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Paris, TN – Kevin VanDam’s Kentucky Lake domination is beginning to get a bit ridiculous. Despite a rough start – VanDam failed to connect on consecutive 5-pounders on his first two bites – the five-time Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year opened up a 6-pound lead at the Tennessee Triumph Friday.
After scoring a first-, second- and third-place finish in the previous three Elite events here, VanDam is closing in on adding another victory to his Kentucky Lake ledger. He ended up toting 24 pounds, 2 ounces, to the scales Thursday, which upgraded his two-day total to 49 pounds, 2 ounces. His consistency was rare as he was only angler to remain in the top five from Wednesday.
VanDam capitalized on a fast-and-furious early-morning bite, which allowed him to vacate his primary areas by 9:30am and hunt for new water. The search wasn’t fruitless and VanDam feels that he has a number of areas at his disposal that could produce. Still, VanDam was worried about boat pressure – from locals and competitors – with the impending weekend. Last year, perhaps the most lasting image from Bobby Lane’s victory here was the armada of 100-plus spectator boats that crowded his area.
Still, if anyone is used to boat pressure, it’s VanDam. And he’s certainly in a comfort zone on Kentucky, so all things considered, he likes where he is at.
“You have to catch them all four days here to have a chance,” said VanDam, who is looking for his 18th BASS win. “Each day, guys are figuring out how to catch them and I just have to keep at it. With the boat traffic, I have had to be very selective about what areas I can fish. And that is hurting me a little bit. But it is what it is.”
VanDam played it close to the vest on details of his pattern but given his responses (“I like the way I’m fishing”) and his past choices here, it’s probable VanDam is working a crankbait around the numerous ledges that are so vital to Kentucky Lake tournament fishing.
VanDam said the evolution of side-imaging equipment – VanDam uses a Humminbird – has been key to his success. It has allowed VanDam to explore expanded areas and though it has evened the playing field in terms of finding the subtle areas on ledges where the bass are schooling, VanDam said anglers still have to find a way to put the fish in the boat.
With the lead, and perhaps of most importance to VanDam, he collects another five-point bonus in the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year standings. VanDam has moved into Bassmaster Elite Series Postseason position – only the top 12 in the AOY standings qualify – and is closing the tremendous gap that Skeet Reese had opened up heading into this week. After a white-hot start to the season, Reese is experiencing how the other half lives, as he missed his second consecutive cut with a 48th-place showing.
“My focus is on trying to get in that Postseason,” said VanDam, who scored the AOY last year in come-from-behind fashion. “Anything can happen there.”
Moving up from 32nd into second was Kelly Jordon of Mineola, Texas. Jordon brought 26-14 to the scales Thursday, which stands as the biggest limit thus far of the tournament. His banner day was anchored by a 10-1 behemoth, the biggest of the tournament. His two-day total was 43-2.
A perennial Bassmaster Classic contender, Jordon came into this week out of the Classic qualifying cutline, but a strong performance here would put him right back in the mix. The 10-1 fell for a Lake Fork Tackle 10-inch worm in red.
“It was a heck of a day,” said Jordon, an eight-time Classic qualifier. “I was really disappointed after Wednesday. I had a great practice and found some serious schools but I just couldn’t get the right bites. Today (Thursday), that all changed.”
Moving up from eighth to third was Jason Quinn of York, SC, with 41-14. In fourth was Edwin Evers of Talala, Okla., with 41-10. Evers was Reese’s closest competitor in the AOY standings heading into this week and has steadily closed the gap on Skeet Reese’s once 250-point lead in the standings. If he can keep the pace, Reese will have to perform well on the season finale on the Arkansas River to maintain a comfortable margin heading into the Postseason.
Rounding out the top five was Elite rookie Keith Poche of Troy, Ala., with 41-8.
Only the top 47 qualified to fish Friday. Along with Reese, defending Kentucky Lake champion Bobby Lane missed the cut. Notables in the cutline include 2006 Kentucky Lake winner Morizo Shimizu of Japan (ninth), 2007 Bassmaster Classic champion Boyd Duckett (15th) and 19-year-old Bradley Roy (43rd). Full standings can be found below.
Kentucky Lake has hosted a dozen BASS events, including the 2009 Tennessee Triumph, at which Lane of Lakeland, Fla., won his first BASS tournament with a total of 97 pounds, 9 ounces, after leading through all four days.
Kentucky Lake is 185 miles in length, with 160,000 surface acres and 2,380 miles of shoreline. Lake Barkley adds another 80,000 surface acres.
The top prize of the Tennessee Triumph is $100,000.
The public is invited to attend the daily launches (6 a.m. CT) through Saturday and weigh-ins (3:30 p.m.) at Paris Landing State Park, 16055 Hwy. 79 N., Buchanan, Tenn. After Day 2’s competition Thursday, the field will be cut to the top 47 anglers for Day 3. Only the top 12 will go on to compete in Saturday’s Day 4.
Other activities Friday and Saturday at the Tennessee Triumph will begin at noon CT at Paris Landing State Park. All events are free and open to the public.
The local sponsor of the Tennessee Triumph is the Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce.
Be sure to catch all the action!
Fishing fans can catch all of the on-the-water action from the Tennessee Triumph on The Bassmasters, which airs Sunday, July 4th, at 10:00am ET on ESPN2. The daily weigh-ins for all regular-season Elite events and the two postseason events will air live on ESPN3.com.
Bassmaster.com will follow the Tennessee Triumph each day with BASSCast, BASSCam, real-time leaderboards during weigh-ins, photo galleries, daily results, and Hooked Up with ESPN Outdoors personalities Mark Zona and Tommy Sanders. Live, streaming video will be carried by ESPN3.com.
About the Elite Series
The Bassmaster Elite Series Postseason, Toyota Trucks Championship Week, is set for July 24th-31st and will be played out once again on two productive Alabama fisheries. The first leg, the July 24th-25th Trophy Chase, returns to Lake Jordan out of Wetumpka. The finale, the Evan Williams Bourbon Trophy Triumph, is slated for July 30th-31st on the Alabama River from Montgomery.
Bassmaster Elite Series Official Sponsors: Toyota, Berkley, Evan Williams Bourbon, Humminbird, Mercury, Minn Kota, Skeeter, Yamaha and Bass Pro Shops.
Bassmaster Elite Series Supporting Sponsors: Lowrance, Triton Boats, Nitro Boats and Ramada.
For more than 40 years, BASS has served as the authority on bass fishing. The organization advances the sport through advocacy, outreach and its expansive tournament structure while championing efforts to connect directly with the passionate community of bass anglers through its Bassmaster media vehicles.
The Bassmaster brand and its considerable multimedia platforms are guided by a mission to serve all fishing fans. Through its industry-leading publications Bassmaster Magazine, BASS Times and Fishing Tackle Retailer; comprehensive Web properties in Bassmaster.com, BASSInsider.com, ESPNOutdoors.com and ESPN360.com, and ESPN2 television programming, Bassmaster provides rich, leading-edge content true to the lifestyle.
BASS oversees the prestigious Bassmaster Tournament Trail, which includes the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bassmaster Opens, BASS Federation Nation and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the Bassmaster Classic.
BASS offers an array of services to its more than 500,000 members while spearheading progressive, positive change on issues related to conservation and water access. The organization is headquartered in Celebration, FL.
Day 2 Tennessee Triumph Standings
2010 Paris, TN 6/9-6/12
Angler Hometown No./lbs-oz Pts Total $$$
1. Kevin VanDam Kalamazoo, MI 10 49-02 310
2. Kelly Jordon Mineola, TX 10 43-02 295
3. Jason Quinn Lake Wylie, SC 10 41-14 290
4. Edwin Evers Talala, OK 10 41-10 285
5. Keith Poche Troy, AL 10 41-08 280
6. Kotaro Kiriyama Moody, AL 10 41-03 276
7. Russ Lane Prattville, AL 10 41-02 272
8. Timmy Horton Muscle Shoals, AL 10 41-00 268
9. Brent Chapman Lake Quivira, KS 10 40-15 264
10. Rick Morris Virginia Beach, VA 10 39-15 260
11. Takahiro Omori Emory, TX 10 39-10 257
12. Morizo Shimizu Osaka JAPAN 10 38-15 254
13. Matt Greenblatt Palm Beach Gardens, FL 10 38-09 251
14. Matt Herren Trussville, AL 10 38-01 248
15. Boyd Duckett Demopolis, AL 10 37-14 245
16. Terry Butcher Talala, OK 10 37-09 243
17. Scott Rook Little Rock, AR 10 37-07 241
18. Pete Ponds Madison, MS 10 37-04 239
19. Britt Myers Lake Wylie, SC 10 37-04 237
20. Mark Menendez Paducah, KY 10 36-14 235
21. Bradley Hallman Norman, OK 10 36-12 233
22. Greg Vinson Wetumpka, AL 10 36-08 231
23. Aaron Martens Leeds, AL 10 35-14 229
24. Jason Williamson Aiken, SC 10 35-06 227
25. Bill Lowen North Bend, OH 10 35-00 225
26. Derek Remitz Grant, AL 10 34-12 223
27. Brian Snowden Reeds Spring, MO 10 34-11 221
28. Casey Ashley Donalds, SC 10 34-08 219
29. Shaw E Grigsby Gainesville, FL 10 34-04 217
30. Jami Fralick Martin, SD 10 33-14 215
31. Greg Hackney Gonzales, LA 10 33-13 213
32. Terry Scroggins San Mateo, FL 10 32-10 211
33. John Crews Salem, VA 10 32-08 209
34. Jeremy Starks Charleston, WV 10 32-06 207
35. Todd Faircloth Jasper, TX 10 31-13 205
36. Marty Stone Fayetteville, NC 10 31-09 203
37. Jeff Connella Bentley, LA 10 31-06 201
38. Cliff Pace Petal, MS 10 31-05 199
39. Marty Robinson Lyman, SC 10 31-05 197
40. Tommy Biffle Wagoner, OK 10 31-03 195
41. Gerald Swindle Warrior, AL 10 30-11 193
42. Chad Griffin Cresson, TX 9 30-11 191
43. Bradley Roy Lancaster, KY 10 30-06 189
44. Mike McClelland Bella Vista, AR 9 30-06 187
45. Mark Tucker Saint Louis, MO 10 30-04 185
46. Yusuke Miyazaki Forney, TX 10 30-04 183
47. Matt Reed Madisonville, TX 10 30-01 181
48. Skeet Reese Auburn, CA 10 29-11 179
49. Peter E Thliveros St Augustine, FL 10 29-07 177
50. Stephen Browning Hot Springs, AR 10 29-03 175
51. Clark Reehm Russellville, AR 10 28-10 173
52. Bobby Lane Lakeland, FL 10 28-05 171
53. Paul Elias Laurel, MS 9 28-01 169
54. Byron Haseotes Centerville, MA 10 27-15 167
55. Kevin Wirth Crestwood, KY 10 27-15 165
56. Jeff Kriet Ardmore, OK 10 27-05 163
57. Cliff Crochet Pierre Part, LA 10 27-01 161
58. Michael Iaconelli Pitts Grove, NJ 10 26-13 159
59. J Todd Tucker Moultrie, GA 10 26-13 157
60. Byron Velvick Del Rio, TX 10 26-10 155
61. David Smith Del City, OK 10 26-10 153
62. Bernie Schultz Gainesville, FL 9 26-10 151
63. Dustin Wilks Rocky Mount, NC 10 26-07 149
64. Dave Wolak Wake Forest, NC 10 26-04 147
65. Kenyon Hill Norman, OK 10 26-04 145
66. Mark Davis Mount Ida, AR 10 26-00 143
67. James Niggemeyer Van, TX 10 25-14 141
68. Kevin Short Mayflower, AR 10 25-10 139
69. Denny Brauer Camdenton, MO 10 25-06 137
70. Randy Howell Springville, AL 10 25-02 135
71. Dean Rojas Lake Havasu City, AZ 10 24-08 133
72. Ish Monroe Hughson, CA 10 24-06 131
73. Gary Klein Weatherford, TX 10 23-15 129
74. Chris Lane Guntersville, AL 9 23-15 127
75. Mark Tyler Vian, OK 10 23-14 125
76. Davy Hite Ninety Six, SC 7 23-13 123
77. Fred Roumbanis Bixby, OK 9 23-12 121
78. Scott Ashmore Broken Arrow, OK 10 23-11 119
79. Rick Clunn Ava, MO 7 23-11 117
80. Steve Kennedy Auburn, AL 10 23-10 115
81. Billy McCaghren Mayflower, AR 10 22-11 113
82. John Murray Phoenix, AZ 10 21-14 111
83. Jared Lintner Arroyo Grande, CA 7 21-12 109
84. Charlie Hartley Grove City, OH 9 21-04 107
85. Alton Jones Waco, TX 10 20-13 105
86. Pat Golden High Point, NC 8 19-15 103
87. Vince Fulks Purcell, OK 8 19-14 101
88. Wade Grooms Bonneau, SC 7 16-11 99
89. Guy Eaker Cherryville, NC 6 15-08 97
90. Dennis Tietje Roanoke, LA 7 13-02 95
91. Grant Goldbeck Gaithersburg, MD 5 12-06 93
92. Mark Burgess Norton, MA 6 10-06 91
93. Zell Rowland Austin, TX 4 07-10 89
Day #Limits #Fish Weight
TopicsBass Pro Shops., Bassmasters, Bassmasters Elite Series, Berkley, Boyd Duckett, Edwin Evers, ESPN, ESPN Outdoors, Evan Williams Bourbon, Evan Williams Bourbon Trophy Triumph, Humminbird, Keith Poche, Kelly Jordan, Kentucky Lake, Kevin VanDamn, Mercury, Minn Kota, Morizo Shimizu, Paris Landing, Paris Landing State Park, Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce, Rick Morris, Skeet Reese, Skeeter, Tennessee Triumph, Toyota, Yamaha
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