. The week before this win in mid-June, he finished second-place at Wheeler Lake in Alabama. Apparently, that second-place finish fired him up and gave him the secret tactics and weapons he needed to win at Kentucky Lake.

Question: Kevin, on the third day of the tournament you gave the locals three spots that had put you in the lead at the Bassmasters Elite Series on Kentucky Lake in June, 2008. Is this right?
VanDam: Yep.

Question: What was your back-up plan?Click to enlarge
VanDam: All along, my plan was to leave two or three productive places to fish on the last day of the tournament. With three local tournaments conducted on Kentucky Lake, I knew I’d have 50 – 60 spectators watching me fish, who knew the size and numbers of bass there. I knew the local fishermen would go to these spots. The first place I went, I caught two, 4-pounders in consecutive casts using theStrike King Series 6 in the sexy shad color. I lost a good one, but caught a good one using the Strike King Sexy Spoon. Then, I caught a couple of smaller bass to fill out my limit on the first stop. I probably had 18 pounds from the first place.

Question: How did you do in your second region?
VanDam: I started catching bass immediately using Series 6 crankbait, but the Click to enlargebass weren’t big enough to add to my daily weight. So, I put down the Series 6 crankbait and picked up the Strike King Football Head jig. I caught two, 4-pounders consecutively, which allowed me to cull my smaller bass. I knew I had over 21 pounds, and I’d only been fishing about an hour.

Question: How were you fishing the Football Head jig?
VanDam: I’d drag the jig on the bottom and hop it off the bottom. I mostly dragged the bait. Some bass held on the bottom, while others suspended off the bottom. This is whyI used several different presentations - I tried to catch the bottom-feeders as well as the suspended bass. Bait I caught fish on during this tournament was Strike King’s Shadalicious. I put a 1/2-ounce jig head on the Shadalicious, cast it out, let it sink to the bottom, ripped it off thClick to enlargee bottom and allowed it to fall back. Because the bass were keying-on shad, I threw every lure in my tackle box that resembled a shad, just like I had the week before at Wheeler Lake in Alabama. I used a 3/4-ounce Strike King spinner bait, the Sexy Spoon, the Football Head jig, a 10-inch plastic worm and the Series 6 crankbait. I rotated through all these lures to get the bass to bite. Throughout the tournament, the lures that consistently caught the largest bass were the Series 6 crankbait in the sexy shad color, and Strike King’s Sexy Spoon and Football Head jig.

Question: What color Shadalicious were you using with the 1/2-ounce jighead?
VanDam: I was using the sexy-shad color.

Question: How many pounds did you have after the third day of fishing?
VanDam: I had about 22 pounds after the third day and was still in first place.

Tomorrow: The Final Day of the Tournament

Check back each day this week for more about "Kevin VanDam Breaks the $3 Million All-Time Career Winnings Mark at the 2008 Kentucky Lake Elite Event"

Day 1: Practicing for the Tournament
Day 2: The First Day of the Tournament
Day 3: The Second Day of the Tournament
Day 4: The Third Day of the Tournament
Day 5: The Final Day of the Tournament


Entry 462, Day 4