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College Bass Tour kicks off, Muskegon, MI at First Event

The inaugural event of the College Bass Tour sponsored by DNR Sports and Kevin VanDam kicked off on Muskegon Lake in Muskegon County, Michigan this past Saturday. Muskegon Lake, which is approximately 4 000 acres in size, dumps into Lake Michigan. Both smallmouth and largemouth inhabit the lake and each took their turns visiting the scales today. Kevin VanDam and Mark Zona helped kick off the tour in style with a full tailgate spread, cash winnings and giveaways from many national sponsors.The e…

KVD starts a college series

The king of bass fishing, Kevin VanDam, and his family have launched a college fishing series in his home state of Michigan.The College Bass Tour begins at Michigan’s Muskegon Lake on June 16. The competition will move to nearby Grand River for a second day of fishing on June 17. Each day is a separate tournament. The entry fee is $60.The new series is a family affair with KVD’s wife Sherry, brother Randy, and sons Jackson and Nicholas all involved.“As much as all of us have benefited from…

Putting the odds in your favor

There’s no question that lure choice can make a difference in whether you catch fish or how many you catch.No one can argue that.But there are some intangibles that some anglers may pooh-pooh, such as lure colors, fish scents and natural sound imitators like the HydroWave that can get you a few more bites.There are days when the bass are in a suicidal mood and will hit anything you throw at them. You can pick the gaudiest color in your box, douse it with gasoline and drag a tackle box across t…

Two summer lures VanDam won’t leave home without

The greatest professional bass angler of all time got his start while casting topwater lures at summertime bass as a young teenager while walking the shoreline of School Section Lake where his grandparents lived in Central Michigan.Not much has changed in 40 years for Kevin VanDam. When asked recently to choose just two lures all anglers should consider having in their summer arsenal – he chose a topwater walking bait and a deep diving crankbait.  “Topwater was my thing back in those da…

Trying to explain KVD - Part 2

Okay, here we go again, trying to have a little fun while attempting to dissect the parts and pieces that make Kevin VanDam tick. If you missed part I, check it out.One of the more serious questions I get about Kevin, especially from other pros, is how he avoids burning out on fishing. Many of the best pros in the sport today have to stay married to the water to stay on top of their game. And in doing so, fishing becomes very monotonous. But to be quite honest, Kevin really does not fish that mu…

Back to my roots

It’s been a hectic spring with a lot of travel to the Elite series tournaments and promotion events, so the Memorial Weekend holiday was dearly needed time off.So, with a good weather forecast, the family hitched up our RV and Nitro Z-19 and headed to Muskegon Lake to meet up with some friends of the family.The Z-19, fitted with the new Mercury Pro XS four-stroke, arrived while I was at Lake Travis so I hadn’t had a chance to run it, but Jackson and Nicholas put it to the tests.Anyway, while…

The little fish dilemma

Every once in a while you run across a fishery like we saw at Lake Travis – lots and lots of small bass interspersed with some really big ones.As we found at Travis, you can catch 100 bass a day and most will be under the 14-inch size limit.Travis is an interesting body of water. It was in a drought for a few years and a lot of bushes grew up on the dry land followed by heavy rains that refilled most of the lake.When you get that much new habitat in a body of water, it triggers incredible spaw…

You can’t spell 'wink' without 'win'

The episode of The Bassmasters featuring Kevin VanDam’s win at Grand Lake is incredible, not just because it’s his record-setting 25th B.A.S.S. victory. It’s not just because he gives a Ph.D.-quality lesson on squarebilling in and around the spawn, either. It’s because you get an hour-long insight into the mental makeup that has contributed more than anything to his long-term success.My favorite part of the show is almost a throwaway line. As he’s idling out on Day 4, he opines that it…

Time to talk crankin’

Everyone knows how much I love to fish a crankbait, especially this time of year.In my mind, there isn’t a more efficient way to find bass and catch them, especially when environmental conditions are tailor-made for the technique.The lure is so efficient. There’s not another bait in the tackle box that can cover various depth zones as efficiently and trigger bites when conditions are right.With all the various crankbaits that Strike King offers, especially the XD versions, I have a crankbait…

VanDam and McClelland feel at home on Lake Travis

Tuesday morning marked the start of the second very long hot practice day on Lake Travis for the Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest benefiting Texas Parks and Wildlife.Two of pro fishing’s most likeable, accomplished and even-keeled veteran anglers, Mike McClelland and Kevin VanDam, launched next to one another in the humid predawn air. They both say this gorgeous reservoir in the Texas Hill Country is very new to them, but also one they’re liking a lot, and feeling right at home on.“Yesterday w…