Perhaps you missed it, if so KVD will not be fishing at the 2015 Bassmaster Classic. Yes that’s right the 4 time Classic winner is not going to be fishing for his 5th title. If you follow other writers many have said Kevin is in the twilight of his career. This is the beginning of the end for the 7 time AOY?
By finishing 53rd in the AOY standing Kevin did not qualify for the Classic. George Kramer wrote: “You have just witnessed the end of the dominance and uncanny consistency of the guy who once made every right decision and out-worked virtually every other competitor.”
In a Bassmaster.com article we learn just how close KVD came to making the Classic: “If VanDam had caught just one additional 2 1/2-pound bass, he would have made the Top 50.” One bass was the difference between fishing and working the Expo at the Classic.
Anyone who follows the Elites will tell you that KVD showed he was human this year. The cape and super hero costume bearing the KVD logo has been removed. If we had doubts about KVD being human we witnessed it at the Delaware River event where he failed to weigh-in a bass the first day of competition and only weighed-in 3.6lbs for the tournament, finishing in 97th place.
I don’t believe Kevin is in the twilight of his career; however the sport of bass fishing has changed. Kevin had a shot at winning Bass Fest, where he fished deep with a hair jig and crankbait. Isn’t that what we expect Kevin to win with? When I think back at why I learned how to throw a crankbait it was because KVD was dominating with it. The name KVD is synonymies with power fishing. Even though he is a power fishing machine it might take a change to get back on top.
This year a crankbait wasn’t the winning bait week in and week out. We have seen anglers win on a variety of baits. In a Bassmaster article Kevin said this: “The fact that I messed it up so bad this year tells me that I need to really re-think how I'm going about these events. "Believe me, I'm going to have a different focus next year." Does that focus change KVD mentioned have to do with the baits he throws or is it a change in his mind set?
It sounds like we will soon see a new and improved KVD. Will it be one who can get back to his winning ways? Time will only tell. With two bad years behind him Kevin can rely on the things that got him to where he was or he can evolve and become an even better angler. Might we see KVD win with a dropshot? When he does leave the sport will he be known for more then just power fishing?
It will be odd not seeing KVD on the Classic stage, after 24 straight Classic appearances he is a staple. I truly believe if KVD can refocus and evolve he will be back on the Classic stage perhaps even raise the Classic trophy for a 5th time. Despite the fact that he is 46 I don’t think KVD is done. Yes the Elite field is full of younger anglers but KVD is still driven.
Kevin said it best when talking to Bassmaster: “"I've watched the greatest anglers in the sport rise and fall," VanDam said. "It's inevitable. "I'm just not ready to go away yet." Don’t count him down and out just yet, maybe, just maybe we have yet to see the best KVD has to offer.
Articles I mention in this post can be view below:
Bassmaster: Click Here
George Kramer: Click Here