John's Journal...

Kevin VanDam on 12 Months of Successful Bass Fishing

Day 5: Kevin VanDam Explains Why Not to Be Afraid to Fail Whenb Bass Fishing

Editor’s Note: Kevin VanDam tells us the five things that have made him so successful in tournament bass fishing, especially during the 12 months of 2010 and 2011 in which he won the Bassmasters Classic Championship and the Angler-of-the-Year title on the BASS circuit.

Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger ViewThe last element that has enabled Kevin VanDam to have as much success as he’s had is he’s totally not afraid to fail. “I know that many people have great expectations for me. I do expect to win every tournament I enter. For instance, at the Bassmasters Classic, one of the worst fears that a tournament fisherman has to face at the Classic is walking across that stage without any fish in his bag. Your family’s disappointed, your sponsors are disappointed, and you’re disappointed. However, if that fear rules you, then winning the Classic becomes very difficult. Fear often will cause anglers to fish very conservatively, not take risks and not go after the win. In the Classic, most anglers want to make sure they have fish to show - whether they win or not.

“But I believe that to win a tournament, you’ve got to go into that tournament to win, not to just get points and not just to walk across the stage with fish in your sack. If you have that attitude of trying to win, then you’re not afraid to take risks or go for broke to try and pull-off a win. An example of what I’m talking about is Denny Brauer and Greg Hackney, two of the best tournament pros I know. They both pull out all the stops and fish to win. Yet, Denny and Greg sometimes doesn’t bring a single fish to the scales. When you have that kind of courage and are willing to roll the dice to win it all or lose it all, you’ll lose more times then you’ll win. But if you don’t fish with that kind of reckless abandon, you’ll never know what winning a tournament feels like.

Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger View“To fish with that kind of courage, you have to have experience, and you have to have tasted victory before. Sometimes when you make one of those gambles and that gamble pays off, you win. And winning is what many of us pros are all about. We’ve had that winning feeling before, and if we have to lose miserably to try and get it again, we’ll take that gamble. This is one thing you’ll see with all the pros. None of us fish for second place.” To learn more about Kevin VanDam and his fishing, go to

How to Bass Fish Like  a ProTo learn more about how to catch bass successfully, click here, or visit, and type-in the name of John E. Phillips’ book, “How to Bass Fish Like a Pro” that’s now available from Kindle books and contains information on all aspects of bass fishing across the country from top pros like Denny Brauer, Mark Davis, Mark Rose and others.



Check back each day this week for more about "Kevin VanDam on 12 Months of Successful Bass Fishing "

Day 1: Kevin VanDam Suggests You Prepare and Fish Your Strengths in Bass Fishing
Day 2: Kevin VanDam Has Confidence in His Bass Fishing
Day 3: Kevin VanDam Says to Use Your Body’s Metabolism and Don’t Be Afraid of Change
Day 4: Kevin VanDam Recommends You Rely on Your Instincts to Bass Fish the Best
Day 5: Kevin VanDam Explains Why Not to Be Afraid to Fail Whenb Bass Fishing

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Entry 662, Day 5