Oakley's Kevin VanDam Bassmaster Classic World Champion
The most dominant angler in Bassmaster history added to his legacy at the 2010 Bassmaster Classic.
Kevin VanDam, won while wearing a proto type of the soon to release KVD signature series Flak Jacket XLJ with Jet Black frames, bright Red ear socks, black Icon and his favorite Titanium Iridium polarized lenses. Kevin was also donning his Angler of the Year Oakley bonus on his left wrist a Time Bomb II.
The Kalamazoo, Michigan native, became the first professional BASS angler to top $4 million in career earnings when he took home the $500,000 grand prize after winning the 2010 Classic at Shelby County’s Lay Lake Feb. 21.
In an era when increasingly specialized electronics and 80 mph boats are considered indispensable on the Bassmaster Elite Series, the simple fact is that VanDam probably could have won this year’s Basmaster Classic out of a jon-boat with a trolling motor.
“I didn’t have to work my equipment very hard,” VanDam said. “But I certainly did during practice.”
Based on his past experiences, KVD believed that the back creeks and pockets had the potential to produce the winning fish. He said he scoured the lake “dam to dam” during practice with his side-imaging sonar looking for such areas and only found two other places where it existed, although neither was quite as good as the backwaters of Beeswax Creek.
VanDam fished a large spawning flat in the back of Beeswax for three days and delivered three limits that totaled 51 pounds, 6 ounces. He outlasted Jeff Kriet, Todd Faircloth, Russ Lane and 47 others to take home the trophy.
VanDam caught the limit each day and said he didn’t move far from his spot after launching his boat at Beeswax boat launch. He used Strike King’s gold and gold sexy shad hues to match the gizzard shad that choked his chosen fishing area. Using his GPS, he marked key stumps and shell-bed points and when the bait bounced off those key pieces of structure, he let it flutter down to generate strikes. At one point he said he caught seven bass off a single stump.
The victory was almost wire to wire: VanDam led after day one but trailed Kriet by 2 ounces after the second day. When they launched Sunday, he was only a single ounce ahead of Faircloth. All three fished almost exclusively in Beeswax creek, but VanDam’s fish proved the most reliable, plentiful and sizable over the course of three days.
If VanDam’s legacy as the greatest fisherman ever wasn’t already cemented, then this week’s victory adds another brick to that famous wall.
VanDam also has five Bassmaster Toyota Tundra Angler of the Year awards, including the past two years.
Congratulations Kevin on another fantastic World Championship !