BassWestUSA - Spring, 2012, Page 25

Because fishing at the professional level is so expensive and the demand from sponsors is so high, the reality is that a lot of guys say they’re there to win but they’re there to have a good showing. That is not what I am out there to do.

sition to. We are fishing toad lakes and they are hawg-swinging contests.

GP: If you could give readers two or three things to focus on to become better anglers what would you suggest? KVD: The number one thing that everyone, myself included, can do each year is learn how to become a better caster. The more accurate you are, the better you can present a lure where it needs to go, whether that is underneath a dock or into the centre of a brush pile with a quiet presentation. The better you can cast, the more fish you’re going to catch, because you still get a lot of reactionary, shock-type bites. It is still the basis of all shallow water fishing. The second thing is that the amount of information at the hands of anglers is so much better now than it was even a few years ago, what with the magazines, things like Bassmaster televi- sion show and the internet. But you still have to be able to apply the knowledge. That is where a lot of anglers go wrong. They’ll get on the internet and say, hey, I am going to a certain lake for a spring trip. Then they’ll hear that guys are catching them on red Rattletraps. But things change so quickly. The red Rattletrap is a good starting point, but you still have to go out there and apply the information and make the adjustments. There is still no substitu- tion for time on the water.

GP: Kevin, thanks so much for candidly sharing your thoughts with us.. I know I speak for everyone when I say that we wish you the best in the future. KVD: Thanks, Gord. Well, we’re sure gonna’ give it a run. I am not here to lose, I can tell you that! BWU

committed to winning you’re going to be able to accept failure because it is going to happen a lot more than not. you have to go out, swing for the fence and miss. That is just the nature of competition. you have to fish with that attitude. Until you’ve won it is hard to get to that mentality. But once you’ve won, you know what it is like. Finishing tenth doesn’t satisfy you anymore. It is no different winning the Bassmaster Classic or something else. you win once and you want to win again. A lot of it is your decision making. you can’t have any fear of failure. Because of their financial situation, a lot of guys on the last day of a tournament find themselves in 15 th or 16 th position, five or six pounds off the lead. They go out with the attitude, “I am probably not going to win, but I can have a good finish and cash a good cheque. So, first thing this morning I am going to go to my limit spot, make sure I catch five fish, and then try to upgrade from there.” My mentality in that situation is to say, I am going to take a shot and see if I can’t catch a couple of big fish early and not worry about failing. Believe me there is a lot of times that I do fail. As a matter of fact, you’re going to lose a lot more times than you’re going to win. There can only be one winner in the sport. So you have to take chances. In the beginning, I definitely fished not to miss a cheque. I wanted to be sure that two days into a four day event that I was doing okay. In- stead of taking the big chance and trying to move way up in the standings, I would lay up a little bit and go for the sure thing. Catch a limit and try to have a decent fin- ish. And that is important when you are trying to win Angler of the year. you can’t afford to have a single bad tournament so there is a balance. you can say you’re go- ing to swing for the fences and finish 85 th . you can’t bomb so bad that it is going to take you out of the race. On the other hand, when you have a shot to get yourself into position to win you have to go for it and make the most of it. That is hard for some people to do. The competition is better than it has ever been. I mean it is tough out there. These new guys, they’re out there to catch ‘em. They’re fishing for big fish. They’re fishing big fish techniques. They start out with a big wooden swim bait and they’re fishing that way all day. That is a tough transition to make for a lot of guys who have fished for a lot of years. We’re fish- ing much better bodies of water that have huge populations of big fish, so you have to fish now for seven or eight quality bites a day instead of going out and catching 25 or 30 bass and culling up like we used to do. you have to target those big fish from the get go. That is not easy to tran-

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Spring 2012

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