Fishing & Boating News

Fishing To Win: Palaniuk Extends Lead Into Championship Sunday

by: Helen White, Bassmaster

Brandon Palaniuk of Rathdrum, Idaho, maintains the lead on Day 3 of the Plano Bassmaster Elite at Lake St. Clair with a 5-day total of 64 lbs, 5 ozs.
Photo by Gary Tramontina/Bassmaster
(Aug 29, 2015 - Detroit, MI)

Following the first day of competition, Brandon Palaniuk of Rathdrum, Idaho, claimed that paying attention to the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year standings was negatively affecting how he approached each day. He hasn’t checked the points in a couple of months. He’s been swinging for the fence ever since.
 
His fresh approach is clearly working to his advantage because he weighed 20 pounds of smallmouth bass to retain the lead going into Sunday’s championship round in the Plano Bassmaster Elite at Lake St. Clair. His three-day total was pushed to 64 pounds, 5 ounces, keeping exactly 2 pounds between him and the second-place angler, Todd Faircloth.
 
“I started my day in the same place where I managed to catch three nice fish and one that I hoped to cull out later,” said the five-time GEICO Bassmaster Classic contender. He hooked, fought and boated all four bass on Bassmaster Live, an innovative video service that lets visitors to Bassmaster.com watch the leaders fish in real time.
 
“I left a little earlier, based on what I learned from the past couple days. It seems that the bite is shut off by noon, and I knew there were quality fish in St. Clair that could help me wrap up a limit.”
 
Palaniuk believes that to seal the victory Sunday, he’ll need his hot spot near Lake Huron — a 50-minute boat ride from Lake St. Clair to produce another limit of 4-pound bass.
 
Coming in under the radar to take over second, Faircloth weighed five bass for 21-11 Saturday, including the Bass Pro Shops big Bass of the day, a 6-3 smallmouth. He has a three-day total of 62 pounds, 5 ounces.
 
“I’ve been fishing an expansive flat that is holding the best green cabbage I was able to find during practice,” said the four-time Bassmaster Elite Series champion. “I’ve been finding new areas each day, and when I am able to locate tall and green cabbage adjacent to a break in the vegetation with a hard bottom, it’s pretty much a money spot.”
 
An interesting perspective to keep in mind: Palaniuk’s weights have been declining daily, while Faircloth’s have been increasing each day.
 
James Elam has been consistently dropping 3 pounds from his daily total. He weighed 17-12 Saturday afternoon, which kept him in third place with a three-day total of 61 pounds, 8 ounces.
 
He plans to grind it out on a spot that he’s been sharing with Palaniuk since Thursday.
 
“The fishing is slow and takes a great deal of concentration on that particular spot,” Elam said. “However, the fish that I do catch there are big, and it’s time to go for broke. I’m pretty confident the tournament will be won on this particular spot. Brandon has been very cordial and willing to share the water, it’ll be interesting to see how it plays out.”
 
Aaron Martens made it to Championship Sunday, climbing up to 11th with 56-1. With one day of the regular season and all of the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year Championship to go, Martens has all but sewed up what would be his third AOY title. He leads his closest challenger, Dean Rojas, by 97 points and needs to finish St. Clair 101 points ahead to guarantee the crown. To do that, Martens will have to finish seventh or higher Sunday.
 
If he fails to reach the magic number of 101, he will need to weigh at least one bass in the AOY Championship at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, on Sept. 17-20.
 
Rounding out the Top 5 after the semi-final round are Chris Lane with 58-6, and Jonathon VanDam with 57-11.
 
The Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year race has Martens still on top with 698 points, Rojas with 601 points, Justin Lucas has 598 points, Jacob Powroznik has 565 and Edwin Evers with 564 points.
 
The Top 12 anglers will compete for the championship on Sunday beginning with takeoff out of Lake St. Clair Metropark at 6:20 a.m. The weigh-in will be held at the same location at 3:15 p.m. where the Plano Bassmaster Elite at Lake St. Clair champion will be crowned.

2015 Bassmaster Elite Series Premier Sponsors: Toyota, Bass Pro Shops, Berkley, Evan Williams Bourbon, GoPro, Humminbird, Mercury, Minn Kota, Nitro Boats, Skeeter Boats, Triton Boats, Yamaha


2015 Bassmaster Elite Series Supporting Sponsors: A.R.E. Accessories, Carhartt, Dick Cepek Tires & Wheels, Huk Performance Fishing, Livingston Lures, Lowrance, Power-Pole, Rigid Industries, Shimano


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The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the most prestigious events at each level of competition, including the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Open Series presented by Allstate, Old Milwaukee B.A.S.S. Nation events, Carhartt Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops, Costa Bassmaster High School Series, Toyota Bonus Bucks Bassmaster Team Championship and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by GoPro.

 

2015 Plano Bassmaster Elite at Lake St. Clair 8/27-8/30
Lake St. Clair, Detroit  MI.
Standings Day 3

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

1.  Brandon Palaniuk       Rathdrum, ID            15  64-05  100     $500.00
  Day 1: 5   23-04     Day 2: 5   21-01     Day 3: 5   20-00  
2.  Todd Faircloth         Jasper, TX              15  62-05   99
  Day 1: 5   20-01     Day 2: 5   20-09     Day 3: 5   21-11  
3.  James Elam             Tulsa, OK               15  61-08   98
  Day 1: 5   23-07     Day 2: 5   20-05     Day 3: 5   17-12  
4.  Chris Lane             Guntersville, AL        15  58-06   97
  Day 1: 5   17-09     Day 2: 5   16-13     Day 3: 5   24-00  
5.  Jonathon VanDam        Kalamazoo, MI           15  57-11   96
  Day 1: 5   20-06     Day 2: 5   19-03     Day 3: 5   18-02  
6.  Greg Vinson            Wetumpka, AL            15  57-09   95
  Day 1: 5   19-03     Day 2: 5   19-09     Day 3: 5   18-13  
7.  Brett Hite             Phoenix, AZ             15  57-08   94
  Day 1: 5   17-12     Day 2: 5   20-07     Day 3: 5   19-05  
8.  Chad Pipkens           Holt, MI                15  57-04   93
  Day 1: 5   18-12     Day 2: 5   22-01     Day 3: 5   16-07  
9.  Fletcher Shryock       New Philadelphia, OH    15  56-14   92
  Day 1: 5   17-05     Day 2: 5   22-01     Day 3: 5   17-08  
10. Keith Poche            Pike Road, AL           15  56-08   91
  Day 1: 5   18-03     Day 2: 5   17-01     Day 3: 5   21-04  
11. Aaron Martens          Leeds, AL               15  56-01   90
  Day 1: 5   18-05     Day 2: 5   18-08     Day 3: 5   19-04  
12. Jason Christie         Park Hill, OK           15  55-10   89
  Day 1: 5   17-01     Day 2: 5   17-05     Day 3: 5   21-04  
13. Casey Ashley           Donalds, SC             15  55-06   88  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   18-03     Day 2: 5   14-07     Day 3: 5   22-12  
14. David Smith            Del City, OK            15  55-02   87  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   16-14     Day 2: 5   21-09     Day 3: 5   16-11  
15. Koby Kreiger           Bokeelia, FL            15  54-15   86  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   18-13     Day 2: 5   17-03     Day 3: 5   18-15  
16. Nate Wellman           Newaygo, MI             15  54-14   85  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   18-15     Day 2: 5   17-13     Day 3: 5   18-02  
17. John Crews Jr          Salem, VA               15  54-09   84  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   15-11     Day 2: 5   17-15     Day 3: 5   20-15  
18. Edwin Evers            Talala, OK              15  54-08   83  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   18-11     Day 2: 5   19-12     Day 3: 5   16-01  
19. David Williams         Maiden, NC              15  54-07   82  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   17-10     Day 2: 5   18-05     Day 3: 5   18-08  
20. Randy Allen            Shreveport, LA          15  54-06   81  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   15-14     Day 2: 5   19-07     Day 3: 5   19-01  
21. Boyd Duckett           Guntersville, AL        15  54-04   80  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   15-13     Day 2: 5   21-05     Day 3: 5   17-02  
22. Chris Zaldain          San Jose, CA            15  54-02   79  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   18-07     Day 2: 5   16-07     Day 3: 5   19-04  
23. Charlie Hartley        Grove City, OH          15  53-15   78  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   19-03     Day 2: 5   18-13     Day 3: 5   15-15  
24. Alton Jones            Lorena, TX              13  53-12   77  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   23-10     Day 2: 5   17-14     Day 3: 3   12-04  
25. Kelley Jaye            Dadeville, AL           15  53-10   76  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   16-14     Day 2: 5   16-05     Day 3: 5   20-07  
26. Matt Herren            Ashville, AL            15  53-07   75  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   19-05     Day 2: 5   17-01     Day 3: 5   17-01  
27. Bernie Schultz         Gainesville, FL         15  53-03   74  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   18-11     Day 2: 5   17-13     Day 3: 5   16-11  
28. Jason Williamson       Wagener, SC             15  52-12   73  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   13-12     Day 2: 5   19-04     Day 3: 5   19-12  
29. Jordan Lee             Vinemont, AL            15  52-09   72  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   17-10     Day 2: 5   14-14     Day 3: 5   20-01  
30. J Todd Tucker          Moultrie, GA            15  52-04   71  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   19-14     Day 2: 5   19-04     Day 3: 5   13-02  
31. John Murray            Phoenix, AZ             15  52-04   70  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   16-13     Day 2: 5   15-12     Day 3: 5   19-11  
32. Gary Klein             Weatherford, TX         15  51-06   69  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   18-04     Day 2: 5   18-06     Day 3: 5   14-12  
33. Brandon Coulter        Knoxville, TN           15  50-14   68  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   16-12     Day 2: 5   15-14     Day 3: 5   18-04  
34. Takahiro Omori         Emory, TX               15  50-13   67  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   18-03     Day 2: 5   15-11     Day 3: 5   16-15  
35. Dean Rojas             Lake Havasu City, AZ    15  50-06   66  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   18-14     Day 2: 5   14-09     Day 3: 5   16-15  
36. Casey Scanlon          Lanexa, KS              15  50-05   65  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   21-10     Day 2: 5   19-10     Day 3: 5   09-01  
37. Steve Kennedy          Auburn, AL              15  50-02   64  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   18-02     Day 2: 5   16-12     Day 3: 5   15-04  
38. Micah Frazier          Newnan, GA              15  50-00   63  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   20-08     Day 2: 5   12-04     Day 3: 5   17-04  
39. Kevin Hawk             Guntersville, AL        15  49-12   62  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   17-08     Day 2: 5   18-03     Day 3: 5   14-01  
40. Scott Rook             Little Rock, AR         15  49-09   61  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   18-07     Day 2: 5   16-05     Day 3: 5   14-13  
41. Matt Reed              Madisonville, TX        15  49-07   60  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   17-01     Day 2: 5   15-07     Day 3: 5   16-15  
42. Justin Lucas           Guntersville, AL        15  48-11   59  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   16-04     Day 2: 5   17-03     Day 3: 5   15-04  
43. Skeet Reese            Auburn, CA              15  48-10   58  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   18-07     Day 2: 5   15-13     Day 3: 5   14-06  
44. Bill Lowen             Brookville, IN          15  48-04   57  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   18-11     Day 2: 5   15-08     Day 3: 5   14-01  
45. Kurt Dove              Del Rio, TX             15  47-11   56  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   17-05     Day 2: 5   16-06     Day 3: 5   14-00  
46. Billy McCaghren        Mayflower, AR           15  46-03   55  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   16-05     Day 2: 5   17-03     Day 3: 5   12-11  
47. Russ Lane              Prattville, AL          15  45-08   54  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   17-08     Day 2: 5   17-02     Day 3: 5   10-14  
48. Jacob Powroznik        Port Haywood, VA        15  44-07   53  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   18-11     Day 2: 5   14-11     Day 3: 5   11-01  
49. Hank Cherry Jr         Maiden, NC              12  40-03   52  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   15-05     Day 2: 5   18-09     Day 3: 2   06-05  
50. Matt Lee               Guntersville, AL        10  33-03   51  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   15-02     Day 2: 5   18-01     Day 3: 0   00-00  

Totals
Day   #Limits    #Fish      Weight
 1        97       513      1641-01
 2        95       510      1647-11
 3        47       240       830-11
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         239      1263      4119-07