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2010 Elite Series - Blue Ridge Brawl


This year’s Blue Ridge Brawl lands a week earlier on the calendar than last year. That timing, combined with the unusually cold winter, might nix a sight fishing tournament, VanDam said. And that, he pointed out, could be all for the good.

“A lot of fish in spawning mode don’t want to feed, don’t want to bite at all,” he said. “We saw a lot of that last year during the event. It was hard to get the fish to commit to a bait. So this year could be better if they’re pre-spawn, if they’re in a feeding pattern.”

VanDam said that even if the weather cooperated and triggered a spawn, he would not try to replicate his winning Smith Mountain Lake smallmouth pattern.

“Last year it was perfect timing for those smallmouth for me. For that to happen again, you’d have to be pretty lucky. Even if it were the same week, things change a lot year to year,” said VanDam, who earned his 15th BASS victory at the 2009 Brawl. He has since earned two more: No. 16 at the Postseason event when he took his fifth AOY crown; and No. 17 as 2010 Classic champ.

He is focused on another high finish at Smith Mountain Lake to help make up for his very un-VanDamlike finishes, a 29th and a 59th, at this season’s first two events in California. The slow start has him in 42nd place in the AOY points standings.

Tour Review

Blue Ridge Brawl day 3 quotes

KVD, the five-time and defending Bassmaster Angler of the Year, will not be fishing on the final day for the third consecutive tournament. His 11-2 stringer on Saturday left him with 41-10 for the tournament, good enough for 22nd place.
“I never really got any of these bigger fish to bite,” he said. “One or two bites can totally change your whole event, and I didn’t get those.”


“If I weigh five fish like these tomorrow, there’s going to be one heckuva party in Virgina.”
— Skeet Reese

“If you make the Top 12 you can’t fall very far.”
— Matt Reed

“I’m not much of a bed fisherman, but there’s a lot of fish up that river.”
— Guy Eaker

“I had one 5-pounder I spent probably 5 hours on during this tournament and never did catch him.”
— Terry Butcher

“I think I burned up 50 gallons of gas trying to catch a swimbait fish today.”
— Bryon Velvick

“Just making the cut felt like winning the tournament … sight fishing is just not my deal.”
— Derek Remitz

“I lost a fish so big today, I might as well went on and loaded the boat on the trailer, it messed me up all day.”
— Jeff Kriet

“I said if I made the cut, I would throw a swim bait from daylight to dusk out here today. And I caught 11-2 out here throwing a swim bait.”
— Byron Velvick

“I stuck with myt game plan, but 30-mph wind made it pretty tough.”
— Terry Scroggins

Brawl day 2 quotes

“I messed with this one fish so long I had to sit down and eat a sandwich, me and that fish both needed a break.” — Marty Stone

I’m ignoring all the GPS waypoints I saved in practice and fishing all new water.” — Aaron Martens

“This sight fishing deal is a head game and sometimes a train wreck.” — Britt Myers

“It’s a bad thing when you go down a bank and catch a couple little ole 2-pounders, then one of these 19- or 20-year-olds comes right behinds you and catches 4-pounders. I didn’t catch them because my old eyes didn’t see them.” — Mark Davis

“I finally caught me one of them big ole crack heads, today. I chased him around three pockets until he surrendered.” — Gerald Swindle

“I’ve wiped out every fish I had marked, I’ve got to find more fish.” — Greg Vinson

“You can watch it happen, make it happen or think what the heck just happened? Today I wondered what the heck just happened.” — Kevin Short

“They’re clones, all about 3 pounds. But I’ll take 15 pounds every day.” — Terry Scroggins

“If I’ve got to mix it up and not even look at the bank tomorrow, that’s what I’ll do.” — Bobby Lane, on whether he will continue to sight fish in changing conditions Saturday

Blue Ridge Brawl day 1 quotes

“Everybody keeps telling me who I’m fishing against, I just go out there and fish.” — Elite Series rookie Bradley Roy

“The easy fish probably got caught today and it will get tougher as the week moves along.” — Davy Hite

“It took me an hour to run where I was going this morning in that fog. It was nerve racking. — J. Todd Tucker

“Some of them were so easy to catch, I think you could throw a hot dog weenie in there and catch them.” — Jeremy Starks

“I wish you could catch them by just fishing, but it’s no secret, you’ve got to be looking at them.” — Derek Remitz

“I broke off so many jigs trying to catch this one fish, it looked like Christmas in there. I finally caught that 14-inch sucker and threw him back, just to show him who’s boss.” — Gerald Swindle

“Some of us are sight fishermen, others like me are just idiots looking at them.” — Clark Reehm

“The potential for a 25-pound sack is out there, it’s amazing how many 4 and 5-pounders you see on this lake.” — Skeet Reese

“A 4-pounder’s like gold out there right now.” — Todd Faircloth

2010 Elite Series - Blue Ridge Brawl
Smith Mountain Lake, Huddleston, Virginia
Apr 15 - Apr 18, 2010


Skeet Reese - 58-3
1. 17-9, 2. 18-13, 3. 21-13
Jason Williamson - 51-14
1. 22-9, 2. 14-2, 3. 15-3
Bobby Lane - 48-2
1. 21-7, 2. 13-9, 3. 13-2
Matt Reed - 47-11
1. 17-3, 2. 16-11, 3. 13-13
Dean Rojas - 47-0
1. 16-7, 2. 15-2, 3. 15-7
Edwin Evers - 46-15
1. 14-13, 2. 16-15, 3. 15-3
Terry Scroggins - 46-7
1. 19-13, 2. 15-5, 3. 11-5
Greg Hackney - 46-1
1. 15-13, 2. 13-13, 3. 16-7
Aaron Martens - 45-5
1. 18-6, 2. 15-8, 3. 11-7
Gerald Swindle - 45-2
1. 15-8, 2. 17-2, 3. 12-8
Marty Robinson - 44-15
1. 19-2, 2. 15-15, 3. 9-14
Ish Monroe - 44-13
1. 16-8, 2. 13-1, 3. 15-4
Kevin VanDam - 41-10
1. 14-12, 2. 14-3, 3. 12-11

History & Notes;

Big Bass
Day 1: Guy Eaker, Marty Robinson – 6-12
Day 3: Dave Wolak – 5-10