Everybody who knows anything about the Bassmaster Elite Series has heard about Kevin VanDam's lucky cookies. They're the stuff of legend. But how much do we really know about them? Sure, they're chocolate chip and peanut butter with sugar on the outside. But do you know the important stuff?
To find out if you're as knowledgeable as you should be about this subject, try answering these five questions — before you read VanDam's answers.
1. How did this "lucky cookie" thing get started?
They really didn't start as lucky cookies. They started with my wife, Sherry, baking and sending them to me as a show of support, to tell me she was thinking of me and was wishing me the best.
I shared them with my friends on the tour, Davy Hite and Scott Rook. Shortly after we started eating them, our fishing improved and Davy started calling them "KVD's Lucky Cookies." The name stuck, and the story took off from there.
2. Where did they come from?
The recipe is one of my grandmother's, Myrtle Sturman. She worked as a chef for a very well-to-do family here in Michigan, and she was one heck of a cook. She didn't know how to open a box, add an egg and some water and bake anything. She made everything from scratch.
When it came to cooking she was the real deal, and this cookie recipe was one of her favorites. It's neat to have that kind of family history. We're all really proud of it.
3. Can we have the recipe?
4. Do you follow any special rituals with the cookies?
Not really. Sherry usually makes a double batch and then ships them to me at the tournament site. That gives me at least one cookie for every keeper bass I'll need during the tournament. Obviously, that's normally 20. That's the minimum, though. I usually have some leftover to eat in my room after I'm finished on the water.
I also have enough so that I can share a few with Davy and Scott. I don't give them as many as I keep for myself, though. I mean, friendship is one thing, giving away my cookies is another.
5. How important are they, really?
They're important. They're a gesture of love from Sherry. They tell me she cares. That means a lot to me. But, at the same time, I don't live and die by them. I'm not a superstitious guy.
There's no such thing as luck, or streaks or anything like that. How you finish in a tournament is determined by the decisions you make on the water, not by the power of some supernatural force.
There have been a few tournaments over the years when I haven't gotten them, mostly because it's just not logistically possible for her to get them to me. That doesn't bother me one bit. Remember, in the end it's all about the attitude.