2013 Elite Series Alabama River Charge presented by Star brite
Home-field advantage is always questionable in a bass tournament, especially at this level. Often a new set of eyes finds an unexpected gold mine on any body of water. However, even local anglers like Matt Herren of Trussville, Ala., haven't seen the Alabama River like this, and it's not just due to the high flow.
Current Angler of the Year Standings
AOY race heats up
Evers’ win in the Charge helped him beef up his lead in the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year points race. But instead of Kevin VanDam, now Skeet Reese is hot on Evers’ heals. The leader going into the Charge by just six points over VanDam, Evers now has a 25-point lead over Reese. VanDam trails Evers now by 37 points.
“We’re a long way from the end, nobody’s out of this AOY thing yet,” Evers said. “I’m just trying to finish each event as high as I can.”
Eight regular-season events determine the AOY winner. Pros earn points at each event according to their finishes, and the pro with the highest number of points is declared the winner of the title that Reese says is the most important to him in the sport of bass fishing.
Evers is after his first AOY title. VanDam has won it seven times. Reese was the AOY of 2007.
KVD day 3 AM report
KVD fishing on day 3 with hurt ribs
KVD takes a shot to the ribs from his boat's grab handle as he lands fish No. 1. It's a 3-pounder. He said it's worth it, but he is now fishing with hurting ribs.
KVD thoughts heading to day 3
"With 50 less boats out there, I think the weights will go up even more now," said Kevin VanDam, who, like clockwork, made his 25th straight Top 50 cut on the Elite Series. He moved up from 53rd place Thursday to 30th Friday.
"These spotted bass are definitely fickle. You've got to figure out the right casting angle."
As the flooded Alabama River gradually recedes, the spotted bass are relocating each day.
Day 2, Alabama River Charge
KVD thoughts after day 1
Because the Charge is the fifth of eight regular-season Elite events, the AOY race is heating up. Edwin Evers of Talala, Okla., seeking his first AOY title, led the points race going into the Charge. Seven-time AOY Kevin VanDam of Kalamazoo, Mich., was six points behind him. The 2007 AOY, Skeet Reese of Auburn, Calif., was third, trailing Evers by 14 points.
Reese and VanDam are reliving the AOY races of 2009 and 2010. Reese almost had both of those titles to add to his of 2007, but VanDam took them in the 11th hour — on the Alabama River during the postseason. With the postseason no longer determining the AOY winner, there are four events remaining in 2013 — including the Charge — for Reese and VanDam to settle old scores.
At fifth place, Evers fared the best on the opening day of the Charge. Reese was 26th with 15-4. VanDam was 53rd with 12-7.
“The current slowed down a little bit in the area I have,” VanDam said. “I expect to do a lot better tomorrow.”
KVD - day 1 - Alabama River Charge
KVD's thoughts going into the Alambama River Charge
Kevin VanDam sees this tournament shaping up the same way. "This is a great fishery and a lot of fish are going to be caught," said VanDam, the seven-time B.A.S.S. Angler of the Year. "Because of the current, it's going to make it a lot easier.
"After three days of practice, I think it will take 16-pounds a day to be fishing on Sunday (when the field is cut to the Top 12). And you could get there by catching spots or largemouth."
Angler of the Year standings heading into the Alabama River Charge
Edwin Evers - 75-13
1. 17-15, 2. 17-12, 3. 22-6, 4. 17-12
Brent Chapman - 74-1
1. 17-2, 2. 23-5, 3. 18-3, 4. 14-13
Stephen Kennedy - 72-5
1. 15-12, 2. 16-1, 3. 23-3, 4. 17-5
Alton Jones - 71-8
1. 16-6, 2. 20-4, 3. 17-4, 4. 17-10
John Murray - 65-7
1. 18-9, 2. 14-1, 3. 14-1, 4. 18-12
Tommy Biffle - 63-0
1. 11-9, 2. 16-6, 3. 17-10, 4. 17-7
Bobby Lane - 61-8
1. 17-15, 2. 16-4, 3. 16-13, 4. 10-8
Aaron Martens - 60-12
1. 15-15, 2. 12-5, 3. 18-12, 4. 13-12
David Walker - 60-2
1. 14-0, 2. 16-9, 3. 20-4, 4. 9-5
Paul Elias - 59-10
1. 18-4, 2. 16-1, 3. 10-4, 4. 15-1
Randy Howell - 55-8
1. 17-0, 2. 14-14, 3. 12-3, 4. 11-7
Skeet Reese - 52-0
1. 15-4, 2. 11-15, 3. 19-13, 4. 5-0
Kevin VanDam - 38-14
1. 12-7, 2. 14-5, 3. 12-2
History & Notes;
Day 1: Kelly Jordon, 6-4
Day 2: Brent Chapman, 5-11
Day 4: Tommy Biffle, 4-11