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Kevin VanDam Adds the 2010 Bassmaster Classic Win Championship to His 2009 Angler-of-the-Year Title

No Letdown for Kevin VanDam as He Fishes the 2010 BASS Elite Tournament Circuit

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: Kevin VanDam of Kalamazoo, Michigan, won the 2010 Bassmaster Classic on Lay Lake near Birmingham, Alabama, on February 21, 2010. VanDam also won the 2009 BASS Angler of the Year Championship in September, 2009, earning almost $3/4-million in bass-tournament money from these two wins in less than 6 months. He also jumped to the top of the leader board for all-time tournament winnings with a total of more than $4-1/2-million. The number-one question on every bass fisherman’s mind is, “How does Kevin do that?” This week, we’ll take an in-depth look at how, why, where and with what lures VanDam won the 2010 Bassmaster Classic. You’ll learn the mental and the physical processes VanDam employs to be one of the best bass fishermen the world ever has seen.

Question: Kevin, you came from behind in September, 2009, to win the BASS
Angler-of- the-Year title for 2009. Then at the 2010 Classic, you came from behind on the last day to win the Bassmaster Classic. Usually after two huge wins like that, most competitors often experience big letdowns in their fishing careers. How will you keep from having that let-down as you go into the 2010 BASS Elite Series tournament season?
VanDam: I don’t have to work very hard to be motivated to try to win. I’m extremely competitive by nature, and I’m always motivated to go out and try to win Click to enlargeeach day, each tournament and each week. More importantly, I really love what I do for a living. I love to try to figure out how to catch more bass and how to catch bigger bass. Also, we’re going to some great fisheries this year on the Elite circuit. We start off the season in California with Clear Lake and the Delta, with back-to-back tournaments. There are a lot of 10-pound bass swimming around in both of those areas, so I’m really excited about traveling to California and fishing in those two tournaments. However, I must admit I do dread that long drive from Michigan to California.

Then after those two tournaments, I’ll drive to Smith Mountain Lake in Virginia, so I’ll be traveling from one side of the country to the other. I don’t look forward to that drive either. However, once I get to the tournament site, that long drive is always forgotten. I get all excited about my fishing. So, no, I’m not expecting to have a letdown after the Classic, or at least I sure hope I won’t. (grin) I’m just a positive person. I believe I have the ability to go out on a body of water, figure out what the bass are doing and try to win every single tournament in which I compete. Although obviously that doesn’t happen every time, to compete at this highest level of tournament bass fishing, you have to believe that you’re going to win every day, every tournament and every week. That’s the mentality I have. Click to enlarge

Question: After winning 2009 Angler of the Year and the 2010 Bassmaster Classic, I’m sure you’re getting calls from sponsors, the press and fans, and everyone’s putting a lot of demands on your time. How do you handle all the publicity and requests for your time that you’re getting and still prepare yourself to fish in upcoming tournaments and do well in those tournaments?
VanDam: My schedule can be a challenge at times. But this year, I’ve really learned to appreciate what I’ve got, including my family and the time that I have with them and the fans and the time I get to spend with them. In Alabama this year, I’ve never seen the fans as respectful and as excited to watch professional fishing and me as they have been this year. When I was back in Beeswax Creek, the fans were everywhere. A lot of fans got to watch me fish that wouldn’t have gotten to see me fish, if I’d been fishing out in the middle of the lake. To hear those fans Click to enlargecheer for me and to hear the comments from my fans and my sponsors after the Classic ended, as well as the comments I also heard from the media and other companies in the fishing-tackle industry really made me humbled. This is the 20th Classic that I’ve fished. I’m so proud that I’m in an industry where the fans, the press and all the sponsors root for and cheer for the person who wins. I appreciate the genuineness that everyone has showed me.

I also realize that to be a Bassmaster Classic champion, I have a lot of responsibility. The Classic champion is the face of the sport of bass fishing for the year for not only the fishing public but also the non-fishing public. So I have a job to: represent our sport the best that I can; help explain what makes bass fishing such a special sport; show folks how great all the tournament fishermen really are; and explain why I love this sport so much. I feel honored to be in a position to help promote bass fishing and bass fishermen all over the nation. I think one reason that I can manage all of my commitments is because of the support I get from my wife and family. They’re the ones who have to take a back seat when I have to go to a tournament or go work a promotion for a sponsor or have to do interviews with the press – all things that take up an awful lot of my time. But they understand that this is how I make a living, and these responsibilities are my job. They’re very understanding. Once again, I’d just like to say, I appreciate all of my fans, I appreciate the Strike King fans and family, and I appreciate you for taking the time to read about my Classic experience.


Check back each day this week for more about "Kevin VanDam Adds the 2010 Bassmaster Classic Win Championship to His 2009 Angler-of-the-Year Title"

Day 1: How VanDam Felt about Winning the 2010 Bassmaster Classic
Day 2: Fishing the Red Eye Shad in #406 and the Gold Sexy Shad Colors Pays Off for Kevin VanDam in the 2010 Bassmaster Classic
Day 3: Kevin VanDam Fished a Section of Beeswax Creek on Lay Lake near Birmingham, Alabama, to Win the 2010 Bassmaster Classic
Day 4: Fishing the Last Day of the 2010 Bassmaster Classic
Day 5: No Letdown for Kevin VanDam as He Fishes the 2010 BASS Elite Tournament Circuit


Entry 550, Day 5