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2007 Elite Series - Sunshine Showdown


Tough conditions will meet the anglers as they group for the final event of the 2007 season. Toho and the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes are all plagued with an over-abundance of hydrilla, which makes it hard to move around to the areas that are usually hot spots. Water clarity is way off color with a very low current. This won’t stop the Elite anglers as they head out to end the season on a high note.

Tour Review

Day 3, KVD hangs in, can't overcome Skeet -- 7-5

The race for AOY came down to the final event of the 2007 season. And KVD will head home with his second 2nd place finish in as many years for AOY. Kevin stayed consistent on 3 days of his fishing the Sunshine Showdown, but he just couldn’t get the hawg he needed to vault him to the top of the standings. All the while Skeet didn’t take a tumble down the standings, and wouldn’t crack the door for KVD to sneak in.

“I’m relived that it’s over, to tell you the truth. This has probably been the one of the most fun years I’ve ever had out here. But I want everyone to know that I didn’t lose…I got beat!

“Skeet has done exactly what he had to in the last four tournaments to win the title. I just got myself in too deep of a hole leading up to this event, so I think that even a win for me wouldn’t have kept Skeet from winning. It was just his turn, and I couldn’t be happier for him.

“He’s a great friend of mine, and we’ve both had so much fun with this thing that I couldn’t be happier for him. We spend so much time out here with each other that we’re all like family, which is one of the hardest things about the last tournament of the year.

“As for the tournament, I think that I did about all that I could do. You have to look at your decisions over the day and ask yourself if you left anything on the table. For me, this week, I didn’t. I just wasn’t able to get it done.”

—Kevin VanDam

Day 2, KVD jumps up the standings, can't shake Reese -- 10-3

Skeet Reese couldn’t wipe the smile off of his face as he walked behind the weigh-in stage to do interviews with reporters. After his second straight limit, he sits only one spot behind Kevin VanDam — and Reese said he can taste the AOY victory.

Kevin and Skeet will move into the top 50 saturday, and the fun continues…

KVD not making ground on Reese

Despite a fast start in Florida, the afternoon bite was not Strong, and Kevin missed out on an opportunity to gain ground in the race for AOY. Kevin broke some equipment on what could’ve been the fish to vault him into the lead, details to come.

AOY standings:
1 Skeet Reese CA 2579
2 Kevin VanDam MI 2472
3 Jared Lintner CA 2276
4 Steve Kennedy AL 2178
5 Terry Scroggins FL 2166

“When it really gets tough out there I just pop a Gatorade and think about the 10-pounder that could come on the next cast.”

Day 1 AOY reporting from Kissimmee

Both KVD and Skeet Reese reach their limit early in the day on day 1:

8:20 a.m. ET
VanDam, with four other Elite anglers within 100 yards, catches second keeper, about 2 pounds. Scott Rook, Casey Ashley, Davy Hite and Kevin Wirth are all fishing the same area as VanDam.

8:38 a.m. ET

VanDam catches third keeper, little more than a pound. As far as baits, VanDam is throwing the “kitchen sink.”

9:07 a.m. ET
VanDam catches fifth keeper, about 2 1/2 pounds for an estimated total of about 8 to 9 pounds.

9:10 a.m. ET

Reese has filled his limit and has approximately 8 pounds.

10:20 a.m. ET
VanDam moves from Lake Toho to Lake Tiger. KVD hasn’t caught a fish since the 9 o’clock hour. He has changed tactics to flipping and pitching heavy vegetation.

1:10 p.m. ET
Reese has not caught any keepers in the past two hours as the bite has slowed tremendously. He is making his way back into Lake Toho.

1:15 p.m. ET
Kevin VanDam culled his second fish around 12:40 p.m. Ten minutes later, he snapped his flipping stick in two trying to pull a nice fish from the bull rushes. He is estimated to have around 10 pounds.

2:15 p.m. ET
Kevin VanDam has not caught a fish since the last report, but he did move back to the area where he began the morning. There are a few clouds and little wind. When KVD broke his flipping stick trying to land a nice-size bass from the bull rushes an hour earlier, he suffered puncture wounds on the back of his left hand and forearm. The wounds continued to bleed. VanDam is almost done for the day as his check-in is at 2:50.

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2007 Elite Series - Sunshine Showdown
Lake Tohopekaliga, Kissimmee, Florida
Sep 13 - Sep 16, 2007


Ben Matsubu - 66-8
William Smith - 52-7
Brent Chapman - 52-5
Glenn Delong - 50-9
Scott Rook - 41-9
Jon Bondy - 41-1
Aaron Martens - 40-14
James Niggemeyer - 40-8
Bradley Hallman - 40-7
Cliff Pace - 40-4
Terry Scroggins - 36-10
Mike Wurm - 35-14
Skeet Reese - 29-3
Kevin VanDAm - 26-5

History & Notes;

2007 Tourney
Big Bass
Day 2: Jon Bondy 7-15
Day 3: James Niggemeyer 7-15
Day 4: Ben Matsubu 8-13

  • In 1977, Lake Tohopekaliga hosted the seventh Bassmaster Classic. Rick Clunn won the tournament with a then-Classic record low weight of 27 pounds, 7 ounces. It was the second of Clunn’s four Classic championships, making the only angler to win fishing’s most prestigious event twice in a row.
  • In 2006, BASS came back for its second Toho Classic. Rick Clunn was there, making his 30th Classic appearance, but things had really changed, including the fishing. Although Clunn caught a largemouth weighing better than 10 pounds and was in contention early, Luke Clausen won the championship with 56 pounds, 2 ounces, a new Classic record.
  • Preston Clark set a new record for biggest bass in the Classic in 2006 when he caught an 11-pound, 10-ounce largemouth that eclipsed Ricky Green’s 1976 lunker by more than 3 pounds. Before the 2006 Classic was over, all five of the biggest bass in Classic history came from Toho.
  • In addition to big individual bass, the 2006 Toho Classic also produced the five biggest 5-bass catches in the tournament’s history, topped by Luke Clausen’s 29-6 on Day 1.