Turkey season is underway, it's prime time for mushroom picking and fish are biting somewhere close to home. Even though he is home during this bye week of the Bassmaster Elite Series schedule, Kevin VanDam will not get a chance to enjoy any of these pastimes.
The Michigan pro will spend some of his week preparing for another road trip. "I've got to get myself prepared for these next two events because we have Pickwick and Guntersville back-to-back," says VanDam. "So I have to make sure I have all the equipment I am going to need."
When you win three Bassmaster Classics and 17 BASS tournaments overall, your free time gets swept away by a flood of sponsor commitments and requests for public appearances. His busy week at home includes three public appearances, including a quick day trip to North Carolina.
While driving home from the Blue Ridge Brawl at Smith Mountain Lake last Sunday, VanDam told BASS Insider about his schedule for the bye week and how he juggles his time for business and family.
Monday morning VanDam planned on unpacking his truck and reorganizing his gear since the Alabama tournaments will require different tackle from what he relied upon at Smith Mountain. Replenishing line, motor oil and other supplies are on Monday morning's agenda along with doing laundry and packing clothes for the next trip. He also has to call in an order to Strike King for lures. "Since I have to do some ordering, I like to go through and see exactly what I am missing or am low on," he says.
Sherry VanDam helps her husband on Monday and Tuesday with Kevin's business matters. "Sherry and I will spend some time in the office and catch up on whatever we need to do," he says. "She is basically the business manager and handles a lot of the communications with sponsors. Since I have been gone for a week she will catch me up on what I need to do with my sponsors." The office time is spent taking care of autograph requests and travel scheduling for sponsor commitments.
On Wednesday, VanDam planned on flying to North Carolina to attend the banquet for a Wounded Warriors fishing tournament. After flying back home Thursday, VanDam is slated for a dinner and bass fishing seminar at a local church. His Friday will be spent repacking the truck and making final preparations for his trip to Alabama. On Saturday afternoon, VanDam will make a guest appearance during a Take Me Fishing event on a local lake where he will spend time fishing with the kids and signing autographs.
Scattered throughout the week will be media requests for interviews. "I never realized there were so many radio shows," says VanDam. "Most interviews are 15 to 20 minutes unless the writer is doing an in-depth story, which might take a little bit longer." Bassmaster senior writer Louie Stout and VanDam are also working on a new book, for which VanDam planned on reviewing the final proof and cover layout on Monday or Tuesday.
The rest of his week will be spent with his family. "I get to see the kids (sons Jackson and Nicholas) off to school in the mornings, and in the evenings I try to be with them as much as I can," says VanDam. After the kids go to bed, VanDam spends the rest of his evenings spooling line and working on his tackle. Map reading for about an hour is all the time VanDam spends mentally preparing for the next tournament during the bye week.
"Most of my mental preparation that I do is on the drive down," he says. "That is when I will get focused." On Sunday, it's back on the road again.