News

VanDam’s Domination on Kentucky Lake Extends

no-image

By BASS Comunications

Kevin VanDam’s Kentucky Lake domination is beginning to get a bit ridiculous.   Despite a rough start – VanDam failed to connect on consecutive 5-pounders on his first two bites – the five-time Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year opened up a 6-pound lead at the Tennessee Triumph Friday.

After scoring a first-, second- and third-place finish in the previous three Elite events here, VanDam is closing in on adding another victory to his Kentucky Lake ledger.   He ended up toting 24 pounds, 2 ounces, to the scales Thursday, which upgraded his two-day total to 49 pounds, 2 ounces.   His consistency was rare as he was only angler to remain in the top five from Wednesday.    

VanDam capitalized on a fast-and-furious early-morning bite, which allowed him to vacate his primary areas by 9:30 a.m. and hunt for new water.   The search wasn’t fruitless and VanDam feels that he has a number of areas at his disposal that could produce.   Still, VanDam was worried about boat pressure – from locals and competitors – with the impending weekend.   Last year, perhaps the most lasting image from Bobby Lane’s victory here was the armada of 100-plus spectator boats that crowded his area.

Still, if anyone is used to boat pressure, it’s VanDam.   And he’s certainly in a comfort zone on Kentucky, so all things considered, he likes where he is at.

“You have to catch them all four days here to have a chance,†said VanDam, who is looking for his 18th BASS win.   “Each day, guys are figuring out how to catch them and I just have to keep at it.   With the boat traffic, I have had to be very selective about what areas I can fish.   And that is hurting me a little bit.   But it is what it is.â€

Fishing fans can catch all of the on-the-water action from the Tennessee Triumph on The Bassmasters, which airs Sunday, July 4, at 10 a.m. ET on ESPN2. The daily weigh-ins for all regular-season Elite events and the two postseason events will air live on ESPN3.com.

Bassmaster.com will follow the Tennessee Triumph each day with BASSCast, BASSCam, real-time leaderboards during weigh-ins, photo galleries, daily results, and Hooked Up with ESPN Outdoors personalities Mark Zona and Tommy Sanders. Live, streaming video will be carried by ESPN3.com.

VanDam played it close to the vest on details of his pattern but given his responses (“I like the way I’m fishingâ€) and his past choices here, it’s probable VanDam is working a crankbait around the numerous ledges that are so vital to Kentucky Lake tournament fishing.

VanDam said the evolution of side-imaging equipment – VanDam uses a Humminbird – has been key to his success.   It has allowed VanDam to explore expanded areas and though it has evened the playing field in terms of finding the subtle areas on ledges where the bass are schooling, VanDam said anglers still have to find a way to put the fish in the boat.      

With the lead, and perhaps of most importance to VanDam, he collects another five-point bonus in the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year standings.   VanDam has moved into Bassmaster Elite Series Postseason position – only the top 12 in the AOY standings qualify – and is closing the tremendous gap that Skeet Reese had opened up heading into this week.   After a white-hot start to the season, Reese is experiencing how the other half lives, as he missed his second consecutive cut with a 48th-place showing.

“My focus is on trying to get in that Postseason,†said VanDam, who scored the AOY last year in come-from-behind fashion.   “Anything can happen there.â€

Moving up from 32nd into second was Kelly Jordon of Mineola, Texas. Jordon brought 26-14 to the scales Thursday, which stands as the biggest limit thus far of the tournament.   His banner day was anchored by a 10-1 behemoth, the biggest of the tournament.   His two-day total was 43-2.

A perennial Bassmaster Classic contender, Jordon came into this week out of the Classic qualifying cutline, but a strong performance here would put him right back in the mix.   The 10-1 fell for a Lake Fork Tackle 10-inch worm in red.

“It was a heck of a day,†said Jordon, an eight-time Classic qualifier.   “I was really disappointed after Wednesday.   I had a great practice and found some serious schools but I just couldn’t get the right bites.   Today (Thursday), that all changed.â€

Moving up from eighth to third was Jason Quinn of York, S.C., with 41-14.   In fourth was Edwin Evers of Talala, Okla., with 41-10.   Evers was Reese’s closest competitor in the AOY standings heading into this week and has steadily closed the gap on Skeet Reese’s once 250-point lead in the standings.   If he can keep the pace, Reese will have to perform well on the season finale on the Arkansas River to maintain a comfortable margin heading into the Postseason.

Rounding out the top five was Elite rookie Keith Poche of Troy, Ala., with 41-8.

Only the top 47 qualified to fish Friday.   Along with Reese, defending Kentucky Lake champion Bobby Lane missed the cut.   Notables in the cutline include 2006 Kentucky Lake winner Morizo Shimizu of Japan (ninth), 2007 Bassmaster Classic champion Boyd Duckett (15th) and 19-year-old Bradley Roy (43rd).   Full standings can be found below.

Standings Day 2

    Angler                                     Hometown                           No./lbs-oz   Pts    

1.   Kevin VanDam                     Kalamazoo, MI                     10   49-02   310

2.   Kelly Jordon                     Mineola, TX                         10   43-02   295

3.   Jason Quinn                       Lake Wylie, SC                   10   41-14   290

4.   Edwin Evers                       Talala, OK                           10   41-10   285

5.   Keith Poche                       Troy, AL                               10   41-08   280

6.   Kotaro Kiriyama               Moody, AL                             10   41-03   276

7.   Russ Lane                           Prattville, AL                   10   41-02   272

8.   Timmy Horton                     Muscle Shoals, AL             10   41-00   268

9.   Brent Chapman                   Lake Quivira, KS               10   40-15   264

10. Rick Morris                       Virginia Beach, VA           10   39-15   260

11. Takahiro Omori                 Emory, TX                             10   39-10   257

12. Morizo Shimizu                 Osaka JAPAN                         10   38-15   254

13. Matt Greenblatt               Palm Beach Gardens, FL   10   38-09   251

14. Matt Herren                       Trussville, AL                   10   38-01   248

15. Boyd Duckett                     Demopolis, AL                     10   37-14   245

16. Terry Butcher                   Talala, OK                           10   37-09   243

17. Scott Rook                         Little Rock, AR                 10   37-07   241

18. Pete Ponds                         Madison, MS                         10   37-04   239

19. Britt Myers                       Lake Wylie, SC                   10   37-04   237

20. Mark Menendez                   Paducah, KY                         10   36-14   235

21. Bradley Hallman               Norman, OK                           10   36-12   233

22. Greg Vinson                       Wetumpka, AL                       10   36-08   231

23. Aaron Martens                   Leeds, AL                             10   35-14   229

24. Jason Williamson             Aiken, SC                             10   35-06   227

25. Bill Lowen                         North Bend, OH                   10   35-00   225

26. Derek Remitz                     Grant, AL                             10   34-12   223

27. Brian Snowden                   Reeds Spring, MO               10   34-11   221

28. Casey Ashley                     Donalds, SC                         10   34-08   219

29. Shaw E Grigsby                 Gainesville, FL                 10   34-04   217

30. Jami Fralick                     Martin, SD                           10   33-14   215

31. Greg Hackney                     Gonzales, LA                       10   33-13   213

32. Terry Scroggins               San Mateo, FL                     10   32-10   211

33. John Crews                         Salem, VA                             10   32-08   209

34. Jeremy Starks                   Charleston, WV                   10   32-06   207

35. Todd Faircloth                 Jasper, TX                           10   31-13   205

36. Marty Stone                       Fayetteville, NC               10   31-09   203

37. Jeff Connella                   Bentley, LA                         10   31-06   201

38. Cliff Pace                         Petal, MS                             10   31-05   199

39. Marty Robinson                 Lyman, SC                             10   31-05   197

40. Tommy Biffle                     Wagoner, OK                         10   31-03   195

41. Gerald Swindle                 Warrior, AL                         10   30-11   193

42. Chad Griffin                     Cresson, TX                           9   30-11   191

43. Bradley Roy                       Lancaster, KY                     10   30-06   189

44. Mike McClelland               Bella Vista, AR                   9   30-06   187

45. Mark Tucker                       Saint Louis, MO                 10   30-04   185

46. Yusuke Miyazaki               Forney, TX                           10   30-04   183

47. Matt Reed                           Madisonville, TX               10   30-01   181

48. Skeet Reese                       Auburn, CA                           10   29-11   179

49. Peter E Thliveros           St Augustine, FL               10   29-07   177

50. Stephen Browning             Hot Springs, AR                 10   29-03   175

51. Clark Reehm                       Russellville, AR               10   28-10   173

52. Bobby Lane                         Lakeland, FL                       10   28-05   171

53. Paul Elias                         Laurel, MS                             9   28-01   169

54. Byron Haseotes                 Centerville, MA                 10   27-15   167

55. Kevin Wirth                       Crestwood, KY                     10   27-15   165

56. Jeff Kriet                         Ardmore, OK                         10   27-05   163

57. Cliff Crochet                   Pierre Part, LA                 10   27-01   161

58. Michael Iaconelli           Pitts Grove, NJ                 10   26-13   159

59. J Todd Tucker                   Moultrie, GA                       10   26-13   157

60. Byron Velvick                   Del Rio, TX                         10   26-10   155

61. David Smith                       Del City, OK                       10   26-10   153

62. Bernie Schultz                 Gainesville, FL                   9   26-10   151

63. Dustin Wilks                     Rocky Mount, NC                 10   26-07   149

64. Dave Wolak                         Wake Forest, NC                 10   26-04   147

65. Kenyon Hill                       Norman, OK                           10   26-04   145

66. Mark Davis                         Mount Ida, AR                     10   26-00   143

67. James Niggemeyer             Van, TX                                 10   25-14   141

68. Kevin Short                       Mayflower, AR                     10   25-10   139

69. Denny Brauer                     Camdenton, MO                     10   25-06   137

70. Randy Howell                     Springville, AL                 10   25-02   135

71. Dean Rojas                         Lake Havasu City, AZ       10   24-08   133

72. Ish Monroe                         Hughson, CA                         10   24-06   131

73. Gary Klein                         Weatherford, TX                 10   23-15   129

74. Chris Lane                         Guntersville, AL                 9   23-15   127

75. Mark Tyler                         Vian, OK                               10   23-14   125

76. Davy Hite                           Ninety Six, SC                     7   23-13   123

77. Fred Roumbanis                 Bixby, OK                               9   23-12   121

78. Scott Ashmore                   Broken Arrow, OK               10   23-11   119

79. Rick Clunn                         Ava, MO                                   7   23-11   117

80. Steve Kennedy                   Auburn, AL                           10   23-10   115

81. Billy McCaghren               Mayflower, AR                     10   22-11   113

82. John Murray                       Phoenix, AZ                         10   21-14   111

83. Jared Lintner                   Arroyo Grande, CA               7   21-12   109

84. Charlie Hartley               Grove City, OH                     9   21-04   107

85. Alton Jones                       Waco, TX                               10   20-13   105

86. Pat Golden                         High Point, NC                     8   19-15   103

87. Vince Fulks                       Purcell, OK                           8   19-14   101

88. Wade Grooms                       Bonneau, SC                           7   16-11     99

89. Guy Eaker                           Cherryville, NC                   6   15-08     97

90. Dennis Tietje                   Roanoke, LA                           7   13-02     95

91. Grant Goldbeck                 Gaithersburg, MD                 5   12-06     93

92. Mark Burgess                     Norton, MA                             6   10-06     91

93. Zell Rowland                     Austin, TX                             4   07-10     89