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2011 Elite Series - Pride of Georgia

Preview

Once a largemouth factory, West Point is gradually being taken over by plump spotted bass, which tend to be easier to catch, but not quite as big as their largemouth cousins. In May, the bass on West Point should be in their summertime patterns, holding and feeding off main lake points and drops.

Tour Review

KVD met Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde at West Point

By the time the scales stopped spinning at West Point Lake, Kevin VanDam felt like he’d been sitting between Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde for four days on a west Georgia roller coaster ride.

KVD posted up and down daily limits ranging in weight from 23-pounds on Day 2 to 7-pounds on the final day.  In the end, he posted his third Top 12 in five events thus far this season, finishing this one in seventh place.

The man who virtually expects to win every time he launches his boat, made no excuses for coming up a little short at West Point.

“You gotta capitalize on the conditions every day, and I didn’t do that,” said VanDam in a matter of fact fashion.

“My best pattern throughout the week was throwing a Strike King Shadalicious swimbait around isolated stumps and laydowns in shallow water.  I rigged it with a 3/8-ounce Mustad swimbait hook, and threw it on 17-pound XPS fluorocarbon line with a Quantum 6.6:1 Tour KVD reel and a 7’ 2” TKVD medium heavy rod.  I like that particular reel with swimbaits because it helps me slow down to the perfect speed for that bait,” explained VanDam.

“I went out there to win today, but I didn’t have a single keeper at nearly 11:00 a.m., so I tried to pull off a last minute miracle with the square bill and my cranking system. I caught a fast limit with it, but not nearly enough weight,” said the 6-time Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year in humble fashion.

“This lake has been like Jekyll and Hyde,” he said in summation on the weigh-in stage before climbing into his Toyota Tundra and heading north five hours to Lake Murray with hopes of finding a reservoir with a consistently more congenial personality.

2011 Pride of Georgia day 4 report

7th: VanDam's Fish Dispersed

> Day 4: 4, 7-04 (19, 53-12)

VanDam said he had fewer spectator boats with him today than on day 3 (maybe 15 instead of 30), but conditions had changed.

"The lake came up a bunch overnight and in the areas I was fishing, I guess it scattered them out," he said. "I just couldn't get it going. I ran the same pattern I'd been running, but I wasn't catching anything – they were missing the bait or not eating it.

"I didn't have squat at mid-day, so I went shallow and cranked for the few that I caught."

His primary pattern was centered on isolated shoreline cover (wood, rocks or docks). He threw two Strike King baits – a Shadalicious and a Caffeine Shad.

KVD post Pride of Georgia 2011 tournament report

Pride of Georgia 2011 - on water with KVD

KVD in 2nd place heading into the final day

Kevin on day 3 - Pride of Georgia 2011

more day 2 notes

2nd: VanDam Timed it Right

> Day 2: 5, 23-10 (10, 37-03)

VanDam described his time on the water as "just an all-around great day."

"I was just real fortunate in my timing," he said. "I'd seen a few big ones in practice and I'd caught a couple, but I didn't know I could come up with a stringer like that. Everything fell into place.

"I made a few little changes, but not a lot. To be honest, I was really excited with what I caught the day before until I saw what the (best) weights were. Today I was really stunned and I could go out tomorrow and catch another good bag, or I might not catch much at all."

His sack was highlighted by a 6 1/4-pounder and he weighed only one fish under 3 pounds.

"I don't know what other people are really doing, but I'm doing what I think is the right thing based on the conditions and what I saw in practice. I was doing the right thing today, at least."

He hinted that he might even be doing a bit of bed-fishing.

"I've seen some, for sure."

Photo: B.A.S.S./Seigo Saito

Kevin VanDam's 23-10 sack was the best of the tournament thus far.

Day 2 - KVD makes a run

“Today I couldn’t do anything wrong.”

“Tomorrow I don’t know if I can get a bite.”

– Kevin VanDam

 

VanDam Covered Water 
After seeing his competitors weigh in huge limits of West Point bass on Day One, Kevin VanDam set out on Friday with the pedal to the floor looking to make a move up the leader board. With 23-10, he weighed the heaviest limit of the day, making his competitors take notice once again. 

Surprising even himself with the fish he was able to bring to the scales on Friday, VanDam keyed in on areas where he saw some larger bass on Thursday. “I saw a few big fish yesterday, and was really still getting to know the areas of the lake I was fishing,” said VanDam. “I didn’t really think it was going to be this good, I’m surprised that I’ve been able to catch these fish.”

Taking advantage of a small window of opportunity that developed during the day, VanDam was able to key in on a pattern and run it successfully throughout the lake. “I made some adjustments today and was able to get a few of those better bites,” said VanDam. 

“I had a pattern that I saw developing, and it was a short window with the wind and the clouds that came in to help me. When you see things like that happening you just have to take advantage of it,” he concluded.

Kevin vaults to 2nd place - day 2 Pride of Georgia

Pride of Georgia 2011 day 1 report

2011 Pride of Georgia - practice report 2, AOY shakeup?

2011 Pride of Georgia practice report

2011 Elite Series - Pride of Georgia
West Point Lake, LaGrange, Georgia
May 5 - May 8, 2011

Leaderboard

1
Stephen Kennedy - 64-14
1. 22-3, 2. 10-14, 3. 13-2, 4. 18-11
2
Edwin Evers - 62-13
1. 22-4, 2. 15-3, 3. 9-0, 4. 16-6
3
Ish Monroe - 61-3
1. 12-11, 2. 21-0, 3. 14-0, 4. 13-8
4
Jared Lintner - 60-5
1. 14-4, 2. 16-7, 3. 13-9, 4. 16-1
5
Nate Wellman - 56-9
1. 15-6, 2. 16-11, 3. 13-7, 4. 11-1
6
Alton Jones - 54-8
1. 13-14, 2. 17-15, 3. 9-15, 4. 12-12
7
Kevin VanDam - 53-12
1. 13-9, 2. 23-10, 3. 9-5, 4. 7-4
8
Bobby Lane - 53-2
1. 18-14, 2. 9-1, 3. 12-10, 4. 12-9
9
Andy Montgomery - 52-11
1. 15-11, 2. 17-11, 3. 12-0, 4. 7-5
10
Dennis Brauer - 51-9
1. 13-14, 2. 17-15, 3. 9-15, 4. 12-0
11
Arthur DeFoe - 49-15
1. 9-8, 2. 17-2, 3. 14-3, 4. 9-2
12
Bill Lowen - 43-12
1. 18-9, 2. 10-15, 3. 13-6, 4. -13

History & Notes;

AOY standings heading into the Pride of Georgia event:

1Alton JonesTX1,0962Terry ScrogginsFL1,0403Kevin VanDamMI9824Chris LaneFL9475Jeff KrietOK934

 

Big Bass

Day 1: Dustin Wilks - 7-8

Day 2: Scott Rook 6-8

Day 3: Scott Rook 6-8