Kevin VanDam of Kalamazoo, Michigan, is the winningest bass pro ever with $6,402,476 in Bassmaster winnings and 25 Tournament wins.
I think the reason I’ve been so consistent in tournament winnings is that I probably fish faster and make more casts in tournaments than other anglers do. Although I fish fast, my lure presentation is not always fast. This technique that I’ve developed enables me to find bass quicker and find more productive places to fish on the lake faster. So, I’m able to spend more time on tournament days fishing those most productive zones.
I’m also hard-headed. I trust my experience fishing to help me locate and catch bass. I’ve spent a great deal of time for many years fishing lakes where Bassmaster holds tournaments. Often a tournament professional will use his experience on the water to say, “I fished this cove last year and caught a bunch of bass from it. So, this year, I’ll return to that same spot.” But perhaps he’s disregarded the current conditions on the lake and possibly not followed the seasonal patterns of where the bass should be at the time of the year the tournament’s being held.
What I feel I do well is analyzing the weather and water conditions every minute I’m on the lake and also basing my fishing on the seasonal patterns for that day where the bass should be. I believe I take a more scientific approach to analyze current conditions than perhaps some of the other competitors do. Even if I’m not catching bass, once I’ve analyzed the weather and water conditions and where the bass should be at that time of year, I’ll continue to remain in that area, convinced the bass will show up there, based on my past experience. I can stay with a region and fish it harder and longer than often other anglers will, if I’ve identified all the reasons why the bass should be there at that time.
I’m extremely competitive. I’ll fish and try to catch a big bass until the very last minute of a tournament before I have to run back to the weigh-in site. I have a deep love of the sport of bass fishing and trying to figure out where the bass are and use what lures will enable me to catch them.