If you have any doubts as to whether Kevin VanDam’s competitive fire still burns hot at age 53, I wish you could have read my text messages last night.
At 9:30 p.m. Wednesday came a message from Kevin thanking me for all the media work I did with him this week at REDCREST, followed by a comma and “wish I could have got it done today. Still stings.”
Five hours after his week on Lake Eufaula was officially over -- it was classic KVD – class, appreciation, and a relentless competitor’s heart.
“I’ve been doing this a long time, and some days things just don’t go your way. I missed four fish that would have counted today. I didn’t get mad. I didn’t throw a fit. I truly believed I could get it done. I had my chances right to the end, but I just didn’t connect,” he lamented.
Fueled by wife Sherry’s lucky cookies, VanDam made thousands of casts at REDCREST with a Strike King Thunder Cricket – specifically a 3/8-ounce white one – with a matching white Strike King Menace trailer. It was for sure his best bait of the week.
His best day of the week was the first one when he totaled 20-pounds. “I made a location change early in the day on Monday and got a couple good bites right away. That started the ball rolling to that good 20-pound bag,” he grinned.
But what he described as “repetitive missed opportunities” is the part of REDCREST he wishes he could do over.
“I’m a little mad and frustrated, obviously. This one stings. I’ll think about those four missed bites for a long time,” concluded VanDam.