Kevin VanDam recently won his 25th Bassmaster tournament. He is the Team Leader for Mossy Oak Fishing. We asked him a few random questions to learn something new about one of the most well-known bass fisherman competing today.
1. If you had to recommend one book to anyone, what would it be?
Where the Red Fern Grows. It’s a great book that I read the first time when I was in school. It instills the importance of hard work and perseverance.
2. What is the best purchase you have ever made under $100?
The cost of my first date for hockey tickets and dinner with my wife Sherry in 1987.
3. When you think of the word successful, who is the first person that comes to mind and why?
Tom Brady because of his work ethic, humble nature and his longevity as one of the best to play in the NFL.
4. What is the worst advice you hear being dispensed in today’s world?
That you have to follow some normal road to a career. Everyone’s path is different. I had several important people tell me growing up that fishing was a waste of my time and it would never get me anywhere in life. I have proven to them that if you work hard and believe in yourself anything is possible.
5. What are some common misconceptions about you?
That I always fish fast. Even though I think it is important to fish fast and cover water in practice, I have learned that sometimes you have to slow down and use finesse techniques.
6. Who has been the biggest mentor/supporter of your life?
My wife Sherry has been there since before I started fishing professionally. She has always been there behind the scenes doing whatever was necessary. She has been my business manager since the beginning. She has always been involved in every aspect of my career and brand supporting me on and off the water.
7. Do you have a quote you live your life by or think of often?
It’s all about the attitude! I have always believed that if you stay positive and truly believe in yourself anything is possible.
8. If you could relive a moment, what would it be?
Winning my first Bassmaster Classic. At the time, it was such a blur and went so fast. I would like to sit back and watch my family’s reaction during that winning moment.
9. What is one change you have made in your career that has led to the biggest/best results?
I have learned to be more patient and trust my instincts to allow patterns to develop in my fishing. Early in my career, I focused on trying to be too versatile and just make the money cut instead of taking risks to try and win.