2010 Elite Series - Blue Ridge Brawl Smith Mountain Lake - Moneta, VA, Apr 15 - 18, 2010

Fishin' without a rain suit

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 on my way to Smith Mountain after a week of vacation. The boys were out of school for spring break, so we all went down South to relax, spend some time on the beach and eat seafood.

This trip had very little to do with fishing. We just hung out as a family and enjoyed our time together. I don't get to do much of that — at least not nearly as much as I'd like — so when the opportunity arises, I go for it. Those are the times we'll all remember years from now, long after the kids are grown and out of our house with families of their own.

We didn't arrive home until late last night. I threw a few last minute things in the truck this morning and left home shortly after daylight. That's cutting it pretty close. I wouldn't have made it if it hadn't been for Sherry. She really helped me get organized before we went on vacation. I don't know what I'd do without her.

The bass will probably be on the beds for this event. I won't know for sure until practice starts tomorrow morning, but that's the way it looks now. It's a week earlier than last year, and the winter was unusually cold, but I don't think that'll make enough of a difference to change things.

The trees are sprouting leaves, the flowers are in early bloom and the turkeys are gobbling. Along with that the weather this week is supposed to be warm with steadily increasing temperatures. That's springtime bass bedding weather for sure.

The only thing I can see that would change the game plan would be a lot of unreported cold rain or something that destroyed the water clarity and kept it from warming. That's not likely, so I'd say we should all get out our sunglasses, move to the front of the boat and get ready to nurse our stiff backs.

Basically, what I'm saying is that this tournament will be much like the last one here. There's not a lot of change when you fish the same lake, at the same time, two years in a row. Of course, you still have to catch them. That's often easier said than done.

With most of the guys knowing what happened last year and how the top finishers caught their fish, it'll be interesting to see if anyone changes their game plan. Sometimes that's the way to win. Last year I targeted smallmouth. That was different. Maybe I can find something different this year. I'd guess 15 to 17 pounds a day should be good for a win.

Regardless, though, it'll be nice to fish without a rain suit to keep me warm and break the wind. That's darn near worth the trip by itself. I'm just plain tired of fishing in the cold.

Remember, it's all about the attitude.

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