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2007 Empire Chase


Lake Erie is the shallowest of the Great Lakes, but among the worst any bass angler might ever face in terms of big waves.

KVD on Smallmouth or Largemouth:“If you’re on Erie, you better be fishing for Smallmouth.”

Big Waves? “It could be slick calm one day, and 5’ – 10’ footers the next. It’s a freshwater ocean. There’s a 90% chance that it will be rough at least one of the days we are there.”

If KVD could only take two rods: “I’d pack two spinning rods, spool up each with 8-pound fluorocarbon line, tie a tube to one and a Strike King Wild Shiner jerkbait to the other.”

Tour Review

Empire is a close race - KVD out at 16

After not fishing on Friday, the action was fast and furious on Saturday. KVD jumped right up the standings, but could’ve used the extra day to secure a spot in the final 12, finishing just out in 16th. Kevin was under a pound away from the top 12, as Lake Erie provided more big bags then expected on windy and wavy waters. Skeet Reese finished in 13th to keep the AOY race tight as well.

Day 2 on Lake Erie cancelled

After a wet and wild day 1, day 2 fishing has been cancelled due to high winds. This will make a climb to the top of the standings even harder on Saturday. Many anglers would prefer to stay on the Great Lake where the fish are bigger and the water can have less of a current, but fishing may be moved exclusively to the Niagara River.

Wild day 1 - 17-8

“I covered a lot of water today, I burned a lot of gas. I fished both countries.”
— Kevin VanDam

A wild and intense Lake Erie greeted the anglers on day 1. Waves as large as 12 feet were reported. The skies opened up as well and were hazy and gusting. The fact that the anglers could catch anything is a testament to their skill. But the anglers did, and the top 5 bagged over 21 pounds each. Kevin is right in the mix, with a 17-8 bag on day 1. Just a few pounds out of the top spots. It’s going to get interesting this weekend out of Buffalo.

2007 Empire Chase
Lake Erie, Buffalo, New York
Jul 19 - Jul 22, 2007


Edwin Evers - 65-7
Kotaro Kiriyama - 61-7
John Murray - 60-8
Terry Butcher - 60-3
Greg Hackney - 59-15
Boyd Ducket - 59-1
Kevin Wirth - 58-1
Paul Hirosky - 57-14
Aaron Martens - 55-9
Elton Luce Jr - 55-8
Jami Fralick - 51-12
Rick Morris - 48-8
Kevin VanDam - 37-8

History & Notes;

  • Lake Erie is the eleventh largest lake in the world (by surface area), and the fourth largest of the Great Lakes in surface area and the smallest by volume. It is the shallowest of the Great Lakes. Due to winds pushing water from one end of the lake to the other, short term water levels at the eastern and western ends of the lake may vary by more than 16 feet!
  • Lake Erie is the warmest and most biologically productive of the Great Lakes, and the Lake Erie walleye fishery is widely considered the best in the world.
  • Point Pelee National Park in Lake Erie is the southernmost point on Canada’s mainland.
  • Elite Series pro Frank Scalish won the 2004 Open on Erie/Niagara with 55-4.