“I changed every single treble hook on every single bait.”
Kevin VanDam was focused. I could hear it in his voice. “I’ve never been more organized. I know everything that’s in my boat.”
While he rebounded well last season, hammering out multiple wins in classic KVD fashion and placing high in the 2016 Angler of the Year points race, one could sense a lingering sting in the angler’s voice. Long heralded as the greatest competitive fisherman of all time, VanDam stumbled a bit during the 2015 Bassmaster Elite Series season, missing the year-end championship.
It seemed clear that was still trying to put it all behind him, and his champion’s work ethic would be the key.
Within many circles, VanDam is regarded as a bass fishing phenom, operating at a level beyond other anglers – including the world’s best. His all-time record for national tournament wins is proof positive of an ability never before seen in the competitive bass realm. VanDam’s long-time secret is his capacity to quickly master nearly any technique to catch bass. He’s never been a specialist when it comes to fishing methods; in contrast, VanDam’s strength lies in his versatility.
Given massive advancements in modern bass fishing, it’s necessary for the versatile VanDam to own and utilize tremendous amounts of tackle, whether on the road or at home in his Michigan test facility. Cataloging his significant gear and keeping it organized is one way VanDam focuses on the job at hand, and he never tires of the process.
VanDam’s attention to tackle detail and organization translates to positive time management on the water, and is critical to his success. Confidence in his ability to operate at maximum efficiency means never having to second-guessing his decisions. VanDam’s aforementioned obsession with treble hooks is a case in point.