KVD Biography

Career stats as of January 2019
Career stats as of January 2019

In the world of professional bass fishing, Kevin VanDam is at the pinnacle and arguably the best in the world.

He’s the complete package – fierce competitor with multiple championships, ambassador to the sport, and family man.

Professional bass fishing has risen to a major sports level in recent years with regular season and national championships televised on ESPN2.

“When it comes to professional bass fishing, Kevin VanDam is as close to perfection as I’ve ever seen,” says ESPN Outdoors Commentator Mark Zona. “in my mind, he is the best of this era and will be the best I cover as long as I am a commentator.”

In fact, VanDam was honored with the first-ever Outdoorsman of the Year ESPY trophy at ESPN’s televised awards program in 2002.

As the all-time money winner on the Bassmaster Tournament trail, VanDam has earned more than $5 million through February, 2012, captured four Bassmaster Classic titles (2001,2005, 2010, 2011) and seven Toyota Tundra Angler of Year titles (1992, ‘96, ‘99, ‘08, ’09, ‘10 and ‘11).

The Bassmaster Classic title is the most coveted in bass fishing, attracting the best anglers in the world who qualify for it through a regular season schedule. VanDam has earned berths in 27 consecutive Classics since he turned full-time pro in 1992, the longest running Classic qualification streak of any active pro.

In 313 career Bassmaster events, he’s won 25, finished second 16 times and landed in the top 10 an amazing 112 times! In late 2018 Kevin VanDam announced he would be fishing on the Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour tournament trail. After winning 2 MLF Summit Cup Championships over the course of his career with MLF, 2019 will be the inaugural season for the newly expanded Bass Pro Tour.

1992 - first AOY Championship
1992 - first AOY Championship

The 50-year-old pro honed his angling skills while growing up in Michigan where he had the opportunity to fish for a variety of fish species, including trout, salmon, muskies, walleyes and northern pike. “You can learn a lot by fishing different species in the diverse variety of lakes and rivers we have in Michigan,” he offered. “But bass is my first love.”

As a teenager, VanDam dominated tournament circuits around his Kalamazoo home, winning The Michigan BASS Federation Angler of Year twice before turning pro. At age 23, he became the youngest to win the Toyota Tundra Angler of the Year title, collected an unprecedented 23 consecutive in-the-money finishes and shattered tournament records.

VanDam and his wife Sherry have two twin boys, Jackson and Nicholas.

When he’s not touring, you’ll find him spending time with his boys – fishing during the summer and turkey and deer hunting in the off-season.

“I love to meet the fans, and over the years I’ve been asked many questions. Here are the answers to some of the most popular questions I’ve recieved”:

Autograph Policy

To receive an autographed picture of Kevin VanDam, please send a self- addressed envelope with proper prepaid postage. The envelope must be large enough to fit an 8 x 10 autograph. Item may take up to 4-6 weeks due to Kevin’s travel schedule.

To have a personal item autographed by Kevin. Please send the item with proper packaging and return postage. Item may take up to 4-6 weeks due to Kevin’s travel schedule. We cannot be responsible for damaged or lost merchandise.

Mail your self-addressed prepaid envelope to:

Attn: KVD
D & R Sports Center
8178 W. Main St.
Kalamazoo, MI 49009

Request for Donations

Kevin receives large number of donation requests each year from outstanding nonprofit organizations. Along with your request, please provide proof that you are a private foundation, public foundation, or 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization with your own organizational current solicitation license in your state. Please allow up to three months for a response.

Request for Kevin to appear at a charity event/fundraiser

Kevin appreciates all requests. Regrettably, Kevin’s busy schedule and yearlong sponsor obligations do not allow the time necessary to attend many of these worthy events. Occasionally, Kevin and other Elite Series Anglers have the opportunity to attend an event for a worthy cause that is close to an Elite Series Tournament.

School Projects

See biography above

Sports greatest resume? KVD’s accomplishments >>

How do you become a Pro?

The fishing side of becoming a pro >>

The business side of becoming a pro >>

How do you get sponsors?

Attracting Sponsors >>

How do you catch bass all season long?

6-season bass guide >>

What is power fishing?

KVD’s guide to power fishing >>