VanDam may have slipped to 29th this week, but he still sits in the mix of the Angler of the Year race in 3rd place. With six AOY trophies in his Kalamazoo house already, it's safe to say he's the one the guys above and below him are keeping an eye on.
But you could be a great site fisherman and rise to the top early in the season when you can see them. Or maybe have some experience on a body of water and go to where you've had success before. Or maybe the "L-word" comes into play. Yes, you may find luck on your side on as you stumble on a school that makes you hero-for-a-day.
But instead of being the Tiger Woods (yes, I still have faith in Tiger) of bass fishing, you could be the My Sharona of the fishing world - a one-hit wonder - and soon take up residence in the "where-are-they-now" file.
So ask the guys at the top of the AOY race what their key to success is and they most likely will tell you it takes a set of keys. At least the guys who are consistently in the hunt on the weekend or in the AOY race every year will say that.
So you hear guys say they're not a great site fisherman. Well, become one. Or they don't like finesse fishing. Well, get to liking it. Or they fish better up North then they do down South. Well, spend it little more time in the South. Besides, you can't beat the hospitality.
So if you want to be on top and stay on top, it helps to fish your strengths. But it helps even more if your strengths cover the water column and conditions from top to bottom.