2010 Elite Series - Tennessee Triumph Kentucky Lake - Paris, TN, Jun 9 - 12, 2010

It's about performance

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.

This week was a good one for me. I not only got another Elite Series win, I pulled up into the top 12 in the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year race. I've never made a secret of the fact that my goal is to fish the postseason.

After the first day I knew I had a chance to earn a few bonus points. That really pushed me on, made me fish even harder. Twenty points is huge, especially when you're down a ways from where you want to be when the season ends. (Twenty extra points is what you get if you lead a tournament all four days.)

I'm in eighth place with 1,549 points. That puts me 272 points away from Skeet (Reese) but only 38 points into the top 12. That means I have to turn my attention to the Arkansas River and really do well this week. This is no time to slip or have a bad performance.

But, like I said in one of the post-tournament interviews, sometimes you're on a roll and sometimes you're not. Just one or two things can make all the difference in the world in your results. I never predict anything before it happens. I can tell you, however, that I'll be giving it everything I have all week long. I intend to fish in July if at all possible.

I don't mind telling you I was getting a little concerned about things going into Kentucky Lake. I wasn't where I wanted to be, and I wasn't fishing the way I wanted to fish. That's a fact. There's no denying it. I can do basic math.

At the same time, some of what was being said just wasn't true. All the questions about what was wrong with me were silly. I laughed when I heard them. There was nothing wrong with me. I was doing just fine. I had a few things that didn't go my way. That's all there was to it.

Here's the blunt truth about life at the Bassmaster Elite Series level: Make the slightest mistake, or have the slightest thing go wrong, and the other guys will jump up and bite you. Everybody out here can catch fish. This is a sport of ounces, not pounds. I had some things go wrong and I was paying the price for it.

I know you're thinking that a lot of the tournaments are won by pounds, but that's the final result. Those pounds are made up of fish that are separated by very little weight. Miss a good bite, have one shake off at the boat or screw up in some other way and you'll get beat — every single time. There are no exceptions.

It all comes down to my performance this week. If I catch fish, I'm in; otherwise, I'm out. That's the way I like it.

Remember, it's all about the attitude.

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