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From Edwin: "I've got a beautiful wife and healthy kids – and they lend me their unparalleled support. God's given me the opportunity to pursue my lifelong dream. A dream that started as a boy growing up in Texas, and grew stronger as I attended college near Lake Texoma, Oklahoma. I take my profession very seriously, and as my old college football coaches would attest, I'm a very competitive person. But along with the competition comes heaps of humility, occasional victories and my unending desire to never stop learning. I want to offer you a heartfelt personal thanks to my fans and sponsors. Without a great family, the best sponsors in the industry – and YOU the fans – this childhood dream I live each day would have never have been a reality."
Hometown: Talala, Oklahoma
Family: Tuesday (wife), Kylee (daughter) ,Kade (son)
Favorite Lakes: Sam Rayburn (TX), Toledo Bend (TX/LA), Lake Amistad (TX) - "They're chock full of bass."
Least Favorite Lake: "Any natural Florida lake, particularly Toho and Kissimmee."
Favorite Technique: Chunking a spinnerbait
Primary Fishing Strength: Versatility
Secondary Fishing Strength: Shallow power fishing
Biggest Weakness: Being too stubborn
Boat: Nitro Z9
Fishing Team: Bass Pro Shops
In the world of professional bass fishing, Kevin VanDam is at the pinnacle and arguably the best in the world. He’s the complete package – fierce competitor with multiple championships, ambassador to the sport, and family man.
Professional bass fishing has risen to a major sports
level in recent years with regular season and national championships televised
“When it comes to professional bass fishing, Kevin VanDam
is as close to perfection as I’ve ever seen,” says ESPN Outdoors Commentator
Mark Zona. “In my mind, he is the best of this era and will be the best I cover
as long as I am a commentator.”
In fact, VanDam was honored with the first-ever
Outdoorsman of the Year ESPY trophy at ESPN’s televised awards program in 2002.
As the all-time money winner on the Bassmaster
Tournament trail, VanDam has earned more than $5 million through February,
2012, captured four Bassmaster Classic titles (2001,2005, 2010, 2011) and seven
Toyota Tundra Angler of Year titles (1992, ‘96, ‘99, ‘08, ’09, '10 and ‘11).
The Bassmaster Classic title is the most coveted in bass
fishing, attracting the best anglers in the world who qualify for it through a
regular season schedule. VanDam has earned berths in 24 consecutive Classics
since he turned full-time pro in 1992, the longest running Classic
qualification streak of any active pro.
In 263 career Bassmaster events, he’s won 20, finished
second 13 times and landed in the top 10 an amazing 100 times!
The 46-year-old pro honed his angling skills while
growing up in Michigan where he had the opportunity to fish for a variety of
fish species, including trout, salmon, muskies, walleyes and northern pike.
“You can learn a lot by fishing different species in the diverse variety of
lakes and rivers we have in Michigan,” he offered. “But bass is my first love.”
As a teenager, VanDam dominated tournament circuits
around his Kalamazoo home, winning The Michigan BASS Federation Angler of Year award twice before turning pro. At age 23, he became the youngest to win the Toyota
Tundra Angler of the Year title, collected an unprecedented 23 consecutive
in-the-money finishes and shattered tournament records.
VanDam and his wife Sherry have two twin boys, Jackson
When he’s not touring, you’ll find him spending time with
his boys – fishing during the summer and deer hunting in the off-season.
Ott DeFoe is a professional angler on the Bassmaster Elite Series and Major League Fishing. From Knoxville, Tennessee, Ott was born with the passion, talent, and drive for catching Monster Bass. He is married to Jennie and father to Abbie, Parker, and Lizzie, as well as a member of Lyons Creek Baptist Church.
2005 Voted All-Time Greatest Bass Angler by fans (ESPN All-Time Greatest Angler Debate)
Largest Bass: 13#15 Alabama.
Bass Fishing Hero: Holmes B. Clunn, father.
Sponsors: Bass Pro Shots, Tracker Marine, Rick Clunn
Signature Glass Rods ( W&M), Trokar hooks, Rick Clunn Classics Square Bill Crankbaits by Luck-E-Strike U.S.A., Rico Topwater Lures, Trickster
Bass Pro Shops and Tracker Marine:Was recruited to represent these companies by
Johnny Morris In late 1988. Job description was Professional Bass Angler whose
purpose was to promote and expose these companies and their products during all
competitive bass fishing events in which he participated. Was also to grant his
name, likeness, and signature for promoting and marketing these companies and
mutually agreed upon products of these companies. The impressions created by
Rick Clunn has steadily grown from around 3 to 6 million (Target impressions)
to 20 to 25 million impressions annually.
Luck 'E' Strike U.S.A.: Have been with John Hendricks and Luck 'E' Strike for
over 13 years and has served as a product consultant and the primary
professional endorser of Luck 'E' Strike fishing lure products.
Lobina Lures (Rico Topwater Lures): Have been lure designer and primary professional
endorser of Rico Topwater lures for over 15 years.
Wright & McGill Co. & Tro-Kar Hooks: Have recently (Late 2010) joined with Wright
& McGill to design a Rick Clunn Signature Series of Rods. Have also agreed
to join their Tro-Kar Hooks Angling Team for 2011 and beyond. Wright &
McGill are based out of Denver Colorado and have been involved in the fishing
industry for over 85 years.
Before becoming a full time Professional Bass Angler in March of 1976, Rick worked for 10 years in Houston, TX. in the Exxon Oil company's Computing Center. It was the 2nd largest computing center in the world at that time. NASA was the largest.
Caught first bass at age 6 on a red-white Lucky 13.
Guided on Lake Conroe Texas for 14 years (1975-1989).
Quote: One of the questions Rick is most often asked is
"What would you tell young, aspiring fisher persons?" His answer is,
"Live your dream!" No matter what it requires, you must be true to
your self. Whether it translates into honors and awards must be set aside.
Whether you have the approval of others must be ignored. Being happy and in
harmony with the rest of creation comes only when your pursue your heart felt
dreams. Real dreams are dynamic. There is no final destination. It is more
accurately a continuous journey where you experience your higher self in the
most intimate way imaginable. You realize your dream is your vehicle to search
for perfection. It is your art form, which gives you the creative ability to
give back to creation. His angling journey has been his greatest teacher. It
has become his infinite quest to reconnect with the wonders of creation.
Creation's greatest gift was our creation. Our greatest gift in return is to
fulfill our creative potential.
Stacey has been fishing since he
was about 5 years old - that gives him about 60 years of bass fishing
Just fishing was very exciting to
him but in his late teens, about the time Ray Scott started BASS and his
joining the Ozark Bass club in Springfield, MO, he was bitten by the competitive
angling bug. He guided for many years on
Tablerock and the White River lakes and finally was able to enter his first
Bassmaster event in the mid eighties. He’s qualified for 12 Bassmaster classics and 4 Forrest Wood
Championships. He’s amassed over 1.3
million in earnings in the combined circuits.
He credits Tommy Martin, Rick Clunn, and Larry Nixon for help shaping
One of the most fulfilling aspects
of his career has been his relationship with Bass Pro Shops and Tracker Marine.
These have been the greatest companies to be associated with and we’ve sure had
a lot of fun along the way.
Stacey and his wife, Peggy, have three grandkids that they love to
spend time with. Zeb (13), Langley (11),
and Wit (6).They all like to fish, but
Wit is eat up with it! Zeb has taken 2
quality white tail bucks the last 2 years and Langley is going to be an Olympic
Years Pro: 15
Bassmaster Classics Fished: 10
Home Lake: Pickwick Lake (AL)
Favorite Lake: "Lake Champlain (NY/VT). It's so full of fish, both largemouths and smallmouths. A close second would be Cedar Creek Lake, where I grew up."
Least Favorite Lake: "I'd have to say the Red River chain, not because it's a bad fishery but because I've done so badly there."
Favorite Technique: Offshore structure (deep cranking)
Primary Fishing Strength: Fishing around grass
Secondary Fishing Strength: Deep offshore structure
Biggest Weakness: Low-weight tournaments
Hometown: Hughson, California
Former Occupation: Boat salesman, car salesman, UPS loader
Angling Heroes: Larry Nixon and Kevin VanDam - "Nixon was stomping
everybody when I was getting into it, and he was a worm fisherman. VanDam's
confidence is incredible."
Home Lake: California Delta and Clear Lake (CA)
Favorite Lake: California Delta and Clear Lake (CA) - "I love them both equally."
Favorite Technique: Flipping mats - "Any bite could be a double-digit fish."
Primary Fishing Strength: Flipping
Secondary Fishing Strength: Dad "He taught me so much about life and how to be successful."
When Not Fishing: "I'm always fishing. I like to fish for anything. Carp, bluegill, crappie as long as I'm fishing I'm happy."
Why He Fishes: "Because I love it. For me it's the purest thing in the world. I'd rather fish than do anything."