Fishing & Boating News

Kevin VanDam Maintains Slim Lead In Bassmaster Elite Series On The St. Lawrence River

by: JamieDay Matthews,

Kevin VanDam Maintains Slim Lead In Bassmaster Elite Series On The St. Lawrence River
Kevin VanDam of Kalamazoo, MI., maintains the lead on the 2nd day of the Huk Bassmaster Elite at St. Lawrence River out of Waddington, N.Y., with a 2-day total weight of 43 lbs, 13 oz.
Photo by Seigo Saito/B.A.S.S.
(Jul 21, 2017 - WADDINGTON, N.Y.)

One the biggest names in professional bass fishing history managed to hold his ground at the top of the leaderboard during Friday’s Huk Bassmaster Elite at St. Lawrence River presented by Go RVing.
 
Kevin VanDam — a four-time winner of the GEICO Bassmaster Classic and seven-time Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year — caught five bass that weighed 19 pounds, 8 ounces and remained in the lead with a two-day total of 43-13.
 
The 23-time B.A.S.S. winner from Kalamazoo, Mich., said Friday’s weather conditions in upstate New York didn’t help the technique he’s using.
 
“When the wind is blowing the same direction as the current, it really speeds it up — and this afternoon it was really blowing,” he said. “That makes it a lot harder to get a good drift, to get that weight moving with your bait so it’s really natural to the fish.
 
“When it’s calm and the current is slow, it’s a lot easier to get them to bite.”
 
If that’s the case, Saturday’s weather forecast, which is calling for much lighter winds, favors VanDam — and he has little margin for error.
 
Another former Bassmaster Classic winner, Casey Ashley of Donalds, S.C., is right on his heels. Ashley caught 21-14 Friday and jumped from sixth place into second with a two-day total of 42-12.
 
Unlike VanDam, who started slow and finished strong Friday, Ashley caught good fish immediately.
 
“I started off with a bang,” said Ashley, who won the 2015 Classic on South Carolina’s Lake Hartwell. “My first fish weighed about 4-12, and then I caught three big ones real quick.”
 
Then things cooled off, as Ashley said he was also affected by the wind.
 
“After I caught those first four, things got really slow,” he said. “But I could still see the fish in there.
 
“The wind shifted and was blowing more west than south. In that place where I’m fishing, they just seem to like a south wind.”
 
As VanDam and Ashley are battling for the tournament victory and its $100,000 first-place prize, they also occupy two of the top three spots in the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year race. Ashley is in the lead with 619 points, followed by Idaho pro Brandon Palaniuk (615) and VanDam (604).
 
Another developing storyline for the event is the battle between KVD and his nephew, Jonathon VanDam.
 
The younger VanDam caught 21-15 Friday and moved into third place with 42-8.
 
“It’s supercool when we’re both in the running,” KVD said. “We talk multiple times during practice just to see what the other is seeing and finding out. We fish, really, very differently. But the general things make a big difference when you’re smallmouth fishing.
 
“He’s got a lot of pressure on him right now to qualify for the Classic, but he’s also got a lot of confidence. That’s one thing that all VanDams have is a lot of confidence.”
 
Jonathon, who has missed the Classic the past three years, said the fishing has been slow for him — despite what the standings say.
 
“I think I’m around the right kind of fish, but it’s just really hard to get them to bite,” he said. “I’m just fishing shallow and only getting a handful of bites.
 
“I’m around some really big ones. All of the ones that I’ve weighed in so far haven’t even been close to what I’ve seen.”
 
Palaniuk made the biggest jump Friday with a 25-pound bag that pushed his two-day total to 40-15. He rose from 72nd place all the way to ninth.
 
“It’s all about the area here, getting around the right fish,” Palaniuk said. “Today, I went to an area that I found in practice, and they were there.
 
“I didn’t go there yesterday because I thought I could catch 22 to 25 doing something else.”
 
The field will now be trimmed to the Top 51 anglers for Saturday’s semifinal round. Takeoff will be at 6:15 a.m. ET from Whittaker Park, with the weigh-in scheduled back at the park for 3:15 p.m.
 
Only the Top 12 anglers will advance to Championship Sunday.

The event is hosted by the Village of Waddington.

2017 Bassmaster Elite Series Platinum Sponsor: Toyota

2017 Bassmaster Elite Series Premier Sponsors: Power-Pole, Shell Rotella, Skeeter Boats, Triton Boats, Yamaha, Berkley, Huk, Humminbird, Nitro Boats, Mercury, Minn Kota

2017 Bassmaster Elite Series Supporting Sponsors: Academy Sports + Outdoors, Carhartt, Dick Cepek Tires & Wheels, Livingston Lures, Lowrance, Phoenix Boats, Shimano, T-H Marine, Advance Auto Parts

About B.A.S.S.
B.A.S.S. is the worldwide authority on bass fishing and keeper of the culture of the sport, providing cutting edge content on bass fishing whenever, wherever and however bass fishing fans want to use it. Headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., the 500,000-member organization’s fully integrated media platforms include the industry’s leading magazines, Bassmaster website, television show (The Bassmasters), radio show (Bassmaster Radio), social media programs and events. For more than 45 years, B.A.S.S. has been dedicated to access, conservation and youth fishing.
 
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, Academy Sports + Outdoors B.A.S.S. Nation Series presented by Magellan Outdoors, Carhartt Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops, Costa Bassmaster High School Series presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods, Toyota Bonus Bucks Bassmaster Team Championship and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods.


2017 HUK Bassmaster Elite at St. Lawrence River presented by Go RVing 7/20-7/23
St. Lawrence River, Waddington  NY.


(PROFESSIONAL) Standings Day 2

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

1.  Kevin VanDam           Kalamazoo, MI           10  43-13  110     $500.00
  Day 1: 5   24-05     Day 2: 5   19-08  
2.  Casey Ashley           Donalds, SC             10  42-12  109
  Day 1: 5   21-14     Day 2: 5   20-14  
3.  Jonathon VanDam        Kalamazoo, MI           10  42-08  108
  Day 1: 5   20-09     Day 2: 5   21-15  
4.  Brandon Coulter        Knoxville, TN           10  42-02  107
  Day 1: 5   19-10     Day 2: 5   22-08  
5.  Brock Mosley           Collinsville, MS        10  42-00  106
  Day 1: 5   20-08     Day 2: 5   21-08  
6.  Justin Lucas           Guntersville, AL        10  41-11  105
  Day 1: 5   21-08     Day 2: 5   20-03  
7.  Brent Ehrler           Redlands, CA            10  41-09  104
  Day 1: 5   22-09     Day 2: 5   19-00  
8.  Bernie Schultz         Gainesville, FL         10  41-08  103
  Day 1: 5   21-12     Day 2: 5   19-12  
9.  Brandon Palaniuk       Hayden, ID              10  40-15  102
  Day 1: 5   15-15     Day 2: 5   25-00  
10. Dustin Connell         Clanton, AL             10  40-03  101
  Day 1: 5   19-09     Day 2: 5   20-10  
11. James Elam             Tulsa, OK               10  39-13  100
  Day 1: 5   21-12     Day 2: 5   18-01  
12. David Walker           Sevierville, TN         10  39-12   99
  Day 1: 5   19-02     Day 2: 5   20-10  
13. Bill Lowen             Brookville, IN          10  39-09   98
  Day 1: 5   23-06     Day 2: 5   16-03  
14. Jesse Wiggins          Cullman, AL             10  38-15   97
  Day 1: 5   21-10     Day 2: 5   17-05  
15. Josh Bertrand          San Tan Valley, AZ      10  38-12   96
  Day 1: 5   19-07     Day 2: 5   19-05  
16. Dave Lefebre           Erie, PA                10  38-10   95
  Day 1: 5   21-11     Day 2: 5   16-15  
17. Jason Christie         Park Hill, OK           10  38-09   94
  Day 1: 5   19-09     Day 2: 5   19-00  
18. Seth Feider            Isle, MN                10  38-06   93
  Day 1: 5   22-11     Day 2: 5   15-11  
19. Alton Jones            Lorena, TX              10  38-06   92
  Day 1: 5   20-06     Day 2: 5   18-00  
20. Gerald Swindle         Guntersville, AL        10  38-04   91
  Day 1: 5   18-12     Day 2: 5   19-08  
21. John Murray            Spring City, TN         10  38-00   90
  Day 1: 5   18-14     Day 2: 5   19-02  
22. Cliff Pace             Petal, MS               10  37-15   89
  Day 1: 5   17-06     Day 2: 5   20-09  
23. Keith Combs            Huntington, TX          10  37-15   88
  Day 1: 5   20-08     Day 2: 5   17-07  
24. Chad Pipkens           Lansing, MI             10  37-12   87
  Day 1: 5   18-15     Day 2: 5   18-13  
25. Brandon Card           Knoxville, TN           10  37-09   86
  Day 1: 5   18-05     Day 2: 5   19-04  
26. Marty Robinson         Lyman, SC               10  37-08   85
  Day 1: 5   22-04     Day 2: 5   15-04  
27. Greg Hackney           Gonzales, LA            10  37-07   84
  Day 1: 5   19-01     Day 2: 5   18-06  
28. Brandon Lester         Fayetteville, TN        10  37-04   83
  Day 1: 5   15-10     Day 2: 5   21-10  
29. Jacob Powroznik        North Prince George, VA 10  37-04   82
  Day 1: 5   17-04     Day 2: 5   20-00  
30. Jamie Hartman          Newport, NY             10  36-13   81
  Day 1: 5   19-00     Day 2: 5   17-13  
31. Russ Lane              Prattville, AL          10  36-05   80
  Day 1: 5   20-08     Day 2: 5   15-13  
32. Matt Herren            Ashville, AL            10  36-05   79
  Day 1: 5   17-10     Day 2: 5   18-11  
33. Takahiro Omori         Emory, TX               10  36-04   78
  Day 1: 5   20-01     Day 2: 5   16-03  
34. Koby Kreiger           Bokeelia, FL            10  36-04   77
  Day 1: 5   18-13     Day 2: 5   17-07  
35. Chris Lane             Guntersville, AL        10  36-03   76
  Day 1: 5   19-12     Day 2: 5   16-07  
36. Luke Clausen           Otis Orchards, WA       10  36-00   75
  Day 1: 5   17-04     Day 2: 5   18-12  
37. Edwin Evers            Talala, OK              10  35-13   74
  Day 1: 5   21-02     Day 2: 5   14-11  
38. Brett Hite             Phoenix, AZ             10  35-13   73
  Day 1: 5   19-14     Day 2: 5   15-15  
39. Clifford Pirch         Payson, AZ              10  35-12   72
  Day 1: 5   16-05     Day 2: 5   19-07  
40. Skeet Reese            Auburn, CA              10  35-08   71
  Day 1: 5   17-07     Day 2: 5   18-01  
41. Jared Lintner          Arroyo Grande, CA       10  35-05   70
  Day 1: 5   19-11     Day 2: 5   15-10  
42. Tim Horton             Muscle Shoals, AL       10  35-04   69
  Day 1: 5   13-10     Day 2: 5   21-10  
43. Drew Benton            Panama City, FL         10  35-03   68
  Day 1: 5   14-07     Day 2: 5   20-12  
44. Aaron Martens          Leeds, AL               10  35-03   67
  Day 1: 5   16-10     Day 2: 5   18-09  
45. Robbie Latuso          Gonzales, LA            10  35-03   66
  Day 1: 5   18-05     Day 2: 5   16-14  
46. Jason Williamson       Wagener, SC             10  35-01   65
  Day 1: 5   17-06     Day 2: 5   17-11  
47. Hank Cherry Jr         Lincolnton, NC          10  35-00   64
  Day 1: 5   16-10     Day 2: 5   18-06  
48. Jacob Wheeler          Harrison, TN            10  35-00   63
  Day 1: 5   18-00     Day 2: 5   17-00  
49. David Mullins          Mt Carmel, TN           10  34-14   62
  Day 1: 5   14-15     Day 2: 5   19-15  
50. Britt Myers            Lake Wylie, SC          10  34-13   61
  Day 1: 5   19-03     Day 2: 5   15-10  
51. Brian Snowden          Reeds Spring, MO        10  34-13   60
  Day 1: 5   18-15     Day 2: 5   15-14  
52. Gary Klein             Mingus, TX              10  34-12   59
  Day 1: 5   19-03     Day 2: 5   15-09  
53. Michael Iaconelli      Pitts Grove, NJ         10  34-08   58
  Day 1: 5   20-09     Day 2: 5   13-15  
54. Cliff Prince           Palatka, FL             10  34-03   57
  Day 1: 5   16-03     Day 2: 5   18-00  
55. Randall Tharp          Port St. Joe, FL        10  33-14   56
  Day 1: 5   20-11     Day 2: 5   13-03  
56. Ish Monroe             Hughson, CA             10  33-11   55
  Day 1: 5   15-01     Day 2: 5   18-10  
57. Scott Rook             Little Rock, AR         10  33-08   54
  Day 1: 5   17-05     Day 2: 5   16-03  
58. Jeff Kriet             Ardmore, OK             10  33-07   53
  Day 1: 5   15-05     Day 2: 5   18-02  
59. Bradley Roy            Lancaster, KY           10  33-03   52
  Day 1: 5   16-15     Day 2: 5   16-04  
60. Steve Kennedy          Auburn, AL              10  33-01   51
  Day 1: 5   16-03     Day 2: 5   16-14  
61. David Williams         Newton, NC              10  33-00   50
  Day 1: 5   18-05     Day 2: 5   14-11  
62. Kelley Jaye            Dadeville, AL           10  32-15   49
  Day 1: 5   19-05     Day 2: 5   13-10  
63. Alton Jones Jr.        Lorena, TX              10  32-13   48
  Day 1: 5   15-00     Day 2: 5   17-13  
64. Randy Howell           Guntersville, AL        10  32-09   47
  Day 1: 5   15-07     Day 2: 5   17-02  
65. Matt Lee               Guntersville, AL        10  32-08   46
  Day 1: 5   18-10     Day 2: 5   13-14  
66. Todd Faircloth         Jasper, TX              10  32-06   45
  Day 1: 5   16-11     Day 2: 5   15-11  
67. John Crews Jr          Salem, VA               10  32-04   44
  Day 1: 5   19-07     Day 2: 5   12-13  
68. Kelly Jordon           Flint, TX               10  32-04   43
  Day 1: 5   16-03     Day 2: 5   16-01  
69. Boyd Duckett           Guntersville, AL        10  32-00   42
  Day 1: 5   15-07     Day 2: 5   16-09  
70. Micah Frazier          Newnan, GA              10  31-14   41
  Day 1: 5   18-04     Day 2: 5   13-10  
71. Paul Mueller           Naugatuck, CT           10  31-14   40
  Day 1: 5   14-05     Day 2: 5   17-09  
72. Mike McClelland        Bella Vista, AR         10  31-09   39
  Day 1: 5   19-09     Day 2: 5   12-00  
73. Mark Daniels Jr.       Tuskegee, AL            10  31-09   38
  Day 1: 5   18-13     Day 2: 5   12-12  
74. Jordan Lee             Grant, AL               10  31-09   37
  Day 1: 5   18-05     Day 2: 5   13-04  
75. Mark Davis             Mount Ida, AR           10  31-07   36
  Day 1: 5   17-10     Day 2: 5   13-13  
76. Adrian Avena           Vineland, NJ             9  31-04   35
  Day 1: 5   18-10     Day 2: 4   12-10  
77. Stetson Blaylock       Benton, AR              10  30-14   34
  Day 1: 5   15-06     Day 2: 5   15-08  
78. Cliff Crochet          Pierre Part, LA         10  30-10   33
  Day 1: 5   16-03     Day 2: 5   14-07  
79. Gerald Spohrer         Gonzales, LA            10  30-09   32
  Day 1: 5   13-07     Day 2: 5   17-02  
80. James Niggemeyer       Van, TX                 10  30-09   31
  Day 1: 5   16-01     Day 2: 5   14-08  
81. Stephen Browning       Hot Springs, AR         10  30-08   30
  Day 1: 5   15-04     Day 2: 5   15-04  
82. Greg Vinson            Wetumpka, AL            10  30-07   29
  Day 1: 5   18-03     Day 2: 5   12-04  
83. Jesse Tacoronte        Orlando, FL             10  30-07   28
  Day 1: 5   16-07     Day 2: 5   14-00  
84. Terry Scroggins        San Mateo, FL           10  29-12   27
  Day 1: 5   16-04     Day 2: 5   13-08  
85. Clent Davis            Montevallo, AL          10  29-09   26
  Day 1: 5   14-06     Day 2: 5   15-03  
86. Brent Chapman          Lake Quivira, KS        10  29-07   25
  Day 1: 5   14-03     Day 2: 5   15-04  
87. Darrell Ocamica        New Plymouth, ID        10  28-15   24
  Day 1: 5   13-13     Day 2: 5   15-02  
88. Fletcher Shryock       New Philadelphia, OH    10  28-12   23
  Day 1: 5   14-15     Day 2: 5   13-13  
89. Chad Morgenthaler      Reeds Spring, MO        10  28-11   22
  Day 1: 5   13-09     Day 2: 5   15-02  
90. Chris Zaldain          Laughlin, NV             9  28-09   21
  Day 1: 4   10-01     Day 2: 5   18-08  
91. Mark Menendez          Paducah, KY             10  28-06   20
  Day 1: 5   15-04     Day 2: 5   13-02  
92. Brett Preuett          Monroe, LA              10  28-05   19
  Day 1: 5   11-10     Day 2: 5   16-11  
93. Tommy Biffle           Wagoner, OK             10  27-13   18
  Day 1: 5   15-05     Day 2: 5   12-08  
94. Andy Montgomery        Blacksburg, SC          10  27-11   17
  Day 1: 5   11-07     Day 2: 5   16-04  
95. Dean Rojas             Lake Havasu City, AZ    10  27-09   16
  Day 1: 5   12-06     Day 2: 5   15-03  
96. Shaw Grigsby Jr.       Gainesville, FL         10  27-07   15
  Day 1: 5   14-11     Day 2: 5   12-12  
97. Tyler Carriere         Youngsville, LA         10  27-02   14
  Day 1: 5   08-07     Day 2: 5   18-11  
98. David Fritts           Lexington, NC           10  27-00   13
  Day 1: 5   09-02     Day 2: 5   17-14  
99. Ott DeFoe              Knoxville, TN            8  26-03   12
  Day 1: 5   16-12     Day 2: 3   09-07  
100. Fred Roumbanis         London, AR              10  25-15   11
  Day 1: 5   15-13     Day 2: 5   10-02  
101. Rick Clunn             Ava, MO                 10  25-14   10
  Day 1: 5   12-14     Day 2: 5   13-00  
102. John Hunter Jr         Shelbyville, KY         10  25-02    9
  Day 1: 5   12-07     Day 2: 5   12-11  
103. Bobby Lane Jr.         Lakeland, FL            10  24-14    8
  Day 1: 5   13-12     Day 2: 5   11-02  
104. Keith Poche            Pike Road, AL           10  24-08    7
  Day 1: 5   09-05     Day 2: 5   15-03  
105. Paul Elias             Laurel, MS              10  23-06    6
  Day 1: 5   10-10     Day 2: 5   12-12  
106. Skylar Hamilton        Dandridge, TN            9  22-08    5
  Day 1: 4   10-02     Day 2: 5   12-06  
107. Morizo Shimizu         Suita, Osaka JAPAN       9  20-12    4
  Day 1: 5   14-01     Day 2: 4   06-11  
108. Shane Lineberger       Lincolnton, NC           4  11-13    3
  Day 1: 3   09-12     Day 2: 1   02-01  
109. Chad Grigsby           Maple Grove, MN          1  05-09    2
  Day 1: 1   05-09     Day 2: 0   00-00  

Totals
Day   #Limits    #Fish      Weight
 1       105       537      1855-01
 2       104       532      1767-13
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         209      1069      3622-14