Fishing & Boating News

Kevin VanDam Takes Over Top Spot At Bassmaster Elite On Grand Lake

by: JamieDay Matthews,

Kevin VanDam of Kalamazoo,MI., takes the lead on the 3rd day of the Bassmaster Elite at Grand Lake, with a3-day total weight of 64 lbs, 13 oz.
Photo by Seigo Saito/B.A.S.S.
(Apr 28, 2018 - Grove, OK)

After catching his heaviest limit of the tournament, bass fishing superstar Kevin VanDam produced five bass that weighed 22 pounds, 4 ounces to take the lead at the 2018 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Elite at Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees.
 
Not only was today’s limit of largemouth VanDam’s biggest of his week, it was his third limit exceeding the magical 20-pound mark — a benchmark in professional bass fishing.
 
His three-day total is 64-13.
 
With one more round remaining in the four-day Elite tournament, the bass fishing legend is looking to add to his already astounding record of 24 titles on the Bassmaster tournament trail, including four Bassmaster Classic wins and seven Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year awards.
 
With $100,000 on the line for first place, and win No. 25 for the Kalamazoo, Mich., resident, VanDam is confident his fishing areas are only getting better.
 
“It’s going to take another bag of 20 pounds or better to win this thing,” he said. “I think where I’ve spent my time this week has the right fish, but as the standings will show, the other Top 12 anglers are also catching them. I’m not comfortable yet.”
 
The field will be cut down to the Top 12 anglers with VanDam leading them out on Championship Sunday.
 
“Each of us are focusing on spawning bass,” VanDam said. “And with the weather and moon phase both factors, the spots are reloading by the hour. The bass are fat and very healthy looking — plus I feel like my pattern is only getting stronger.”
 
Most anglers aren’t usually willing to reveal their tactics until the tournament is over, but if the world’s greatest bass angler is confident, history indicates that big things will happen.

And that’s what makes him the most feared angler on the planet.
 
Bassmaster rookie Roy Hawk of Lake Havasu City, Ariz., finished in second place at the first tournament of the year on Lake Martin in Alexander City, Ala.
 
That was his first appearance on the Elite Series.

Today he weighed 24-12 to push is three-day total to 61-9. Hawk will be starting Sunday’s final round of competition in second place yet again.
 
“My pattern hasn’t changed much this week,” Hawk said. “Each day I’ve narrowed down the most productive water, and the fish have been getting bigger. Of course, everything will have to go perfectly tomorrow if I’m going to win.”
 
Hawk said he was implementing several different techniques, and one of those in particular was catching the larger fish.
 
“Today I dialed in on that pattern, and weighed my biggest limit of the week. I don’t think that’s an accident, and I plan to do the same thing again tomorrow.”
 
After leading Friday’s second round of competition, Brandon Lester of Fayetteville, Tenn., weighed 17-6 today and fell back to third place with a three-day total of 60-15.
 
“I didn’t catch as many fish today, and they weren’t as big,” said Lester. “I spent too much time fishing water I caught fish from the past couple days. I learned something valuable today, and tomorrow I am going to focus on new water.”
 
A late-day cull helped keep Lester in contention, and it revealed a potentially new pattern. He plans to begin Championship Sunday in that spot.
 
Rounding out the Top 5 are Randall Tharp of Port St. Joe, Fla., with 59-13 and Seth Feider of Bloomington, Minn., with 58-0.
 
Alabama’s Bill Weidler is currently leading the $1,500 Phoenix Boats Big Bass Award, thanks to a heavy 7-3 largemouth bass he caught during Thursday’s opening round of competition.
 
Championship Sunday takeoff will begin at 6:15 a.m. CT out of Wolf Creek Park, and the final weigh-in is scheduled in the same location beginning at 3 p.m.

2018 Bassmaster Elite At Grand Lake Title Sponsor: Academy Sports + Outdoors

2018 Bassmaster Elite Series Platinum Sponsor: Toyota

2018 Bassmaster Elite Series Premier Sponsors: Power-Pole, Skeeter Boats, Triton Boats, Yamaha, Abu Garcia, Berkley, Huk, Humminbird, Mercury, Minn Kota, Nitro Boats

2018 Bassmaster Elite Series Supporting Sponsors: Carhartt, Livingston Lures, Lowrance  Phoenix Boats, T-H Marine, Academy Sports + Outdoors

2018 Bassmaster Elite Series Elite Partner: Black Velvet Canadian Whisky

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 and B.A.S.S. Times), website (Bassmaster.com), television show (The Bassmasters on ESPN2), radio show (Bassmaster Radio), social media programs and events. For 50 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, Mossy Oak Fishing Bassmaster High School Series presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods, Bassmaster Team Championship and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods.


2018 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Elite at Grand Lake 4/26-4/29
Grand Lake O' the Cherokees, Grove  OK.


(PROFESSIONAL) Standings Day 3

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

1.  Kevin VanDam           Kalamazoo, MI           15  64-13  110
  Day 1: 5   21-15     Day 2: 5   20-10     Day 3: 5   22-04  
2.  Roy Hawk               Lk Havasu Cty, AZ       15  61-09  109
  Day 1: 5   16-15     Day 2: 5   19-14     Day 3: 5   24-12  
3.  Brandon Lester         Fayetteville, TN        15  60-15  108
  Day 1: 5   17-06     Day 2: 5   26-03     Day 3: 5   17-06  
4.  Randall Tharp          Port St. Joe, FL        15  59-13  107
  Day 1: 5   18-05     Day 2: 5   18-05     Day 3: 5   23-03  
5.  Seth Feider            Bloomington, MN         15  58-00  106
  Day 1: 5   18-07     Day 2: 5   18-11     Day 3: 5   20-14  
6.  Tommy Biffle           Wagoner, OK             15  57-03  105
  Day 1: 5   16-09     Day 2: 5   18-09     Day 3: 5   22-01  
7.  Paul Mueller           Naugatuck, CT           15  55-07  104
  Day 1: 5   19-03     Day 2: 5   16-13     Day 3: 5   19-07  
8.  Greg Vinson            Wetumpka, AL            15  55-02  103
  Day 1: 5   19-13     Day 2: 5   17-13     Day 3: 5   17-08  
9.  Bradley Roy            Lancaster, KY           15  54-09  102
  Day 1: 5   18-12     Day 2: 5   19-09     Day 3: 5   16-04  
10. Fred Roumbanis         Russellville, AR        15  54-07  101
  Day 1: 5   18-09     Day 2: 5   16-03     Day 3: 5   19-11  
11. Jordan Lee             Grant, AL               15  53-12  100
  Day 1: 5   20-04     Day 2: 5   18-07     Day 3: 5   15-01  
12. Cliff Crochet          Pierre Part, LA         15  53-11   99
  Day 1: 5   19-11     Day 2: 5   19-04     Day 3: 5   14-12  
13. Justin Lucas           Guntersville, AL        15  53-04   98  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   17-12     Day 2: 5   16-13     Day 3: 5   18-11  
14. Jacob Wheeler          Harrison, TN            15  53-03   97  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   16-10     Day 2: 5   22-09     Day 3: 5   14-00  
15. Dean Rojas             Lake Havasu City, AZ    15  53-02   96  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   13-09     Day 2: 5   19-12     Day 3: 5   19-13  
16. Brett Hite             Phoenix, AZ             15  52-15   95  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   14-03     Day 2: 5   21-15     Day 3: 5   16-13  
17. Scott Rook             Little Rock, AR         15  52-09   94  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   17-09     Day 2: 5   15-14     Day 3: 5   19-02  
18. Cliff Pace             Petal, MS               15  52-08   93  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   21-04     Day 2: 5   17-09     Day 3: 5   13-11  
19. Clifford Pirch         Payson, AZ              15  52-04   92  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   17-01     Day 2: 5   17-10     Day 3: 5   17-09  
20. Jesse Wiggins          Cullman, AL             15  51-01   91  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   13-12     Day 2: 5   20-12     Day 3: 5   16-09  
21. Stetson Blaylock       Benton, AR              15  50-05   90  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   21-00     Day 2: 5   13-05     Day 3: 5   16-00  
22. Dave Lefebre           Erie, PA                15  50-03   89  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   14-02     Day 2: 5   24-01     Day 3: 5   12-00  
23. Aaron Martens          Leeds, AL               15  49-14   88  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   16-12     Day 2: 5   15-04     Day 3: 5   17-14  
24. James Elam             Tulsa, OK               15  49-13   87  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   19-13     Day 2: 5   16-13     Day 3: 5   13-03  
25. Gerald Swindle         Guntersville, AL        15  49-05   86  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   21-08     Day 2: 5   13-13     Day 3: 5   14-00  
26. Brock Mosley           Collinsville, MS        15  48-09   85  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   23-05     Day 2: 5   12-11     Day 3: 5   12-09  
27. Takahiro Omori         Emory, TX               15  48-08   84  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   23-12     Day 2: 5   07-13     Day 3: 5   16-15  
28. Brent Ehrler           Redlands, CA            15  48-08   83  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   21-08     Day 2: 5   13-10     Day 3: 5   13-06  
29. Brent Chapman          Lake Quivira, KS        15  48-05   82  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   14-11     Day 2: 5   18-15     Day 3: 5   14-11  
30. Randy Howell           Guntersville, AL        15  48-01   81  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   17-02     Day 2: 5   15-15     Day 3: 5   15-00  
31. Mark Daniels Jr.       Tuskegee, AL            15  48-00   80  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   15-04     Day 2: 5   15-12     Day 3: 5   17-00  
32. Caleb Sumrall          New Iberia, LA          15  47-13   79  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   16-10     Day 2: 5   17-12     Day 3: 5   13-07  
33. Bill Weidler           Helena, AL              15  47-06   78  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   19-12     Day 2: 5   15-08     Day 3: 5   12-02  
34. Kyle Monti             Okeechobee, FL          15  46-13   77  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   22-06     Day 2: 5   11-15     Day 3: 5   12-08  
35. Alton Jones Jr.        Waco, TX                15  46-09   76  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   15-12     Day 2: 5   18-06     Day 3: 5   12-07  
36. Ish Monroe             Hughson, CA             15  46-04   75  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   17-04     Day 2: 5   15-05     Day 3: 5   13-11  
37. Brian Snowden          Reeds Spring, MO        15  45-12   74  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   16-11     Day 2: 5   17-07     Day 3: 5   11-10  
38. Adrian Avena           Vineland, NJ            15  45-11   73  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   17-05     Day 2: 5   15-00     Day 3: 5   13-06  
39. Keith Poche            Pike Road, AL           15  45-07   72  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   17-09     Day 2: 5   16-08     Day 3: 5   11-06  
40. Marty Robinson         Lyman, SC               15  45-05   71  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   14-07     Day 2: 5   17-02     Day 3: 5   13-12  
41. Jamie Hartman          Newport, NY             15  44-09   70  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   17-06     Day 2: 5   14-05     Day 3: 5   12-14  
42. Hank Cherry Jr         Lincolnton, NC          15  43-14   69  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   15-14     Day 2: 5   18-05     Day 3: 5   09-11  
43. Chris Zaldain          Laughlin, NV            15  43-14   68  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   15-07     Day 2: 5   14-15     Day 3: 5   13-08  
44. Jacob Powroznik        North Prince George, VA 15  43-12   67  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   15-00     Day 2: 5   16-09     Day 3: 5   12-03  
45. John Crews Jr          Salem, VA               15  43-10   66  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   17-03     Day 2: 5   13-10     Day 3: 5   12-13  
46. Josh Bertrand          San Tan Valley, AZ      15  43-03   65  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   19-15     Day 2: 5   12-09     Day 3: 5   10-11  
47. Fletcher Shryock       Dennison, OH            15  42-09   64  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   15-12     Day 2: 5   15-11     Day 3: 5   11-02  
48. Stephen Browning       Hot Springs, AR         14  42-08   63  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   20-08     Day 2: 5   11-02     Day 3: 4   10-14  
49. Jared Lintner          Arroyo Grande, CA       15  42-04   62  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   18-05     Day 2: 5   14-04     Day 3: 5   09-11  
50. Edwin Evers            Talala, OK              14  38-06   61  $10,000.00
  Day 1: 5   14-02     Day 2: 5   16-11     Day 3: 4   07-09  

Totals
Day   #Limits    #Fish      Weight
 1       102       531      1674-05
 2        92       505      1507-09
 3        48       248       757-06
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         242      1284      3939-04