Fishing & Boating News

Kevin VanDam Takes Early Lead At Bassmaster Elite At The St. Lawrence River

by: JamieDay Matthews,

Kevin VanDam of Kalamazoo, MI., took the lead on the 1st day of the Huk Bassmaster Elite at St. Lawrence River, bringing 24 lbs, 5 oz to the scales on Thursday. 
Photo by Seigo Saito/B.A.S.S.
(Jul 20, 2017 - July 20, 2017 Kevin VanDam Takes Early Lead At Ba)

After one round of the Huk Bassmaster Elite at St. Lawrence presented by Go RVing, a familiar storyline has emerged.
 
Kevin VanDam, the Michigan superstar who already holds two B.A.S.S. victories on the St. Lawrence River, caught five bass Thursday that weighed 24 pounds, 5 ounces to take the lead in his latest chance at a big win on the fishery that splits upstate New York and Canada.
 
“Back when we used to have a lot of tournaments up here, I always fished the lake (Ontario),” said VanDam, who won two events on the St. Lawrence in 1995 and 1999. “I never really fished the river back then. So, every time I come here I learn a little bit more about it.”
 
Lake Ontario is off limits this year as it has been for the last two Elite Series trips to the St. Lawrence River.
 
VanDam said it was hard to gauge his chances of winning the $100,000 first-place prize after just one day because the fishing is so sporadic. He doesn’t know how his pattern will play out over a four-day event.
 
“There’s not huge numbers of fish,” he said. “It’s not like I’m working through hundreds of fish to get the ones I’m bringing to the scales. You pull up into a spot and you might catch one or two, but that’s it.
 
“You certainly can’t script it to know that you’re going to catch the kind of size I was able to catch today.”
 
The river is at its highest level in a century, but the conditions certainly didn’t seem to hurt the fishing. The Top 83 competitors in the 109-angler field caught at least 15 pounds of bass, and it took 20-1 to make the Top 20.
 
“The one thing the high water has done is changed the current,” VanDam said. “There used to be places where I would fish closer to the bank and the current would just be ripping. But now with the water higher, it seems slower in some of those places.
 
“With all of this water, it just seems like it’s fast in some places and slower in others — it definitely has changed.”
 
VanDam’s catch was only slight better than that of Virginia angler Bill Lowen, who placed second with 23-6.
 
Lowen — a noted shallow-water angler — brought all smallmouth to the scales Thursday, including two 5-pounders.
 
“I actually thought I had two 6-pounders, but they were just real long with no bellies,” said Lowen, who has 17 Top 10 finishes with B.A.S.S., but no wins. “In the area I was fishing, I think they were feeding on perch, crawfish and all kinds of little minnows.”

Third place was occupied by Seth Feider — a noted smallmouth specialist, whose fortunes took a big upward swing when the Elite Series schedule moved north last year.
 
“I didn’t execute that well today,” said Feider, who caught 22-11. “I could have done a little better, maybe another pound or so. But I’ve definitely got a lot of spots going.
 
“I was pretty much done by 10 a.m. today, so I went looking — and because of that, I found another really good spot around 2 o’clock.”
 
With the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year race headed down its final stretch, the names at the top of the list shifted Thursday. South Carolina angler Casey Ashley caught 21-14 — good for sixth place in the tournament — and overtook Tennessee pro Ott DeFoe as the AOY leader.
 
VanDam moved into second in the AOY standings, with Jason Christie, Edwin Evers, Jacob Wheeler and DeFoe following close behind.
 
VanDam also moved into the early lead for the Phoenix Boats Big Bass Award of the week with a bass that weighed 6-1.
 
The tournament will resume Friday, with a 6:15 a.m. ET take off from Whittaker Park. The weigh-in will be held back at the park at 3:15 p.m.
 
At the end of Friday’s second round, the 109-angler field will be trimmed to the Top 51. After Saturday’s semifinal, only the Top 12 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: Minn Kota, Power-Pole, Shell Rotella, Skeeter Boats, Triton Boats, Yamaha, Berkley, Huk, Humminbird, Nitro Boats, Mercury

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

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 presented by Go RVing 7/20-7/23
St. Lawrence River, Waddington  NY.


(PROFESSIONAL) Standings Day 1

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

1.  Kevin VanDam           Kalamazoo, MI            5  24-05  110
  Day 1: 5   24-05  
2.  Bill Lowen             Brookville, IN           5  23-06  109
  Day 1: 5   23-06  
3.  Seth Feider            Isle, MN                 5  22-11  108
  Day 1: 5   22-11  
4.  Brent Ehrler           Redlands, CA             5  22-09  107
  Day 1: 5   22-09  
5.  Marty Robinson         Lyman, SC                5  22-04  106
  Day 1: 5   22-04  
6.  Casey Ashley           Donalds, SC              5  21-14  105
  Day 1: 5   21-14  
7.  James Elam             Tulsa, OK                5  21-12  104
  Day 1: 5   21-12  
8.  Bernie Schultz         Gainesville, FL          5  21-12  103
  Day 1: 5   21-12  
9.  Dave Lefebre           Erie, PA                 5  21-11  102
  Day 1: 5   21-11  
10. Jesse Wiggins          Cullman, AL              5  21-10  101
  Day 1: 5   21-10  
11. Justin Lucas           Guntersville, AL         5  21-08  100
  Day 1: 5   21-08  
12. Edwin Evers            Talala, OK               5  21-02   99
  Day 1: 5   21-02  
13. Randall Tharp          Port St. Joe, FL         5  20-11   98
  Day 1: 5   20-11  
14. Michael Iaconelli      Pitts Grove, NJ          5  20-09   97
  Day 1: 5   20-09  
14. Jonathon VanDam        Kalamazoo, MI            5  20-09   97
  Day 1: 5   20-09  
16. Keith Combs            Huntington, TX           5  20-08   95
  Day 1: 5   20-08  
16. Russ Lane              Prattville, AL           5  20-08   95
  Day 1: 5   20-08  
16. Brock Mosley           Collinsville, MS         5  20-08   95
  Day 1: 5   20-08  
19. Alton Jones            Lorena, TX               5  20-06   92
  Day 1: 5   20-06  
20. Takahiro Omori         Emory, TX                5  20-01   91
  Day 1: 5   20-01  
21. Brett Hite             Phoenix, AZ              5  19-14   90
  Day 1: 5   19-14  
22. Chris Lane             Guntersville, AL         5  19-12   89
  Day 1: 5   19-12  
23. Jared Lintner          Arroyo Grande, CA        5  19-11   88
  Day 1: 5   19-11  
24. Brandon Coulter        Knoxville, TN            5  19-10   87
  Day 1: 5   19-10  
25. Dustin Connell         Clanton, AL              5  19-09   86
  Day 1: 5   19-09  
25. Mike McClelland        Bella Vista, AR          5  19-09   86
  Day 1: 5   19-09  
27. Jason Christie         Park Hill, OK            5  19-09   84
  Day 1: 5   19-09  
28. Josh Bertrand          San Tan Valley, AZ       5  19-07   83
  Day 1: 5   19-07  
29. John Crews Jr          Salem, VA                5  19-07   82
  Day 1: 5   19-07  
30. Kelley Jaye            Dadeville, AL            5  19-05   81
  Day 1: 5   19-05  
31. Gary Klein             Mingus, TX               5  19-03   80
  Day 1: 5   19-03  
31. Britt Myers            Lake Wylie, SC           5  19-03   80
  Day 1: 5   19-03  
33. David Walker           Sevierville, TN          5  19-02   78
  Day 1: 5   19-02  
34. Greg Hackney           Gonzales, LA             5  19-01   77
  Day 1: 5   19-01  
35. Jamie Hartman          Newport, NY              5  19-00   76
  Day 1: 5   19-00  
36. Brian Snowden          Reeds Spring, MO         5  18-15   75
  Day 1: 5   18-15  
37. Chad Pipkens           Lansing, MI              5  18-15   74
  Day 1: 5   18-15  
38. John Murray            Spring City, TN          5  18-14   73
  Day 1: 5   18-14  
39. Mark Daniels Jr.       Tuskegee, AL             5  18-13   72
  Day 1: 5   18-13  
39. Koby Kreiger           Bokeelia, FL             5  18-13   72
  Day 1: 5   18-13  
41. Gerald Swindle         Guntersville, AL         5  18-12   70
  Day 1: 5   18-12  
42. Adrian Avena           Vineland, NJ             5  18-10   69
  Day 1: 5   18-10  
42. Matt Lee               Guntersville, AL         5  18-10   69
  Day 1: 5   18-10  
44. Brandon Card           Knoxville, TN            5  18-05   67
  Day 1: 5   18-05  
44. Robbie Latuso          Gonzales, LA             5  18-05   67
  Day 1: 5   18-05  
44. Jordan Lee             Grant, AL                5  18-05   67
  Day 1: 5   18-05  
44. David Williams         Newton, NC               5  18-05   67
  Day 1: 5   18-05  
48. Micah Frazier          Newnan, GA               5  18-04   63
  Day 1: 5   18-04  
49. Greg Vinson            Wetumpka, AL             5  18-03   62
  Day 1: 5   18-03  
50. Jacob Wheeler          Harrison, TN             5  18-00   61
  Day 1: 5   18-00  
51. Mark Davis             Mount Ida, AR            5  17-10   60
  Day 1: 5   17-10  
51. Matt Herren            Ashville, AL             5  17-10   60
  Day 1: 5   17-10  
53. Skeet Reese            Auburn, CA               5  17-07   58
  Day 1: 5   17-07  
54. Cliff Pace             Petal, MS                5  17-06   57
  Day 1: 5   17-06  
54. Jason Williamson       Wagener, SC              5  17-06   57
  Day 1: 5   17-06  
56. Scott Rook             Little Rock, AR          5  17-05   55
  Day 1: 5   17-05  
57. Luke Clausen           Otis Orchards, WA        5  17-04   54
  Day 1: 5   17-04  
57. Jacob Powroznik        North Prince George, VA  5  17-04   54
  Day 1: 5   17-04  
59. Bradley Roy            Lancaster, KY            5  16-15   52
  Day 1: 5   16-15  
60. Ott DeFoe              Knoxville, TN            5  16-12   51
  Day 1: 5   16-12  
61. Todd Faircloth         Jasper, TX               5  16-11   50
  Day 1: 5   16-11  
62. Hank Cherry Jr         Lincolnton, NC           5  16-10   49
  Day 1: 5   16-10  
62. Aaron Martens          Leeds, AL                5  16-10   49
  Day 1: 5   16-10  
64. Jesse Tacoronte        Orlando, FL              5  16-07   47
  Day 1: 5   16-07  
65. Clifford Pirch         Payson, AZ               5  16-05   46
  Day 1: 5   16-05  
66. Terry Scroggins        San Mateo, FL            5  16-04   45
  Day 1: 5   16-04  
67. Cliff Crochet          Pierre Part, LA          5  16-03   44
  Day 1: 5   16-03  
67. Kelly Jordon           Flint, TX                5  16-03   44
  Day 1: 5   16-03  
67. Steve Kennedy          Auburn, AL               5  16-03   44
  Day 1: 5   16-03  
67. Cliff Prince           Palatka, FL              5  16-03   44
  Day 1: 5   16-03  
71. James Niggemeyer       Van, TX                  5  16-01   40
  Day 1: 5   16-01  
72. Brandon Palaniuk       Hayden, ID               5  15-15   39
  Day 1: 5   15-15  
73. Fred Roumbanis         London, AR               5  15-13   38
  Day 1: 5   15-13  
74. Brandon Lester         Fayetteville, TN         5  15-10   37
  Day 1: 5   15-10  
75. Boyd Duckett           Guntersville, AL         5  15-07   36
  Day 1: 5   15-07  
75. Randy Howell           Guntersville, AL         5  15-07   36
  Day 1: 5   15-07  
77. Stetson Blaylock       Benton, AR               5  15-06   34
  Day 1: 5   15-06  
78. Tommy Biffle           Wagoner, OK              5  15-05   33
  Day 1: 5   15-05  
78. Jeff Kriet             Ardmore, OK              5  15-05   33
  Day 1: 5   15-05  
80. Mark Menendez          Paducah, KY              5  15-04   31
  Day 1: 5   15-04  
81. Stephen Browning       Hot Springs, AR          5  15-04   30
  Day 1: 5   15-04  
82. Ish Monroe             Hughson, CA              5  15-01   29
  Day 1: 5   15-01  
83. Alton Jones Jr.        Lorena, TX               5  15-00   28
  Day 1: 5   15-00  
84. David Mullins          Mt Carmel, TN            5  14-15   27
  Day 1: 5   14-15  
84. Fletcher Shryock       New Philadelphia, OH     5  14-15   27
  Day 1: 5   14-15  
86. Shaw Grigsby Jr.       Gainesville, FL          5  14-11   25
  Day 1: 5   14-11  
87. Drew Benton            Panama City, FL          5  14-07   24
  Day 1: 5   14-07  
88. Clent Davis            Montevallo, AL           5  14-06   23
  Day 1: 5   14-06  
89. Paul Mueller           Naugatuck, CT            5  14-05   22
  Day 1: 5   14-05  
90. Brent Chapman          Lake Quivira, KS         5  14-03   21
  Day 1: 5   14-03  
91. Morizo Shimizu         Suita, Osaka JAPAN       5  14-01   20
  Day 1: 5   14-01  
92. Darrell Ocamica        New Plymouth, ID         5  13-13   19
  Day 1: 5   13-13  
93. Bobby Lane Jr.         Lakeland, FL             5  13-12   18
  Day 1: 5   13-12  
94. Tim Horton             Muscle Shoals, AL        5  13-10   17
  Day 1: 5   13-10  
95. Chad Morgenthaler      Reeds Spring, MO         5  13-09   16
  Day 1: 5   13-09  
96. Gerald Spohrer         Gonzales, LA             5  13-07   15
  Day 1: 5   13-07  
97. Rick Clunn             Ava, MO                  5  12-14   14
  Day 1: 5   12-14  
98. John Hunter Jr         Shelbyville, KY          5  12-07   13
  Day 1: 5   12-07  
99. Dean Rojas             Lake Havasu City, AZ     5  12-06   12
  Day 1: 5   12-06  
100. Brett Preuett          Monroe, LA               5  11-10   11
  Day 1: 5   11-10  
101. Andy Montgomery        Blacksburg, SC           5  11-07   10
  Day 1: 5   11-07  
102. Paul Elias             Laurel, MS               5  10-10    9
  Day 1: 5   10-10  
103. Skylar Hamilton        Dandridge, TN            4  10-02    8
  Day 1: 4   10-02  
104. Chris Zaldain          Laughlin, NV             4  10-01    7
  Day 1: 4   10-01  
105. Shane Lineberger       Lincolnton, NC           3  09-12    6
  Day 1: 3   09-12  
106. Keith Poche            Pike Road, AL            5  09-05    5
  Day 1: 5   09-05  
107. David Fritts           Lexington, NC            5  09-02    4
  Day 1: 5   09-02  
108. Tyler Carriere         Youngsville, LA          5  08-07    3
  Day 1: 5   08-07  
109. Chad Grigsby           Maple Grove, MN          1  05-09    2
  Day 1: 1   05-09  
 
Totals
Day   #Limits    #Fish      Weight
 1       105       537      1855-01
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         105       537      1855-01