KVD’s Last All-Star

Category: Tournament

 Sep 28th, 2013 by OutdoorsFIRST 

Modified Sep 28th, 2013 at 12:00 AM

The last hurrah, the end of an era, the grand finale, the icing on the cake; however you like to say hasta la vista to things, it’s appropriate to say it to the Bassmaster All-Star Week. The event starting this Friday, September 27, in Muskegon, MI, on Muskegon and White Lakes is the last of this experiment B.A.S.S. started a few years back.

There is no real pressure on any of the anglers, just pride in winning. However, one angler, Bass Pro Shops/Mercury pro Kevin VanDam may have a little more than pride at stake. VanDam fished the lakes while learning his craft as a tournament angler growing up just down the road in Kalamazoo, MI. If ever there was a home field advantage in pro bass fishing, this event sure seems to favor KVD.

Toyota All-Star Kevin VanDam with slab smallies(Joel Shangle)

“I love being able to fish so close to home,” said VanDam. “The weigh-in area for the All-Star event is pretty neat. From a fishing standpoint, the bodies of water area very dynamic; many options to choose from. They are fun fisheries. I grew up fishing tournaments there before I went to fish the Bassmasters. Let’s just say, I know the fisheries pretty well.”

KVD is supportive of the change from a fun All-Star Week to the competition that will ensue with the new season-ending Angler of the Year Championship.

“I’ve been very proud to be part of all of the All-Star events,” said VanDam. “It’s been very fun. From a coverage standpoint, I think B.A.S.S. does almost as good of a job on the All-Stars as they do with the Bassmaster Classic. There are only 14 anglers, so the focus narrows and it is excellent.

“I do understand the new direction from a standpoint of the fans and fun, too. Our Saturdays during the regular season draw the most fans. There are 50 pros that fans can see and meet if they want. With a 50-man field at the new Angler of the Year Championship, the fans can get that access as well. It’s better than the 14 at All-Star.

“Plus, the reality is that the sport is about competition. There is no pressure for us at the All-Star event.  The competition aspect is very good. There is more at stake with an Angler of the Year tournament, so that makes it a more interesting event.”

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