TULSA, Okla. – The second and final day of official practice for REDCREST 2022 Presented by Costa on Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees brought weather better suited for mallard hunters than bass anglers.
Yet at 7 p.m. Monday, after 12 long hours on the water featuring lightning, cold winds, and plenty of rain, the greatest bass angler of all time was still out on the south end of Grand searching for one more bite in the raw 48-degree air temps.
“I feel good. I never really got cold,” said Kevin VanDam with a smile as the cold rain continued to fall just before dark when he finally arrived back at Hammerhead West boat ramp to conclude his day.
“I had a super tough morning around Sailboat Bridge,” he said. “I cranked a ton of good-looking stuff. Great water clarity. It had everything I thought I needed to get bites. But man, it just never happened up there for me. So around 3:30 p.m., I came down south.”
VanDam loves Grand Lake. He has two Bassmaster Elite Series wins here (one in 2007, the other in 2018). Both victories featured a crankbait thrown on Grand’s endless rocky shorelines between Sailboat Bridge and Horse Creek.
But after two days of practice, Grand certainly has not been as generous to VanDam as he expected. In fact, it’s been a bit bumfuzzling to The Kalamazoo Kid. However, the move south late Monday yielded a couple clues that had him grinning in the glow of his Tundra’s headlights as he loaded his boat for the trip into Tulsa.
“The worst part of today was the lightning. I had to take cover inside empty boat docks. I didn’t like anything about that at all,” VanDam said
“The best part of my day was catching a couple late in the day that gave me some clues. Plus, I love knowing I’m about to climb in that 2022 Tundra with the heated seats and drive to Tulsa to see my wife, Sherry. She just flew in to spend the rest of REDCREST with me,” VanDam said with a smile like a waterfowl hunter staring at a cloud of cupped-up greenheads.