If a new "Greatest Angler Debate" were to be held again this year or any year hereafter I think there can be little doubt a different king of the mountain would emerge as the winner. Kevin Van Dam has now matched Rick Clunn's signature accomplishments of 4 Bassmaster Classic Titles and back to back Bassmaster Classic wins. I recently read that Clunn told KVD to hurry up and win #4, so they could race to #5. Who knows maybe Clunn has what it takes to make a run at the Classic title a few more times. After all Clunn was in the hunt for the US Open in 2010. If Clunn can make it back to the Classic, he could win. However there can be little doubt that absent unforeseen tragic circumstances Kevin Van Dam will be contending for Classic crowns as far as the eye can see.
Kevin Van Dam IS THE GREATEST PROFESSIONAL TOURNAMENT BASS FISHERMAN TO EVER LIVE.
As for how KVD won this Classic it was a virtuoso performance that showed just why he is the best there has ever been. Just like last year he was among a fair host of others that located the area where the tournament would be won. Last year at Lay Lake Kevin pretty much had the winning water to himself thanks to Takahiro Omori conceding the area to Kevin after the first day. This year Kevin was sharing the exact same water with no fewer than 3 other anglers, all of whom finished in the top 10 and two of which with KVD made up the top 3. To win Kevin had to be flat out better than the other anglers and there can be no doubt that he was in winning with a 10lb plus margin of victory. What Kevin did at this Classic was truly astounding.
I think the biggest keys to Kevin's victory were his uncanny abilities to read the behavior of bass then to "trigger" the bass to strike. Kevin stated he was aware that the first days spinnerbait bite was going away by the end of the day. Kevin knew the fish were changing and so he began to experiment to find out what would work best. Strike King has to be the most fortunate fishing lure company in the history of fishing*. The fish wanted the new Strike King KVD 1.5 crankbait and Kevin figured out exactly how to fish the crankbait to trigger the strikes on Day 2. From that point Kevin stepped on the gas and never looked back. A 10lb 11oz margin people! Simply amazing!
*For the 2nd year in a row the Bassmaster Classic was won by KVD on a lure Strike King Lure Company was just bringing to market, no doubt driving initial sales through the roof and building a legacy that will make the lure a top seller for years to come.