Kevin VanDam Announces Retirement

Original Bass Pro Interviews
Kevin VanDam announced that he will be leaving competitive fishing. Here is his official retirement announcement.

It's 2023. And I'm just about to start my 33rd season as a touring bass professional. And man, what a ride it's been. But I'm here today to announce that this is gonna be my last season fishing professionally on tour. Family has supported me through it all, my wife, Jackson, and Nicholas. Being on tour is tough, you know, spending so much time on the road, it's hard on your family. And I've done it for a really long time. And I've had so many great memories.

I started my career with bass and fished the Bassmaster Tournament Trail for 28 years and, you know, along the way made a lot of friends. I'm so thankful for Ray Scott, for founding Bass and starting this whole dream of fishing tournaments that so many of us follow to this day. Over the years with my time at Bass, you know, I've made a lot of great friends, so many great memories, accomplished a lot, won a lot of titles and championships and things along the way, and tried to be a great ambassador to help grow the sport and pave the way for the next generation that's coming along.

In 2011, I fished the first Major League Fishing Cup event at Lake Amistad, and I'm still fishing the Bass Pro Tour today. Over my whole career, I've tried to help grow the sport and be a great ambassador for fishing, conservation, and the outdoors. I've been fortunate over my career to be able to compete at the top level of the sport, and I couldn't have done that without great support from all my sponsors. You know, one of the things I'm really proud of is the long-term relationships that I've had over these years, the friendships that I've made, and the partnerships that I've had. And that's something that I really look forward to continuing on in the future.

Another big part of the success of my career has been all the support that I've had from fans over the years, and I can't overstate enough just what that means to me. You know, I love this sport, I love sharing it with other people that are passionate just like me. And that's what it's all about. I mean, without the fans, we have no sports. So, this year, I'm really looking forward to a lot of great fan interactions, a lot of special things that we're going to be doing, so stay tuned. We're gonna see a lot more info and special things for all of our fans, not just my fans, but fans of the sport.

So, in closing, I am not retiring. You know, I still have as much drive and passion for this sport as I've ever had. I look forward to being a great voice for fishing, the outdoors, and conservation long into the future. And I'm just looking forward to what the next chapter of my career is gonna be. So, I look forward to getting back out on the road, getting back on tour, seeing everybody, and having a lot of fun this season. We'll see you out on the water.