Why is Michigan’s Kevin VanDam so good? VanDam won the Sooner Run on Grand Lake last weekend, giving him 12 Bassmaster tournament titles in his career.
An impressive total considering the anglers he is fishing against every other weekend of the season and the fact they are bouncing around the country to different lakes.
“He has just been doing longer than anybody else,” Talala angler Edwin Evers said.
Experience helps, but there are other pro angler with just as much.
I am not a tournament angler. I always went fishing just to relax and enjoy the outdoors, although I can see the allure of the competition.
But tournament fishing seems to me to be a game of choices. Where to go? What to fish with? Should I stay? Should I go? VanDam must think like a fish. He seems to make the right choices more often than not.
Four members of the University of Oklahoma Bass Club were at the Sooner Run following the anglers on the lake and even blogging for ESPN Outdoors. They were donned in OU angler jerseys and fans were asking where they could buy one. And I will admit it. I even ordered an OU Bass Fishing cap from one of the club members. The attire is pretty cool looking.
Oklahoma State University also had two anglers from its club there. One of them was James Elam, who caught a near state-record smallmouth on Lake Eufaula earlier this month.
It’s amazing to me the number of people who stayed through a downpour on Sunday to watch the pro anglers weigh-in. I hope the pros appreciate it.
Speaking of the pros, all of the anglers on the Bassmaster Tour seem to be pretty good guys. Everyone I talked to was courteous and cordial and put up with my stupid questions except California’s Skeet Reese.
“Not happening,” Reese said as he kept walking by when I asked for an interview.
I admit my timing wasn’t very good. Reese had just left the stage after Friday’s weigh-in and was no doubt upset about not making the cut, which assured him of falling out of the lead in the Angler of the Year race.
Hey, the First Amendment works both ways in this country. But there is no need to be rude about it.
It’s easy to have class when you are winning. The true character of a person is best judged not during good times, but when times are tough. But I will give Reese the benefit of the doubt on this one and chalk it up to a bad day.
You think fishermen lie? Today is the 75th anniversary of bass fishing’s biggest record: the 22 pound, 4 ounce largemouth bass caught by George Perry in the backwoods of Georgia on June 2, 1932.
But was it really that big? Count me among the skeptics that say no.
Biologists have been trying to grow bigger bass for decades and by and large have been successful with better habitat and improved genetics. State largemouth bass fishing records have consistently fallen, but the world record has remained untouched for 75 years? Doesn’t seem likely to me.
Perry weighed the fish on a scale in a country store, then took it home and ate it. The International Game Fish Association, the fish record-keeping authority, grandfathered in Perry’s record, but such measly documentation on a fish today wouldn’t even be considered for a world record. But it’s given bass anglers for the past 75 years something to shoot for…
Much like Perry’s bass, I have my doubts about the 1,100-pound hog shot in Alabama by an 11-year-old boy. I hate to be distrusting, but I have seen to many trophy photos on the Internet that have been doctored.
If you believe everything you see on the Internet, then there are mountain lions roaming the streets of Watonga and 244-pound alligator gar swimming around in Broken Bow Lake. I know hogs can get big, but 1,100 pounds? It could be true, but I would have to see it with my own eyes to believe it.