Sight-fishing played a major role in Kevin VanDam’s monstrous 28-pound 1-ounce five bass limit on Cayuga Lake to kick off competition for Favorite Fishing Stage Five Presented by ATG by Wrangler. In fact, the Team Toyota pro looked at every bass he added to the SCORETRACKER® with his eyes before he caught them.
VanDam was quick to give a lot of credit to his Costa sunglasses for what he said was the best tournament day of smallmouth fishing he’s experienced throughout his illustrious 33-year career. KVD prefers Costa’s Blackfin PRO frames when sight-fishing as they block a lot of side light, and he was rotating between two different lens colors based on the conditions and how deep the fish were bedding.
Sunrise Silver is his go-to lens 95% of the time when on the water, but he also mixed in a prototype lens he is currently working on with the iconic sunglasses brand.
“I started looking for spawning and cruising fish as soon as I put my trolling motor in the water for practice,” VanDam said. “I had a feeling this tournament could be a spawning slugfest, so I committed to it almost immediately. I didn’t know it until after Day 1, but I think I’m seeing a lot of fish other anglers aren’t. That 100% has to be attributed to my Costa lenses. They are, no doubt, the best in the game.”
Wildfires north of the border in Canada have caused an eerie layer of smoke to settle in on Cayuga Lake and many anglers commented the haze has made it tough to see into the water. Quality sunglasses are always a necessity for pro anglers, but the conditions this week have accentuated this importance.
The weights after Day 1 speak for themselves, many anglers were able to put together an impressive day of fishing on Cayuga, but KVD’s 28-1 stood out above the rest and firmly held the first-place position. A 28-pound bag of fish is strong no matter the circumstances, but to do that in New York with five smallmouth is incredible.
“It was truly a special day,” VanDam said with a smile. “The first five fish I caught weighed over 25 pounds and I was legitimately done fishing 30 minutes into the second period. After reaching 28 pounds, I kept my eyes to the water and tried to locate as many fish over 4 pounds as possible for the Knockout Round and beyond. I think I have found around 50 fish over that 4-pound mark, now I just gotta see if I can catch them.”
The BPT’s catch, weigh, and release format is extremely conducive for a sight-fishing tournament as the anglers release the fish to go back to their spawning beds immediately. KVD commented that as fun as it is to catch a big bass, it’s even cooler to see them swim right back to their beds.
Along with producing best-in-class sunglasses for those who love the water, Costa’s popular contingency program Costa Compete + Conserve is tailor-made for bass anglers. Whether you’re a pro like KVD, fish tournaments on the weekends, or a high school or college angler you can win bonus money and prizes through Compete + Conserve.
Compete + Conserve supports over 300 tournaments and is completely free to register. On top of benefitting anglers, Costa makes a cash donation to one of five program conservation partners based on the winning angler’s choosing for every single event.
Visit costacompeteandconserve.com for more information or to get registered.