Carving JVD in the Family Fishing Tree

Jonathon VanDam in his own words

Let’s say for a second you are born into a family that features a fisherman so famous he just goes by his initials. And that your father is such a fanatic that he built a successful tackle and marine store from scratch. And that you are drawn to the sport with unbridled enthusiasm from a young age.

So you go from dipping your toes in the water––wiling away boyhood days fishing from shore at a pond behind your house––to working at your dad’s store to competing in local tournaments. It would be a path eased by head starts but pitted with pitfalls and comparisons.

In the ultra-competitive world of big-time bass fishing, few from the Midwest make their mark. But try tellin’ that to the ultra-competitive VanDam family from Kalamazoo, Michigan. Kevin VanDam, perhaps the greatest competitive angler of all time, is the guy mentioned above, known simply by his initials, KVD.

The kid mentioned above, who is all grown up now and a touring pro, is KVD’s nephew, Jonathon VanDam. Find out how young Jonathon forged his own path to the biggest stages in fishing, on today’s MidWest Outdoors Podcast.

This great family fishing story begins in the June, 2019 issue of MidWest Outdoors magazine and continues here as we get to know Jonathon VanDam, or just JVD, in his own words. It’s time well spent.

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