Live News:

Tour Tracker

2010 Elite Series - Sooner Run

Preview

Due to unsafe conditions on the Arkansas River, BASS announced a change in fisheries for the AutoZone Sooner Run, set for June 17-20. The competition will now be held on Fort Gibson Lake with weekend festivities and weigh-ins set for Muskogee, Okla.

With the change in tournament waters, anglers will have Wednesday, June 16, reserved for practice on Fort Gibson. The event will follow the typical Elite Series format with a full field fishing the first two days.

Tour Review

AOY points explanation

Below is a look at the Top 12 who’ll fish the post-season. For the post-season, BASS simplifies the points by moving the decimal one place to the left and rounding. It then adds 2 points for each event an angler won this season. The points below reflect those two adjustments. Note the two-way tie for 4th and the four-way tie for 9th. (For the record, Reese won two events, VanDam one, Biffle one and John Crews one).

1. Skeet Reese — Calif. — 216
2. Edwin Evers — Okla. — 201
3. Cliff Pace — Miss. — 187
4. Derek Remitz — Ala. — 185
4. Kevin VanDam — Mich. — 185
6. Terry Butcher — Okla. — 184
7. Tommy Biffle — Okla. — 182
8. John Crews — Va. — 181
9. Gary Klein — Texas — 177
9. Greg Hackney — La. — 177
9. Russ Lane — Ala. — 177
9. Aaron Martens — Ala. — 177

The post-season features two 2-day events, with points awarded on a sliding scale after each – 50 points for a win, 10 points for 12th. The chart looks like this:

1st — 50 points
2nd — 45 points
3rd — 40 points
4th — 36 points
5th — 32 points
6th — 28 points
7th — 25 points
8th — 22 points
9th — 19 points
10th — 16 points
11th — 13 points
12th — 10 points

As an example of just how tight the points actually are, if Reese finishes 5th in both events and Evers finishes 3rd in both, Evers would win AOY by a single point.

KVD's post tourney thoughts

The regular season is over. I’m sitting in 4th place in the Top 12 for the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year title. I’m OK with that. Of course, I’d rather be higher but overall I can’t complain. I’m in a position where winning is possible. That’s about as much as you can realistically ask for as a professional angler.

Fort Gibson was a good event for me. I was able to catch what I needed to stay in the hunt and move up a few places. Just as important — well, almost as important — it was a lot of fun. I don’t think I’ve ever been anywhere where the fans were more enthusiastic or more courteous. It was a real pleasure to fish there.

The fans followed us around and watched us fish but never crowded us, moved in on our spots or tried to catch our fish. They spent their time watching and learning how we picked their lake apart but never interfered with the way we were fishing. They’re great. I can’t say enough good about those guys.

I’ve been asked a lot about my season. I won the Classic, didn’t do as well as I wanted for a few tournaments early on and then moved up in the standings. A lot of our fans want to know what’s going on. That’s a fair question, but you might be surprised by the answer. There’s nothing earthshaking about it.

Here’s the deal: Sometimes things go your way and sometimes they don’t. I didn’t fish any different at any point this season. I fish every event to win. There were a few tournaments where I had things happen that hurt my final performance. That’s all there was to it, no big deal.

Bad breaks — lost fish, equipment malfunctions — happen to all of us. It’s how you handle them that counts. I’m fishing as well as I ever have right now. That’s what’s important. Professionals have to be at their best during the stretch run.

With that in mind I’m really looking forward to Alabama. Lake Jordan and the Alabama River are two great fisheries, perfect for postseason competition.

KVD's take

It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.“ — Kevin VanDam

Day 2 KVD, AOY update

Riding a wave of momentum, Kevin VanDam moved up to third with 34-9. VanDam is getting warm at the right time and the surge has him climbing up the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year standings. Just two weeks ago, pundits were wondering if there was something amiss with VanDam but the Kalamazoo, Mich., pro lurks as an intimidating threat for his third consecutive AOY.

VanDam isn’t sure he can catch Biffle — heck, no one was — but he was satisfied with his tournament thus far.

“I’m not in an area that has a ton of big fish but I know what I can catch there,” said VanDam, a five-time Angler of the Year. “The key for me is that you want to be fishing your best heading into the Postseason. And I feel like I am right now.”

Moving up to fourth and thus virtually sealing a postseason birth was Cliff Pace of Petal, Miss., with 34-3. Dropping from second to fifth was Russ Lane of Prattville, Ala., with 34-0.

Only the top 47 anglers move on to Saturday, the penultimate day of competition. Included in the qualifiers were AOY leader Skeet Reese and his closest competition, Edwin Evers . Reese has reversed a mini-slump this week and sits in ninth here. That performance and a mediocre 38th-place showing by Evers has Reese ahead in the AOY rankings by a comfortable margin.

The last time BASS visited Ft. Gibson was in October 2008 for the now-defunct 2008 BASS Club World Championship.

2010 Elite Series - Sooner Run
Arkansas, Muskogee, Oklahoma
Jun 17 - Jun 20, 2010

Leaderboard

1
Tommy Biffle - 73-11
1. 19-11, 2. 18-9, 3. 17-4, 4. 18-3
2
Skeet Reese - 70-15
1. 15-11, 2. 17-5, 3. 19-15, 4. 18-0
3
Pat Golden - 710-8
1. 18-15, 2. 17-0, 3. 18-13, 4. 15-12
4
Matt Herren - 69-1
1. 18-3, 2. 14-13, 3. 19-9, 4. 16-8
5
Rick Morris - 67-6
1. 15-0, 2. 18-6, 3. 20-0, 4. 14-0
6
Kevin VanDam - 67-6
1. 17-10, 2. 16-15, 3. 18-2, 4. 14-11
7
Cliff Pace - 66-0
1. 14-4, 2. 19-15, 3. 16-14, 4. 14-15
8
Russ Lane - 65-10
1. 19-10, 2. 14-6, 3. 15-11, 4. 15-15
9
Mike McClelland - 62-8
1. 19-8, 2. 13-5, 3. 15-7, 4. 14-4
10
Gary Klein - 60-10
1. 16-0, 2. 17-10, 3. 17-1, 4. 9-15
11
Davy Hite - 59-2
1. 16-5, 2. 16-7, 3. 14-4, 4. 12-2
12
Boyd Ducket - 58-13
1. 16-9, 2. 14-4, 3. 18-5, 4. 9-11

History & Notes;

Big Bass
Day 2: Kevin Short 6-1
Day 3: Rick Morris 6-10
Day 4: Russ Lane 5-6