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Kevin VanDam Announces New Show Coming to Outdoor Channel

After this week's BPT REDCREST event, KVD's new aim is 'The VanDam Experience.'

Kevin VanDam Announces New Show Coming to Outdoor Channel

Kevin VanDam at ICAST 2024. (Photo by Lynn Burkhead)

In February 2023, Kevin VanDam, the GOAT of professional bass fishing with a career resume like none other, shocked the fishing industry and professional angling fans around the globe when he announced his retirement from competition at the end of last season.

While VanDam actually has one more professional tournament to go before his career is officially complete—KVD qualified last season for the Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour REDCREST 2024 championship derby being held later this week from March 14-17 on Lay Lake near Birmingham, Ala.—the world renowned angler has indeed been moving in some different directions since the New Year dawned.

After teasing the industry and fishing fans earlier this week that a major announcement was forthcoming on March 13, VanDam let the world know that he’s far from done entertaining and educating fishing fans across the country.

“I’m so excited to announce my new television show, The VanDam Experience that will be airing on the Outdoor Channel in 2025!,” said VanDam in a social media post. “It’s time to start the next chapter of my career and I look forward to bringing you all the best information and entertainment in the outdoors.”

With a new career phase starting for VanDam, The VanDam Experience show—which will include bass fishing, hunting, cooking, camping and lifestyle content among other things—will debut on Outdoor Channel next January with 13 original episodes. While those shows will feature the bass fishing superstar and his family and close friends, they will also likely include others that may include high profile industry figures, entertainment celebrities and professional athletes among others.

And with a little luck, perhaps, maybe VanDam’s wife Sherry will do a segment on cooking her famous “KVD cookies,” a tournament staple in Kevin’s boat that has a recipe as closely guarded as the combination to the front gate of Fort Knox.

While that last idea may not happen, plenty more has been happening for the VanDam family since KVD retired last fall. In fact, he and his team have been busy, working to build KVD Outdoors productions, which a news release indicates will produce the new show as well as many other items for fishing and outdoors related content for VanDam's social media platforms and his YouTube channel.

“The idea is to have control over the creation and content of the shows so I can bring the best information and entertainment to fans everywhere,” noted KVD in the news release. “I have been planning to produce a fishing show for a long time and now is the time to do it. I have plenty of engaging content to share with fishing fans and those who love the great outdoors.”

Wanting his show to be fun and educational—perhaps something a little bit like Steven Rinella's MeatEater show franchise?—VanDam will also make a habit of spotlighting some of the storied bass angling waters that he has excelled on during his stellar career.

“I’ll travel back to some of the iconic waters I have fished in the past,” he said. “We’ll take a look at how these fisheries have changed over the years and demonstrate better ways to fish them with the newest innovations in tackle and technology.”

That list of potential fisheries should be long, given a close look at KVD's unparalleled angling resume. Since his first professional derby—a B.A.S.S. tournament in Clayton, N.Y., where he finished in 110th at the New York Invitational, Sept. 23-25, 1987—there isn't much that VanDam hasn't seen or experienced on the front deck of his Nitro bass boat.

With his professional career fully taking flight in 1990, VanDam has traveled the country and the world en route to capturing four Bassmaster Classic victories (2001, '05, '10, '11), seven B.A.S.S. Angler of the Year titles (1992, '96, '99, 2008, '09, '10, '11), one FLW Tour AOY title (2001); 29 national tour level wins (including a record 25 B.A.S.S. victories, a Bass Pro Tour victory in 2021, and three Major League Fishing made-for-television cup triumphs); along with more than $7 million in career earnings.  

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Such accomplishments have made KVD the sport’s unquestioned GOAT, a fan favorite, a media and social media powerhouse figure, and worthy of just about every award imaginable in the bass fishing world. Those awards have included induction into the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame, the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame, and the Legends of the Outdoors Hall of Fame among others. Only days ago, VanDam received word that he will be inducted into the International Game Fish Association’s Hall of Fame along with four others in the Class of 2024, arguably the highest honor that an angler can receive.

While there would seem to be little doubt that The VanDam Experience will feature plenty of angling action and information for those who pursue largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and spotted bass, don’t expect KVD’s Outdoor Channel show to focus exclusively on bass fishing.

“I love fishing, but I also enjoy all kinds of outdoor experiences, including hunting, camping, and cooking,” said KVD, a passionate bowhunter and spring turkey hunter who is also the leader of the Mossy Oak fishing team. “Don’t worry, we will be catching plenty of bass, but there will be a few surprise adventures along the way as well.”

VanDam is also a deeply dedicated conservationist, and has taken increasing joy out of managing his Michigan land for wildlife in recent years. He spoke to Mossy Oak last year and told of how much he and his two sons, Jackson and Nicholas, enjoy being Mossy Oak GameKeepers. And if you’ve followed VanDam on his social media platforms in recent years, it sometimes seems as if he enjoys the woods as much or more than the water.

“For us, doing wildlife management and improving the habitat for wildlife is a year-round project,” he said in a story last year by noted outdoor scribe and Mossy Oak contributor John E. Phillips. “If any of us has time to spend, he goes to the land and works on improving it. We are building and planting food plots, hinge cutting non-commercial trees to provide bedding sites for deer, running trail cameras and rotating crops to ensure that we have plenty of food for the deer and turkeys on our property. 

“Before the season, we also go out and check all our stands to make sure they’re safe and in good condition for hunting,” he also said to Phillips. “We plant nut and fruit trees for wildlife too and maximize our timber rotations to always provide thick bedding sites and plenty of cover to hold deer and turkeys. We plant small, select clear-cuts to make sure the deer have sanctuaries all year long.”

In other words, if anyone thought KVD would be sitting on the back porch drinking coffee and twiddling his thumbs during his retirement years, think again.

In fact, getting back to the topic of fishing here, over the past year since his retirement announcement, KVD has steadily told fans and reporters that in his post-tournament years, he wants to do things like fly fish for giant tarpon in the Florida Keys, to chase fish in Alaska, perhaps venture to the Amazon for peacock bass, and do more saltwater fishing. 

All in all, KVD is not only the greatest professional bass angler of all-time, he’s also one of the most well-rounded outdoors enthusiasts and conservationists the outdoors world has seen. And now with some extra time on his hands, he intends to do more giving back as he entertains fans, educates them on how to be better anglers and hunters, and shows how much fun the outdoors lifestyle can be, even if you’ve never launched your bass rig into storied Bassmaster Classic waters.

The good news is that for KVD’s legion of fans, and a whole host of others who might not know the household name stature that VanDam enjoys, he’s going to be taking everyone else along for the ride in coming months, with a video camera looking on.

“I guarantee you we will have fun and take the time to enjoy the moment in the outdoors,” VanDam noted. “Whether you are a long-time fishing fan who followed my career from the beginning, or a new angler looking to learn the latest fishing tactics and techniques, The VanDam Experience will have something for everyone to enjoy.”

Now that’s some kind of a great retirement plan, if you ask me. And the guess here is that KVD’s legion of fans will certainly agree.




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