RACINE, WI. (June 30, 2016) – Look into the eyes of a prize fighter and there’s an intensity there that the rest of us can only dream about. Sometimes the intensity burns bright and other times it flickers. But come hell or high water, real heroes never let that fire extinguish.
Michigan native Kevin VanDam, whom many consider the greatest bass angler of all-time, has seen peaks and valleys over his career. Forever humble, he’ll tell you he’s spent his time on the canvas and taken a few licks. And while some have questioned the champion’s ability to return to former glory, VanDam has stayed above the white noise, maintaining machine-like intensity and focus cast after cast, event after event, year after year. The true champion he is, he just keeps swinging.
Most recently, VanDam answered the bell with two Elite Series wins in almost as many weeks. On Toledo Bend, VanDam demonstrated his genius for deep-water cranking (complete with 8-11 giant) and the Cayuga win only serves as an exclamation point to let everyone know he’s still got it.
Kevin went into Day 4 in third place, but weighed 15-7 to finish first with 71-13. Jordan Lee took second with 70-12.
Kevin may have been down for the count, but he’s back, and there’s a fire in his belly that could fuel even more big wins. Kevin’s win at the Busch Beer Bassmaster Elite on Cayuga Lake marks his 22nd major victory and approximately $6 million in career winnings.
Although the greatest bass angler of all-time, he’s still mortal.
VanDam can’t see under the water—and the fish are glad for that. But he is a whiz when it comes to using today’s top fish-finding technologies to locate structure and fish—like LakeMaster® mapping, and patented Humminbird technologies including Side Imaging®, Down Imaging®, 360 Imaging® and 2D SONAR—via a HELIX 12 CHIRP unit at the bow and an ONIX 10 and HELIX 10 at the console.
“To fish at the level I do, you really have to know what’s going on under the water’s surface. My Humminbirds are literally my eyes to see underwater. Side Imaging has played a huge role in my success over the years and helped substantially on Cayuga, too. I was able to find patches of hard bottom in the grass and that’s where the bass were,” said VanDam.
This HELIX 10 SI screen capture illustrates the kind of grass-to-rock transitions where KVD caught winning bass on Lake Cayuga. Note the zoom box in the Side Imaging view (right).
Following some good sight fishing on Thursday, VanDam turned to fishing the lake’s grass flats and shallow interspersed weeds for cruisers, where he flipped, threw a wacky-rigged Strike King KVD Ocho worm, and a KVD jerkbait on the final day.
We’ve all heard the saying “don’t pull a tiger’s tail.” It’s universally accepted that when you awaken a predator it’s a bad deal. That said, competitors beware—Kevin’s awake and there are still three tournaments left in the season. He’ll also fish the Bassmaster Classic Bracket tournament on the Niagara River, July 19-22.
For more information visit humminbird.com, contact Humminbird, 678 Humminbird Lane, Eufaula, AL 36027, or call 800-633-1468.