KVD Goes Wire to Wire for Number 24

Kevin-VanDam-Wins-Elite-SeriesWaddinton, NY — Sometimes in sports players hit levels of unconscious dominance that everything just seems too easy. Remember Michael Jordan’s famous shrug in the 1992 finals? How about more recently when Steph Curry tossed up a three-ball and was looking for the high-five before it went in? Well, KVD had himself one of those moments this weekend.

By noon on Sunday, VanDam was working his way back to site of the weigh-ins. Earlier that day, he pulled in a six pound, five ounce smallmouth that was good for big fish of the tournament. It was a Bryce Harper bat flip moment. He knew it was over—no one was going to catch him.

KVD is one of the great smallmouth specialists in the history of the game, and he put on a clinic over four days of fishing. With a final total of 90 pounds, 3 ounces—smallmouth all.

While he used a variety of different approaches and baits, his primary weapon was Strike King Dream Shot drop shot in strong currents.

Other techniques included jerkbaits, wacky rigs, and swimbaits all got some play. And there was some talk of an unspecified “spy bait” that was activated when the wind picked up and made presentation difficult.

The win came along with a $100,000 check and automatic entry in the Bassmaster Classic. It also moved KVD into third place in the Angler of the Year standings.

Fan favorite Brandon Palaniuk came in third place, but that finish was good enough to keep him in first place in the AOY standings.

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