Tournament Fishing

Tournament News | Kennedy Realizes Year Long Dream

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Courtesy of B.A.S.S. Communications

Steve Kennedy had been counting down the months ever since the 2011 Pride of Georgia location was announced as West Point Lake more than a year ago.

“I was very confident I had a chance to win this tournament. I knew exactly what I was going to do, and it worked,†he said after coming from behind Sunday to win the fifth stop of the 2011 Bassmaster Elite Series.

He collected $100,000 and an instant entry into the 2012 Bassmaster Classic for the win, his second Bassmaster title.

Kennedy squashed Edwin Evers’ hopes for a second Elite win this season. Leading after two days, Evers ended up in second place — 2 pounds, 1 ounce behind the winner. Kennedy had 64-14 to Evers’ 62-13 over four days.

Day Three leader Ish Monroe dropped to third, finishing up with 61-3. A late surge by Jared Lintner didn’t carry him home: 22nd on the first day, then up to 10th, to 7th, and stopping at 4th. His total was 60 pounds and 5 ounces.

Nate Wellman, in his second Top 12 showing of his rookie season, claimed fifth place with 56-9.

Kennedy started the tournament in a strong position, coming in second to Evers on the first day. Then Kennedy took a backward step for two days. He went into the final round Sunday in fourth place, but only 1 pound, 8 ounces behind leader Monroe.

Kennedy, 42, tapped into a long West Point history. Raised in Georgia and now living in Auburn, Ala., he fished West Point Lake since the age of 2 or 3 with his brother and father, traveling to the lake to fish about twice a year. More recently, he narrowly missed winning on the Alabama-Georgia border impoundment in 2005 in a non-Bassmaster event. Back then, he said, he blew a 4-pound lead on the final day.

“That’s what’s been going through my mind all morning: ‘Don’t blow it!’†Kennedy said Sunday.

He said he fished the same patterns and locations as he did in that 2005 tournament.

“I didn’t own a swimbait back then, so a swimbait was a new addition (for the Pride of Georgia event),†he explained. “And the weights were up significantly because of it.â€

He said he threw two swimbait models — one a “no-name†model out of production, the other a Basstrix.

“I’d get them to swim out and show themselves. On a clear lake like this, I can see what’s there, what size of fish is on the structure,†he said. If he liked was he saw, skipped a watermelon-seed Kinami Flash to get the strike.

“It almost looked like a little baitfish skipping on top of the water,†he said of his skipping technique. “Then I just let it settle and let the line lay there — I call it flylining. I used mono so it lays on top of the water, and I watched for it to start swimming (moving).â€

He allowed a bass to pick up the Flash and swim out of heavy cover before setting the hook.

Other lures of the week included a white D&L jig with a white chunk trailer.

Kennedy debunked the dock talk during Pride of Georgia practice days that had the bass pegged as scarce, finicky and tough to catch. Kennedy said he found plenty of big bass during practice.

“I was just chompin’ at the bit to get at them,†he said. “I tried to show out, I knew where some big ones were.â€

After leading two days in a row, Evers was disappointed he could not close on the win.

“I feel dejected, horrible,†he said. “You can’t win one of these things by weighing in only four fish.â€

Evers was one bass shy of a limit Saturday. He lost by just over 2 pounds, and he could not help but replay every lost fish of the event, including four on Saturday that would have been solid additions to his weight.

“I had my hand on one, then it ran under a log and I never could get it. It just came off,†he said. “But hey, it’s part of the game,†he shrugged.

Monroe was not displeased with his third-place finish. It was his second top-12 in a row for the season, and a big boost to his bid for a 2012 Bassmaster Classic seat. He credited his recently acquired ability to relax and remember to have fun.

“I was putting too much emphasis on how serious it is and forgot what it was all about,†Monroe said. I took some kids out fishing during the off-season and got back to enjoying it.â€

The Berkley Big Bass of the Tournament bonus of $500 was won by Dustin Wilks of Rocky Mount, N.C., who landed a 7-pound, 8-ounce largemouth on the first day.

The next stop for the Elite Series will be this week on Lake Murray out of Columbia, S.C. The dates of the competition, the Evan Williams Bourbon Carolina Clash, are May 12-15.

FINAL STANDINGS- PRIDE OF GEORGIA

    Angler                                     Hometown                           No./lbs-oz   Pts     Total $$$

1.   Steve Kennedy                   Auburn, AL                           20   64-14       0 $100,000.00

  Day 1: 5     22-03         Day 2: 5     10-14         Day 3: 5     13-02         Day 4: 5     18-11  

2.   Edwin Evers                       Talala, OK                           19   62-13       0   $25,000.00

  Day 1: 5     22-04         Day 2: 5     15-03         Day 3: 4     09-00         Day 4: 5     16-06  

3.   Ish Monroe                         Hughson, CA                         20   61-03       0   $20,000.00

  Day 1: 5     12-11         Day 2: 5     21-00         Day 3: 5     14-00         Day 4: 5     13-08  

4.   Jared Lintner                   Arroyo Grande, CA             20   60-05       0   $15,000.00

  Day 1: 5     14-04         Day 2: 5     16-07         Day 3: 5     13-09         Day 4: 5     16-01  

5.   Nate Wellman                     Newaygo, MI                         20   56-09       0   $14,000.00

  Day 1: 5     15-06         Day 2: 5     16-11         Day 3: 5     13-07         Day 4: 5     11-01  

6.   Alton Jones                       Waco, TX                               20   54-08       0   $14,500.00

  Day 1: 5     13-14         Day 2: 5     17-15         Day 3: 5     09-15         Day 4: 5     12-12  

7.   Kevin VanDam                     Kalamazoo, MI                     19   53-12       0   $13,000.00

  Day 1: 5     13-09         Day 2: 5     23-10         Day 3: 5     09-05         Day 4: 4     07-04  

8.   Bobby Lane                         Lakeland, FL                       20   53-02       0   $12,500.00

  Day 1: 5     18-14         Day 2: 5     09-01         Day 3: 5     12-10         Day 4: 5     12-09  

9.   Andy Montgomery               Blacksburg, SC                   20   52-11       0   $12,000.00

  Day 1: 5     15-11         Day 2: 5     17-11         Day 3: 5     12-00         Day 4: 5     07-05  

10. Denny Brauer                     Camdenton, MO                     20   51-09       0   $11,500.00

  Day 1: 5     15-02         Day 2: 5     13-00         Day 3: 5     11-07         Day 4: 5     12-00  

11. Ott DeFoe                           Knoxville, TN                     20   49-15       0   $11,000.00

  Day 1: 5     09-08         Day 2: 5     17-02         Day 3: 5     14-03         Day 4: 5     09-02  

12. Bill Lowen                         Brookville, IN                   16   43-12       0   $10,500.00

  Day 1: 5     18-09         Day 2: 5     10-15         Day 3: 5     13-06         Day 4: 1     00-14  

BERKLEY BIG BASS OF TOURNAMENT

        Dustin Wilks                         Rocky Mount, NC         07-08               $500.00

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Totals

Day     #Limits       #Fish           Weight

 1               88             470           1087-10

 2               76             447             952-12

 3               34             226             466-06

 4               10               55             137-09

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                208           1198           2644-05

TOYOTA TUNDRA BASSMASTER ANGLER OF THE YEAR POINTS

as of 08-May-2011

Angler Points Lbs-Oz

1 Alton Jones Waco, TX 1,096 140- 0

2 Terry Scroggins San Mateo, FL 1,040 135-15

3 Kevin VanDam Kalamazoo, MI 982 129- 3

4 Chris Lane Guntersville, AL 947 119-10

5 Jeff Kriet Ardmore, OK 934 116-15

6 Steve Kennedy Auburn, AL 932 100-15

7 Fred Roumbanis Bixby, OK 925 118-11

8 Dean Rojas Lake Havasu City, AZ 915 123- 5

9 Ott DeFoe Knoxville, TN 900 122- 3

10 Shaw E Grigsby Gainesville, FL 889 122-14

11 Pat Golden High Point, NC 886 113-14

12 Gerald Swindle Warrior, AL 878 111-10

13 Davy Hite Ninety Six, SC 870 106- 7

14 Edwin Evers Talala, OK 864 117-11

15 Stephen Browning Hot Springs, AR 863 107- 1

16 Michael Iaconelli Pitts Grove, NJ 858 102- 4

17 Dustin Wilks Rocky Mount, NC 857 108- 2

18 Aaron Martens Leeds, AL 853 117- 8

19 Todd Faircloth Jasper, TX 850 112-15

20 Andy Montgomery Blacksburg, SC 845 109- 9

21 Jason Williamson Aiken, SC 844 109- 0

22 Keith Poche Troy, AL 842 111- 5

23 Casey Ashley Donalds, SC 837 115- 4

24 Randy Howell Springville, AL 827 107-12

25 John Crews Salem, VA 820 116- 3

26 Kelly Jordon Palestine, TX 816 107- 4

27 Jared Lintner Arroyo Grande, CA 815 118- 3

28 Kevin Wirth Crestwood, KY 811 99- 0

29 Peter E Thliveros St Augustine, FL 802 99-12

30 Greg Vinson Wetumpka, AL 800 119-10

31 Bobby Lane Lakeland, FL 790 104- 8

32 Cliff Crochet Pierre Part, LA 785 111- 7

33 Brent Chapman Lake Quivira, KS 784 110- 4

34 Cliff Pace Petal, MS 782 103- 3

35 David Walker Sevierville, TN 769 108-15

36 Bill Lowen Brookville, IN 768 100- 3

37 Matt Reed Madisonville, TX 767 93-11

38 J Todd Tucker Moultrie, GA 765 121- 7

39 Brandon Palaniuk Rathdrum, ID 762 103-12

40 Greg Hackney Gonzales, LA 759 98- 6

41 Matt Greenblatt Port St Lucie, FL 755 107- 4

42 Rick Morris Virginia Beach, VA 752 92-14

43 Keith Combs Huntington, TX 749 102-15

44 Jason Quinn Lake Wylie, SC 742 95- 4

45 Denny Brauer Camdenton, MO 740 93- 3

46 Matt Herren Trussville, AL 736 101- 8

47 Gary Klein Weatherford, TX 732 102- 1

48 Dave Wolak Wake Forest, NC 730 100-14

49 Timmy Horton Muscle Shoals, AL 728 107-14

50 Paul Elias Laurel, MS 726 104- 7

51 Billy McCaghren Mayflower, AR 715 107- 3

52 Marty Robinson Lyman, SC 702 95-15

53 James Niggemeyer Van, TX 697 106- 9

54 Zell Rowland Austin, TX 676 97- 6

55 Brian Snowden Reeds Spring, MO 676 85-13

56 Mark Davis Mount Ida, AR 674 95- 5

57 Jeff Connella Bentley, LA 674 93- 8

58 Craig Schuff Watauga, TX 672 95- 1

59 Ish Monroe Hughson, CA 665 91- 4

60 Clark Reehm Lufkin, TX 658 96- 4

61 Jonathon VanDam Kalamazoo, MI 647 88-13

62 Grant Goldbeck Boerne, TX 644 84- 6

63 Takahiro Omori Emory, TX 640 91-13

64 John Murray Phoenix, AZ 638 96- 0

65 Boyd Duckett Demopolis, AL 638 87-11

66 James Stricklin Texarkania, TX 637 92- 3

67 Skeet Reese Auburn, CA 632 89- 7

68 Rick Clunn Ava, MO 626 87- 0

69 Mike McClelland Bella Vista, AR 624 91- 3

70 Jami Fralick Martin, SD 624 83- 7

71 Charlie Hartley Grove City, OH 619 86-11

72 Nate Wellman Newaygo, MI 619 84- 6

73 Mark Menendez Paducah, KY 600 87-15

74 Yusuke Miyazaki Forney, TX 598 91- 4

75 Russ Lane Prattville, AL 598 87- 0

76 Dean Alexander Georgetown, TX 594 85- 4

77 Kenyon Hill Norman, OK 590 89-13

78 Ben Parker Union City, TN 590 83-10

79 Kevin Short Mayflower, AR 584 89-14

80 Travis Manson De Pere, WI 570 85-15

81 Britt Myers Lake Wylie, SC 564 84- 1

82 Scott Rook Little Rock, AR 564 81-13

83 Chad Griffin Cresson, TX 562 87- 1

84 Tommy Biffle Wagoner, OK 546 83- 5

85 Lee Sisson Winter Haven, FL 544 73-13

86 Russell Parrish Riesel, TX 540 86-10

87 Bradley Roy Lancaster, KY 534 83- 0

88 Bernie Schultz Gainesville, FL 506 77-12

89 Kotaro Kiriyama Moody, AL 502 73- 2

90 Dennis Tietje Roanoke, LA 498 70- 1

91 Scott Ashmore Broken Arrow, OK 496 78- 4

92 Ryan Said Wixom, MI 496 72- 7

93 Morizo Shimizu Matsugaoka, JPN 492 73- 3

94 Bradley Hallman Norman, OK 468 69- 4

95 Pete Ponds Madison, MS 460 73- 3

96 Terry Butcher Talala, OK 452 70- 5

97 Derek Remitz Grant, AL 375 61- 9

98 David Smith Del City, OK 366 56- 9

99 Brent Broderick Oregonia, OH 338 47- 5