Ultimate Bass

Kevin VanDam Holds On for 14th BASS Victory

GILBERTSVILLE, Ky. – Furthering his reputation as the best angler on the planet, three-time Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year Kevin VanDam of Kalamazoo, Mich., scored his 14th BASS victory Sunday at the Bluegrass Brawl presented by DieHard® Platinum Marine Batteries on Kentucky Lake with a four-day total of 81 pounds, 13 ounces. VanDam held off by just 1 pound a hard-charging Tim Horton of Muscle Shoals, Ala., who weighed in 24 pounds, 11 ounces Sunday to make things interesting.

In addition to the $100,000 victory, VanDam claimed the lead in the 2008 Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year standings. With only three events remaining in the Trail to the Trophy, VanDam leads Todd Faircloth of Jasper, Texas, by 65 points, a modest margin. Mike McClelland of Bella Vista, Ark., is third and reigning AOY Skeet Reese of Auburn, Calif., is fourth. The eventual winner will take home $250,000, and the standings will also determine the brunt of the 2009 Bassmaster Classic qualifiers.

After narrowly missing out on an Elite victory by 8 ounces last week to Jeremy Starks of Charleston, W.Va., on Alabama’s Wheeler Lake — part of the Tennessee River chain along with Kentucky Lake – VanDam was able to exact some redemption on the Elite field. At Wheeler, he absorbed trash talk from Starks and relinquished the lead on the final day. But, on Kentucky Lake, VanDam led wire-to-wire and pushed his career BASS earnings to nearly $3 million.

“This win means more to me than any that I have experienced in a long while,” VanDam, 40, said of the Father’s Day victory. “Two years ago, I finished third in this tournament, and this year I was smart about it. I planned for the boat traffic and made sound decisions.”

Fishing fans can catch all of the action on The Bassmasters on Saturday, June 21, at 9 a.m. ET on ESPN2. As always, live, streaming video of the final day weigh-in and real-time leaderboards was available on http://www.Bassmaster.com.

Plagued by boat traffic from competitors in other tournaments, VanDam was able to catch more than 20 pounds each of the first three days of competition. Surprisingly, he struggled Sunday, the one day the boat traffic decreased. But VanDam had saved for late in the day a final spot that he identified during practice, and he was able to upgrade his weight in the final hours of competition. The victory is his fourth in Elite Series competition, the most of any angler since the format was created in 2006.

Throughout the tournament, VanDam mixed it up with a variety of lures. His most productive, like last week on Wheeler, was a Strike King series 6 in sexy shad color. He said he used jigs, spinnerbaits and other crankbaits throughout the four-day competition. The key to victory, he said, was keying on rough spots on shell beds in the bottom of the lake. VanDam felt the fish were bunched around these spots and found most of his productive schools at these locations.

Now, after his fourth consecutive top-12 cut, VanDam’s focus turns to the all-important Angler of the Year race.

“That is the ultimate goal,” said the two-time Bassmaster Classic champion. “Amongst the anglers, that’s what we talk about. It’s just an honor to be in the hunt.”

Horton, who totaled 83 pounds, 12 ounces through four days, nearly made an amazing comeback. He trailed VanDam by almost 7 pounds heading into the final day, and though he was satisfied with his catch Sunday, he lamented a few lost fish that he felt would have won the event for him.

He threw a crankbait like most in the field, but the key to Horton’s success was shaving the edges to allow the bait to swim through the water with greater ease.

“This one is a little bit easier to swallow because I came in thinking I was fishing for second place,” said Horton, the 2000 Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year. “You just don’t expect Kevin to slip. But it was a great tournament.”

In third was Terry Butcher of Talala, Okla., who moved up from sixth with 78 pounds, 3 ounces. McClelland moved up from seventh to fourth with 77 pounds, 1 ounce. Rounding out the top five was Paul Elias of Laurel, Miss., with 75 pounds, 14 ounces.

Elite rookie Wade Grooms of Bonneau, S.C, finished seventh and four-time Bassmaster Classic champion Rick Clunn, second heading into the day, slipped to ninth.

In addition to the Angler of the Year race, the Advance Auto Parts Rookie of the Year race will be settled based on Elite Series performance. Elite rookie Bobby Lane of Lakeland, Fla., has opened up a commanding margin of 257 points over Grooms. With only three events remaining, Lane will need to falter to relinquish his sizable lead.

Next, the Bassmaster Elite Series circuit heads to Old Hickory Lake out of Hendersonville, Tenn. The ninth event of the season, recently rescheduled from the Mississippi River because of unsafe conditions in Fort Madison, Iowa, is set for June 26-29.

Straddling the Kentucky-Tennessee border, Kentucky Lake is 185 miles in length, with 160,000 surface acres and 2,380 miles of shoreline. Barkley, a navigable canal, adds another 80,000 surface acres. The Bassmaster Elite Series made its last stop at Kentucky Lake in June 2006, when the top seven pros each caught more than 60 pounds through four days. Winner Morizo Shimizu weighed in 66 pounds, 9 ounces.

For more information, contact BASS Communications at (407) 566-2208 or visit Bassmaster.com. Visit ESPNMediaZone.com for ESPN’s latest releases, schedules and other news, plus photos, video, audio clips and more.

The local sponsor of the Bluegrass Brawl is the Kentucky Sports Authority.

Sponsors of the Bassmaster Elite Series include Toyota Tundra, Advance Auto Parts, Berkley, Lowrance, Mercury, Purolator, Skeeter, Yamaha, Evan Williams Bourbon, Longhorn, OPTIMA Batteries, Triton Boats, Costa Del Mar, MotorGuide and Ramada Worldwide.

Location and Field
Bluegrass Brawl presented by DieHard Platinum Marine Batteries®
Kentucky Lake
Gilbertsville, Ky.
June 12-15, 2008

Field
107 pros, 107 co-anglers
Cut to top-50 pros and co-anglers after Day 2
Cut to top 12 pro anglers after Day 3

Launch/Weigh-in
Kentucky Dam Marina
1300 Administration Drive
Gilbertsville, Ky.
8 a.m./ 5 p.m. CT

2008 Bassmaster Elite Series Event Tournament Locations/Dates

March 6-9 Sunshine Showdown Harris Chain of Lakes Leesburg, Fla.
March 13-16 Citrus Slam Kissimmee Chain Lake Wales, Fla.

April 3-6 Lone Star Shootout Falcon Lake Zapata, Texas

April 10-13 Battle on the Border Lake Amistad Del Rio, Texas

May 1-4 Pride of Georgia Clarks Hill Lake Evans, Ga.

May 15-18 Carolina Clash Lake Murray Columbia, S.C.

June 5-8 Southern Challenge Wheeler Lake Decatur, Ala.

June 12-15 Bluegrass Brawl Kentucky Lake Gilbertsville, Ky.

June 26-29 Tennessee Triumph Old Hickory Lake Hendersonville, Tenn.

July 31- Aug. 3 Empire Chase Lake Erie/Niagara River Buffalo, N.Y.

Aug. 7-10 Champion’s Choice Oneida Lake Syracuse, N.Y

About BASS

For 40 years, BASS has served as the authority on bass fishing. With its considerable multi-media platforms and expansive tournament trail, BASS is guided by its mission to serve all fishing fans. Through its industry leading publications Bassmaster Magazine, BASS Times and Fishing Tackle Retailer and comprehensive web properties in Bassmaster.com and ESPNOutdoors.com, the organization is committed to delivering content true to the lifestyle. Additionally, television programming on ESPN2 continues to provide relevant content from tips and techniques to in-depth tournament coverage to passionate audiences.

The organization oversees the prestigious Bassmaster tournament trail which includes the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bassmaster Opens, Women’s Bassmaster Tour and the Bassmaster Classic, the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing. Through its grassroots network, the BASS Federation Nation, BASS sanctions more than 20,000 events annually.

BASS also offers an array of services to its more than 525,000 members while spearheading progressive, positive change on issues related to conservation and water access. The organization is headquartered in Celebration, Fla.


Bluegrass Brawl presented by DieHard Platinum Marine Batteries®

2008 Bluegrass Brawl 6/12-6/15
Kentucky Lake, Gilbertsville KY.
(PROFESSIONAL) Standings Day 4

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

1. Kevin VanDam Kalamazoo, MI 20 84-13 320 $112,000.00
Day 1: 5 24-13 Day 2: 5 21-09 Day 3: 5 21-14 Day 4: 5 16-09
2. Timmy Horton Muscle Shoals, AL 20 83-12 295 $33,000.00
Day 1: 5 21-01 Day 2: 5 14-11 Day 3: 5 23-05 Day 4: 5 24-11
3. Terry Butcher Talala, OK 20 78-03 290 $25,000.00
Day 1: 5 17-15 Day 2: 5 17-03 Day 3: 5 20-06 Day 4: 5 22-11
4. Mike McClelland Bella Vista, AR 20 77-01 285 $18,000.00
Day 1: 5 23-06 Day 2: 5 16-01 Day 3: 5 15-15 Day 4: 5 21-11
5. Paul Elias Laurel, MS 20 75-14 280 $17,000.00
Day 1: 5 21-04 Day 2: 5 16-00 Day 3: 5 21-10 Day 4: 5 17-00
6. Terry Scroggins San Mateo, FL 20 73-00 276 $16,500.00
Day 1: 5 18-03 Day 2: 5 18-01 Day 3: 5 15-13 Day 4: 5 20-15
7. Wade Grooms Bonneau, SC 20 72-12 270 $14,750.00
Day 1: 5 19-15 Day 2: 5 17-01 Day 3: 5 20-00 Day 4: 5 15-12
7. Kenyon Hill Norman, OK 20 72-12 270 $14,750.00
Day 1: 5 18-09 Day 2: 5 15-13 Day 3: 5 18-12 Day 4: 5 19-10
9. Rick Clunn Ava, MO 20 72-04 264 $17,000.00
Day 1: 5 19-12 Day 2: 5 24-00 Day 3: 5 17-11 Day 4: 5 10-13
10. Bradley Hallman Norman, OK 20 70-11 260 $13,500.00
Day 1: 5 20-12 Day 2: 5 17-15 Day 3: 5 14-10 Day 4: 5 17-06
11. Jami Fralick Martin, SD 20 69-08 257 $12,500.00
Day 1: 5 12-15 Day 2: 5 21-05 Day 3: 5 18-06 Day 4: 5 16-14
12. Edwin Evers Talala, OK 20 68-05 254 $12,300.00
Day 1: 5 16-08 Day 2: 5 19-00 Day 3: 5 17-09 Day 4: 5 15-04
———————————————————————–

PUROLATOR BIG BASS
Day
1 Kevin VanDam Kalamazoo, MI 06-07 $1,000.00
2 Rick Clunn Ava, MO 07-02 $1,000.00
3 Terry Scroggins San Mateo, FL 05-13 $1,000.00
4 Timmy Horton Muscle Shoals, AL 06-06 $1,000.00

PUROLATOR BIG BASS OF TOURN
Rick Clunn Ava, MO 07-02 $1,000.00

BERKLEY HEAVYWEIGHT
Day
1 Kevin VanDam Kalamazoo, MI 24-13 $1,000.00
2 Rick Clunn Ava, MO 24-00 $1,000.00
3 Timmy Horton Muscle Shoals, AL 23-05 $1,000.00
4 Timmy Horton Muscle Shoals, AL 24-11 $1,000.00

BERKLEY HEAVYWEIGHT OF TOURN
Kevin VanDam Kalamazoo, MI 24-13 $10,000.00

———————————————————————–
Totals
Day #Limits #Fish Weight
1 99 519 1581-03
2 97 513 1503-06
3 48 248 783-07
4 12 60 219-04
———————————-
256 1340 4087-04

TOYOTA TUNDRA BASSMASTER ANGLER OF THE YEAR STANDINGS

——————————————-
Place Name St Pts
——————————————-
1 Kevin VanDam Mich. 2043
2 Todd Faircloth Texas 1978
3 Mike McClelland Ark. 1949
4 Skeet Reese Calif. 1898
5 Edwin Evers Okla. 1862
6 Terry Scroggins Fla. 1772
7 Scott Rook Ark. 1770
8 Alton Jones Texas 1741
9 Dean Rojas Ariz. 1735
10 Kenyon Hill Okla. 1719
11 Brian Snowden Mo. 1671
12 Steve Kennedy Ala. 1647
13 Kelly Jordon Texas 1632
14 Bryan Hudgins Fla. 1628
15 Randy Howell Ala. 1618
16 Fred Roumbanis Okla. 1610
17 Mark Davis Ark. 1603
18 Bobby Lane Fla. 1601
19 Kotaro Kiriyama Ala. 1588
20 Byron Velvick Texas 1582
21 Aaron Martens Ala. 1566
22 Casey Ashley S.C. 1551
23 Morizo Shimizu Japan 1549
24 Ish Monroe Calif. 1545
25 Dave Wolak N.C. 1532
26 Rick Morris Va. 1529
27 Dustin Wilks N.C. 1524
27 Derek Remitz Ala. 1524
29 Shaw Grigsby Fla. 1515
30 Timmy Horton Ala. 1513
31 Gary Klein Texas 1494
32 Bill Lowen Ohio 1489
33 Jason Quinn S.C. 1485
34 Britt Myers S.C. 1474
35 Bradley Hallman Okla. 1456
36 Michael Iaconelli N.J. 1447
36 Brent Chapman Kan. 1447
38 Peter Thliveros Fla. 1442
39 Bernie Schultz Fla. 1437
40 Mark Menendez Ky. 1431
41 Jared Lintner Calif. 1421
42 Boyd Duckett Ala. 1415
42 Denny Brauer Mo. 1415
44 Jason Williamson S.C. 1409
45 Gerald Swindle Ala. 1407
46 Davy Hite S.C. 1406
47 Matt Reed Texas 1399
48 Chris Lane Fla. 1396
49 Jeff Kriet Okla. 1389
50 Takahiro Omori Texas 1381
51 Kevin Wirth Ky. 1368
52 Cliff Pace Miss. 1352
53 Marty Stone N.C. 1346
54 Wade Grooms S.C. 1344
55 Kevin Short Ark. 1333
56 Matthew Sphar N.Y. 1330
57 Rick Clunn Mo. 1329
58 Tommy Biffle Okla. 1322
59 Mike Wurm Ark. 1313
60 Scott Campbell Mo. 1309
61 Greg Hackney La. 1305
62 Terry Butcher Okla. 1290
63 Russ Lane Ala. 1286
64 Ray Sedgwick S.C. 1282
65 John Murray Ariz. 1281
66 Jeremy Starks W.Va. 1273
67 Jon Bondy Canada 1265
68 Jeff Connella La. 1252
69 Jami Fralick S.D. 1240
70 Brian Clark Texas 1231
71 Paul Elias Miss. 1217
72 Jeff Reynolds Okla. 1215
73 Billy Brewer Texas 1208
74 Grant Goldbeck Md. 1193
75 Jimmy Mize Ark. 1187
76 James Niggemeyer Texas 1184
77 Mark Tucker Mo. 1176
78 Yusuke Miyazaki Texas 1167
79 David Smith Okla. 1164
79 John Crews Va. 1164
81 Stephen Browning Ark. 1163
82 Corey Waldrop Texas 1161
83 Preston Clark Fla. 1159
84 Kevin Langill N.C. 1129
85 Ken Cook Okla. 1123
86 Jim Murray Ga. 1119
87 Marty Robinson S.C. 1109
88 Clark Reehm Ark. 1106
89 Todd Auten S.C. 1099
90 Pat Golden N.C. 1098
91 Jay Fuller Okla. 1081
92 Kurt Dove Va. 1039
93 Ben Matsubu Texas 1036
94 Zell Rowland Texas 1023
95 Glenn Delong Ohio 1016
96 Pete Ponds Miss. 1012
97 Mark Tyler Okla. 1005
98 Charlie Hartley Ohio 1000
99 Elton Luce Texas 996
100 Guy Eaker N.C. 951
101 David Sherrer La. 917
102 Greg Gutierrez Calif. 914
103 Steve Daniel Fla. 903
104 Rick Ash Pa. 889
105 Matt Amedeo Ohio 875
106 James Kennedy La. 857
107 Randy Allen La. 837
108 Paul Hirosky Pa. 732
109 Bobby Myers Okla. 438

ADVANCE AUTO PARTS ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

2008 ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
After Kentucky Lake, Gilbertsville, KY ending 06-15-2008, Day 4
——————————————-
Place Name St Pts
——————————————-
1 Bobby Lane Fla. 1601
2 Wade Grooms S.C. 1344
3 Brian Clark Texas 1231
4 Billy Brewer Texas 1208
5 Corey Waldrop Texas 1161
6 Clark Reehm Ark. 1106
7 Pat Golden N.C. 1098
8 Jay Fuller Okla. 1081
9 David Sherrer La. 917
10 Randy Allen La. 837
11 Bobby Myers Okla. 438

BERKLEY HEAVYWEIGHT

Place Name Lbs-Ozs
———————————————————–
1 Mike McClelland 286-06
2 Kevin VanDam 275-00
3 Terry Scroggins 267-01
4 Todd Faircloth 266-06
5 Skeet Reese 262-12
6 Edwin Evers 262-02
7 Mark Davis 261-08
8 Byron Velvick 258-01
9 Dean Rojas 255-05
10 Alton Jones 252-11



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