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Kevin VanDam: What Causes Him to Lose a Bass Tournament

Kevin VanDam fishing

All of us can look over our tournament performances after a bass tournament ends and decide what we should have done that would have helped us to place better or to win a tournament. Most often the problem will be that we’ve moved when we should have stayed at the spot where we were catching bass, or that we should have moved due to water and weather changes, an increase in boat traffic or not having the correct game plan but didn’t. 

One of the factors a tournament fisherman has to think about is how many bass the leaders in a tournament are catching on the last day – a fact that either can help or hurt you. For example, I once was in the lead in a tournament due to my having had two good days of finding and catching numbers of keeper-sized bass. But on the third day, the number and size of bass I was catching went way down. 

I said to myself, “I really need to move from this place and search for more and bigger bass.” However, I also said to myself, “Well, Kevin, you’re catching some keeper bass. You might better stay where you are and see what happens.” When I was running back to be checked in for the day, I was thinking and wondering how far I’d fallen out of the lead. But once the weigh-in ended, I won by 2 pounds. I then remembered the old adage, “Don’t leave biting bass to go and try to find other fish.” 

What’s always amazed me is that I often forget when I’m having a bad day of bassing that perhaps the rest of the competitors also are having bad days of fishing too. So, if I’m catching keeper bass, I may be better off to remain in that area, instead of giving those bass up and searching for a place to catch bigger bass.

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