Another Side of the Sport

About the author

Kevin VanDam

Kevin VanDam

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

I'm in the middle of a weird experience this week. It's really strange. I'm doing TV commentary for the PAA (Professional Angler's Association) Corporate Cup tournament on Pickwick Lake. My job is to provide expert, real-time commentary on what's going on and help our audience understand the tournament as it's unfolding.

The reason I say it's weird is because I'm normally the competitor. I'm watching guys I usually compete against and trying to analyze their actions. One of the strangest parts about it is asking them for information about their patterns and strategy.

That's something I would never do as a competitor. I find it really strange to be doing that. It offers a very different perspective on the tournament and almost makes me feel uncomfortable even though what I'm doing is perfectly appropriate.

Usually I'm worrying about my own pattern and whether or not my fish will hold up. I don't pay much attention to what the other guys are doing. Here things are different. I get a chance to watch them fish not only against themselves but in relation to each other. It's an interesting lesson on how our individual pieces make up the whole.

Of course, I have lots of experience with the media. I'm familiar with their questions and know how to answer them honestly without giving away the kitchen sink. But, it's different when you're the media. My perspective is different this week.

The Top 10 teams or so are fishing three different parts of the lake and are on three different patterns. It'll be interesting to see which ones hold up and which ones don't. I have my thoughts and opinion about it. By Saturday afternoon we'll know if I'm right or not.

I want to be careful what I say now and not go into too much detail. I don't want to do or say anything that affects the results of the event. I wouldn't appreciate it if confidential information about what I was doing was released during an event. I'm not going to treat them any different than I would want to be treated if the tables were turned.

I will tell you all about it next week, though. I promise once there's no possibility of affecting the results of the tournament the gloves will come off. We'll analyze the event with the benefit of hindsight. I'm sure we'll all learn something.

I'm sorry to be so short with this one but I've got to get to the water and go to work!

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