Kevin VanDam dominates 2017 event from wire to wire
Kevin Van Dam dominated the top of the standings for the 2017 Bassmasters “Elite Series” from day one to final weigh-in. He scored 20 bass for 90 lbs on the St. Lawrence River in Waddington, NY. What an incredible fishing feat. KVD’s understanding of smallmouth is legendary, spawning from his roots in Western Michigan. He adjusted during the weekend and he landed most of the big fish he hooked. I learned more about his tactics by watching the Bassmasters TV show on ESPN2 last weekend. KVD was using more finesse spinning tackle than the other pro’s, possibly increasing his landing ratio. He often would seek out calmer waters behind islands and work the area where he had sighted big smallmouths transitioning from spawning on sand and rock. He changed his baits up often, mostly switching from plastics to stickbaits. I highly recommend you watch the show when it is re-telecasted.
The Bassmasters event and aligned Waddington “Party in the Park” was a tremendous success. Over 32,800 witnessed KVD’s domination this year, and for the 3rd time in 5 years Waddington has hosted this great event. They have already scheduled next year’s Bassmaster “Elite Series” in Waddington August 23-26, 2018. I highly recommend you save those dates for next year. The return of this highly sought event brings life and energy to Upstate NY, and as a community we should support such a dynamic attraction and make it part of our traditions. The Bassmasters obviously return because of the high quality of our fishery, but it is much more than that. The preparation, dedication and volunteering by the local people is what made this event so successful. The professional fishermen who travel non-stop to compete couldn’t say enough good things about how friendly and encouraging the locals were towards them, and they cherish returning to the St. Lawrence for the fishing and the people. The “Party in the Park” was nicely arranged to entertain all that attended. There were demo boat rides, great fish tanks to view, excellent live entertainment and local businesses setting up booths with reasonably priced food and beverage items. Many large tackle and gear companies had elaborate displays free for the public. It was a rare FREE event that someone could bring their family and most everyone had something fun to do. To summarize, this Waddington Party/Bassmasters event was an enjoyable time for everyone who took the time and effort to attend. I certainly look forward to attending next year.