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VanDam wins 17th BASS Victory at Kentucky Lake Bassmaster Elite Series Event

 

Paris, TN – Kevin VanDam has set the bar so high that when the Kalamazoo, MI, veteran goes a few tournaments without a victory, bass fishing fans are left to ponder if he has lost the magic. But VanDam is undoubtedly on top of his game and Saturday, he laid waste to rumors of a struggle, extending his Kentucky Lake domination at the Tennessee Triumph with a four-day total of 92 pounds, 5 ounces.

A triumphant Kevin VanDam after winning the Tennesee Triumph Bass tournament

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VanDam Does it Again

 
Day 2 Leader Kevin VanDam of Kalamazoo, MI. with a 2 day total of 49lb2oz.(BASS Communicaitons/Seigo Saito)

Day 2 Leader Kevin VanDam of Kalamazoo, MI. with a 2 day total of 49lb2oz.(BASS Communications/Seigo Saito)

Paris, TN – Kevin VanDam’s Kentucky Lake domination is beginning to get a bit ridiculous. Despite a rough start – VanDam failed to connect on consecutive 5-pounders on his first two bites – the five-time Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year opened up a 6-pound lead at the Tennessee Triumph Friday.

After scoring a first-, second- and third-place finish in the previous three Elite events here, VanDam is closing in on adding another victory to his Kentucky Lake ledger. He ended up toting 24 pounds, 2 ounces, to the scales Thursday, which upgraded his two-day total to 49 pounds, 2 ounces. His consistency was rare as he was only angler to remain in the top five from Wednesday.

VanDam capitalized on a fast-and-furious early-morning bite, which allowed him to vacate his primary areas by 9:30am and hunt for new water. The search wasn’t fruitless and VanDam feels that he has a number of areas at his disposal that could produce. Still, VanDam was worried about boat pressure – from locals and competitors – with the impending weekend. Last year, perhaps the most lasting image from Bobby Lane’s victory here was the armada of 100-plus spectator boats that crowded his area. «Read the rest of this article»

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No Surprise: VanDam Takes Early Lead on Kentucky Lake at Bassmaster Elite Series Event

 
Day 1 Leader Kevin VanDam of Kalamazoo, MI. 25lb. (BASS Communicaitons/Seigo Saito)

Day 1 Leader Kevin VanDam of Kalamazoo, MI. 25lb. (BASS Communicaitons/Seigo Saito)

It was more a question of when, not if, five-time Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year Kevin VanDam was going to make a late-season charge. Heading into the Tennessee Triumph this week, the planet’s best angler was in 26th in the Angler of the Year standings. Respectable for mere mortals, yes, but for VanDam, it wasn’t good enough.

But this week looked like an obvious springboard. VanDam of Kalamazoo, Mich., has posted first-, second- and third-place finishes on Kentucky Lake in the three previous Bassmaster competitions here. A Wednesday limit of 25 pounds, 0 ounces, on the fish factory has him in the catbird seat to start the week. Just ounces off the pace, Rick Morris of Lake Gaston, Va., registered 24-15 and sits in second.

Unlike in years past on Kentucky, things have been a struggle thus far, VanDam said. The current didn’t run until late in the day and the bass aren’t schooling up and prone to quick flurries, most likely due to the recent flooding.

“It’s not easy out there,” said VanDam, a three-time Bassmaster Classic champion. “The areas that I typically go to have been beat to pieces. The biggest thing that has changed is everyone has the equipment to find fish out here. And it shows. But you still have to know what to throw and how to throw it to get the big bites.”

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