What accolades do you give the angler who's got everything? Kevin VanDam is — without any doubt — the greatest professional angler in bass fishing history. He's done it all … more than once.
VanDam has won seven Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year titles (second only to Roland Martin, with nine) and four Bassmaster Classics (tied for the most with Rick Clunn). He leads all anglers with more than $5 million in B.A.S.S. prize money (more than second and third places combined) and averages winning almost $22,000 per entry.
KVD is the quintessential power fisherman, using horizontal baits (spinnerbaits, crankbaits, etc.) to cover lots of water and present baits to as many fish as possible, but he can slow down and finesse when conditions dictate. If there's a chink in his seemingly impenetrable armor, it's that he doesn't like to slow down and get small with his lines and baits. Even so, he won the toughest Classic in history with less than 13 pounds over three days and caught a bass on a shaky head from Lake Lewisville that weighed nearly 12 pounds and set a lake record, so just because he doesn't care to slow down doesn't mean he can't or won't.
With four consecutive Angler of the Year titles to his credit, VanDam is the most experienced angler in the field when it comes to the postseason. He handles pressure well and usually finds ways to dish out more than his competition can take. He'll be fishing his 22nd consecutive Bassmaster Classic in 2012 and going for an unprecedented third consecutive championship.
Every time KVD wins, cashes a check or sends the rest of the field away shaking their heads, he rewrites the record books. No tournament is over until KVD weighs in.
|Nicknames:||KVD; Kalamazoo Kid; The Great One|
|2011 AOY rank:||1st|
|Classic wins||4 (2001, 2005, 2010, 2011)|
|AOY titles:||7 (1992, 1996, 1999, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011)|
|Strengths:||Power fishing; chocolate chip cookies; able to leap tall buildings in single bound|