VanDam leads comeback as Team B&W Trailer Hitches advances to General Tire Team Series Championship - Major League Fishing
VanDam leads comeback as Team B&W Trailer Hitches advances to General Tire Team Series Championship
1y • Mason Prince • General Tire Team Series
SQWINCHER HIGHLIGHTS: Team Sqwincher wins Team Series Championship Elimination Match 3 by 39 pounds
2d • General Tire Team Series
GALLERY: Team Sqwincher more than doubles the competition’s totals at third Elimination Match of Team Series Championship
2d • Garrick Dixon • General Tire Team Series
SQWINCHER HIGHLIGHTS: Team Series Championship Elimination Match 2 win goes to team Crockett Creek
1w • General Tire Team Series
GALLERY: Team Crockett Creek wins second Elimination Match of Team Series Championship by 3-11
1w • Garrick Dixon • General Tire Team Series
SQWINCHER HIGHLIGHTS: Team Knighten Industries scores first checkmate at Elimination Match 1 of Team Series Championship
2w • General Tire Team Series
GALLERY: Team Knighten Industries wins first Elimination Match of Team Series Championship
2w • Garrick Dixon, Phoenix Moore • General Tire Team Series
SQWINCHER HIGHLIGHTS: Team Series Championship roster set with a Team Knighten Industries win at Longview
3w • General Tire Team Series
GALLERY: Team Knighten Industries scores final spot in Team Series Championship
3w • Garrick Dixon • General Tire Team Series
SQWINCHER HIGHLIGHTS: Tight race at Builders FirstSource Qualifier Semifinals Match 2 ends with team Ferguson on top
1m • General Tire Team Series
GALLERY: Team Ferguson tops tight race at Semifinals Match 2 of Builders FirstSource Qualifier
1m • Garrick Dixon • General Tire Team Series
SQWINCHER HIGHLIGHTS: Team Star brite shines brightest at Builders FirstSource Qualifier Semifinals Match 1
1m • General Tire Team Series
GALLERY: Team Star brite is Championship bound after Semifinals Match 1 win
1m • Garrick Dixon • General Tire Team Series
SQWINCHER HIGHLIGHTS: Team Knighten Industries victorious at Builders FirstSource Qualifier Match 3
1m • General Tire Team Series
GALLERY: Team Knighten Industries sweeps the board at Builders FirstSource Qualifier Match 3
1m • Garrick Dixon • General Tire Team Series

VanDam leads comeback as Team B&W Trailer Hitches advances to General Tire Team Series Championship

Image for VanDam leads comeback as Team B&W Trailer Hitches advances to General Tire Team Series Championship
A pregame map analysis paid off for Team B&W Trailer Hitches as they advanced to the General Tire Team Series Championship. Photo by Garrick Dixon. Anglers: Kevin VanDam, Todd Faircloth, David Walker.
February 20, 2023 • Mason Prince • General Tire Team Series

BOLIVAR, Mo. – The second day of Match 1 at the General Tire Team Series Costa Qualifier Presented by Toyota on Stockton Lake saw a different team on top of SCORETRACKER® than the first day. After entering the Day 2 with a 6-pound, 3-ounce lead, Team Ferguson (Brent Ehrler, Brett Hite and Tommy Biffle) was unable to hold off Kevin VanDam, Todd Faircloth and David Walker of Team B&W Trailer Hitches for the round win.

Captain VanDam’s team caught 54 bass for 88-12 to move past Team Ferguson, win the round by 8-4 and earn a trip to the General Tire Team Series Championship in Florida.

VanDam’s productive water leads to a stellar comeback

While their first day was nothing to shake their heads about VanDam’s team knew they had some work to do if they wanted to erase their deficit and catch up to Ehrler and company. 

“We just really had a strategy session after the first day to know exactly what each guy did in each part of the lake we fished,” VanDam said. “We felt really confident coming into our second day of competition.”

The lake stayed the same, but instead of fishing the east side of Stockton Lake, the three teams were now limited to only the 12,330 surface acres of the west side. That change didn’t intimidate VanDam’s team.

“We were looking for areas that fit each person’s strengths because it was a new section of the lake,” VanDam said. “Walker loves shallow, dirty water, so he went to the upper end and got off to a decent start for us. I got going early as well using a Strike King KVD 1.5 squarebill and a spinnerbait, but it was a little bit of a struggle for Todd.”

The first two periods were a struggle for Faircloth as he was unable to put a scorable bass on the board. At the second period break of the day, VanDam, Walker and Faircloth made a decision as a team that would prove to be the difference.

“After two periods, we all kind of agreed that the water I was in was the best we were going to find, so everyone kind of moved to where I was at,” VanDam said. “The area had a lot of timber. I mentioned how much success I was having with a spinnerbait, so all three of us started throwing them. That move really won us the round because that’s when Todd started catching ‘em.”

Faircloth added 17 bass for 24-6 in the final period, pushing his team to the lead and eventually a victory with a two-day total of 76 bass for 125-9. Team B&W Trailer Hitches is now the first team of the Costa Qualifier to advance to the Team Series Championship in Florida.

“Our team has a ton of chemistry and a ton of experience,” VanDam said. “I basically drafted my team knowing that we were going to win our round and move on to the Championship in Florida. We obviously work well together, so I can’t wait to see what we do in Florida.”

Where/when/how to watch

You can catch Day 1 of Match 2 of the Costa Qualifier at the following times on Outdoor Channel: Feb. 25 (2-4 p.m. ET), Feb. 26 (4-6 p.m. ET) and March 3 (9-11 a.m. ET)