Make no mistake; bold amounts of tenacious competitiveness exist between Bassmaster Elite Series pros. Still, it’s a game played in deep pools of humility with fellowship often floating to the surface even on the first morning of the tournament.
Indeed, fellowship floated freely at sunrise this morning between Davy Hite and Kevin VanDam inside the small harbor where morning take-off is staged along the north bank of the Arkansas River in the heart of downtown Little Rock.
As boat numbers were called-out, Hite asked VanDam what size replacement treble hooks he liked best on his namesake Strike King KVD 1.5 crankbait. VanDam advised a larger size than what Hite obviously put on his lures and could tell Hite felt immediately disadvantaged.
Rather than ride off into the sunrise, leaving Hite restless with the wrong hooks, VanDam turned to Davy and said, â€œHand them here, Davy. I’ll change them back to the right size for you.â€ Hite obliged and handed over his lures sporting incorrect hook sizes. KVD broke out the split-ring pliers and some of his namesake KVD Mustad hooks, and in classic blazing fast VanDam fashion, made all things good again with Davy’s lures in time for take off.
Even after nearly 10 years as his roommate, Hite couldn’t help but talk about Kevin’s admirable character.
â€œI’ve said it a million times, for the success that he’s had, it’s amazing how helpful and humble Kevin is,” Hite said. “Sure we’re close friends, but he didn’t have to help me like that. He’s just so dang quick at changing out hooks, there was no logic in telling him I’d do it myself. His parents obviously raised him to be the high-character man that he is, and his wife makes sure he stays that way.â€