2010 Elite Series - Golden State Shootout Clear Lake - Lakeport, CA, Mar 18 - 21, 2010

Timing is everything

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.

It's Sunday afternoon in California. I thought this would be a good time to write this week's blog. I'm in between rigging rods and tying on swimbaits getting ready for tomorrow's practice on Clear Lake. I'd rather be fishing but ...

The Delta was a tough tournament for me. Fishing the tides is a matter of timing. A couple of times during practice I was able to really light them up. I thought I was on to something, but I was never able to duplicate that experience during the competition. That pretty much tells the story.

The California Delta is one of America's great fisheries. There's so much good habitat out here that it's hard to say what's best and what isn't. The tide controls most of it. I wasn't able to deal with that effectively. Everything's fishy if you hit it at just the right time. Nothing's fishy if you hit it at just the wrong time.

I'd find something in practice — good structure and cover with excellent water clarity along with plenty of fish — that was what I wanted. When I went back during the tournament, it wasn't so good. The conditions weren't the same.

Even though I knew when the tide was supposed to be low and when it was supposed to be high, it seemed like I couldn't time it right. Either the water level wasn't right or it was too dirty.

My hat goes off to the guys who fish this stuff every day. It requires skill. They're good. It was a learning experience for me.

A lot of the other Elite Series guys were experiencing the same thing. Stephen Browning had two days with 20-pound-plus sacks and then boated one 13-ounce bass on the third day. Look at Greg Hackney. He brought 25 pounds to the scales Saturday and moved from eighth place into first place.

It'll be several hours before we know who won. It'll be interesting to see who ends up on top. It might turn out to be a surprise. When there's as much difference in weight from one day to another you never know. Interestingly, some of the local guys did really well, but others struggled. You never know.

One thing I do know, though, is that the crowds out here are great. They're big and they're enthusiastic. That's a real positive. I figured they'd be good because there are so many quality bass anglers on the West Coast. Nevertheless it was great to see them in person. I'm sure it'll be the same on Clear Lake.

Speaking of Clear Lake, I'd better get going. I still have lots of tackle to get ready. With the weather forecast calling for warming temperatures, I suspect the big ones will be moving shallow. That means lots of fish and heavy weights at the scales.

Remember, it's all about the attitude.

advertisement

advertisement