Ultimate Bass

Kennedy wins West Point

Steve Kennedy BASS Elite Series Professional

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.”

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).”

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.”

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.”

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.”

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.

2011 Bassmaster Elite Series Official Sponsors: Toyota, Bass Pro Shops, Berkley, Evan Williams Bourbon, Humminbird, Mercury, Minn Kota, Skeeter Boats, Triton Boats, Yamaha

2011 Bassmaster Elite Series Supporting Sponsors: Lowrance, Luck “E” Strike, Nitro Boats, Power-Pole, Ramada

FINAL STANDINGS- PRIDE OF GEORGIA

2011 Pride Of Georgia – LaGrange, GA 5/5-5/8

West Point Lake, LaGrange GA.

(PROFESSIONAL) Standings Day 4

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

———————————————————————–

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

———————————-

208 1198 2644-05

TOYOTA TUNDRA BASSMASTER ANGLER OF THE YEAR POINTS

2011 Points Report

PROFESSIONAL ELITE SERIES

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

About B.A.S.S. For more than 40 years, B.A.S.S. has served as the authority on bass fishing. The organization advances the sport through advocacy, outreach and an expansive tournament structure while connecting directly with the passionate community of bass anglers through its Bassmaster media vehicles. The Bassmaster brand and its multimedia platforms are guided by a mission to serve all fishing fans. Through its industry-leading publications — Bassmaster Magazine and B.A.S.S. Times — comprehensive website Bassmaster.com, ESPN2 and Outdoor Channel television programming, Bassmaster provides rich, leading-edge content true to the lifestyle. The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Open Series, B.A.S.S. Federation Nation events presented by Yamaha and Skeeter Boats and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the Bassmaster Classic. B.A.S.S. offers an array of services to its more than 500,000 members and remains focused on issues related to conservation and water access. The organization is headquartered in Celebration, Fla.



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