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2007 Major - Memorial


Clear weather and great fishing is continuing into the 2nd Major of the season for the BASS tour. The decision continues to be made whether to focus on small, or large mouth bass in the varied Lake Oneida.

Tour Review

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KVD has checked in from the road following his Memorial performance. Get the updates here.

Day 2, VanDamaged

“Today,” Kevin VanDam told the weigh-in crowd, “was one of those days when the smallmouth paid me back.”

A twitching smallmouth turned at the wrong angle as VanDam was unhooking the fish, and caught the inside middle knuckle of VanDam’s right pinky finger with one of the treble hooks. Removing such a hook is usually a swift and relatively painless operation, accomplished by looping braid under the hook, pushing down on the hook and yanking it out.

In this case, though, the cameraman helping VanDam pull out the hook didn’t pull hard enough the first time. And instead of the hook popping out, VanDam’s hand was yanked upwards like a marionette’s.

“These fish are wild when you hook them,” VanDam said.

Ultimately, VanDam shrugged off the hooking — he’s had two fish on the same treble hook before, he said. The sharper pain was a series of missed opportunities for him in the northern waters where he was expected to dominate, or at least contend.

Instead, his 22nd-place finish caps a New York swing that also saw him finish 16th at Lake Erie and 27th on Champlain.

Good finishes for most anglers, but nowhere close to what VanDam was expected to accomplish on strong smallmouth fisheries. To boot, Skeet Reese recaptured the Angler of the Year points lead at Champlain and extended it on Erie.

“I didn’t have a great run at it,” he said of the past three tournaments. “Bad luck. I lost a lot of big smallmouth.”

2007 Major - Memorial
Oneida Lake, Syracuse, New York
Jul 26 - Jul 29, 2007


Peter E Thliveros - 68-7
Steve Kennedy - 71-5
John Murray - 67-1
Dean Rojas - 69-1
David Wolak - 64-1
Jared Lintner - 65-5
Skeet Reese - 48-8
Jason Quinn - 47-8
Randy Howell - 45-5
Mike Iaconelli - 45-10
Jeff Kriet - 42-13
John Crews - 38-12
Kevin VanDam - 26-10

History & Notes;

  • The 2006 Elite Series event on Lake Oneida was one of the closest of the season. Tommy Biffle won the tournament with 63-10, nearly three pounds better than second-place finisher, Charlie Youngers. Just five ounces separated second through seventh place.
  • Best known for its tremendous smallmouth fishery, Biffle won the 2006 Elite Series event on Oneida without weighing a single bronze bass. He targeted largemouths in the shallows, catching fewer but larger bass than other competitors.
  • Oneida Lake is a remnant of Lake Iroquois, a huge body of water that formed approximately 12,000 years ago when a glacier dammed the St. Lawrence River, flooding much of central New York. Eventually the ice mass shifted northward, the St. Lawrence outlet to the Atlantic Ocean opened and Lake Iroquois’ waters drained. Oneida Lake represents a slightly deeper depression in the former Lake Iroquois bed.
  • Evidence of the Oneida Lake region’s glacial origins is visible today. Hills south of the lake, near Canastota, are underlain by rock that was resistant to erosion and, consequently, the glacier lifted over this escarpment and left deposits of shale and limestone in its path.