2013 Bassmaster Classic
Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees will host 53 of the world’s best anglers, Feb. 22-24, during the 2013 Bassmaster Classic. The anglers qualified through various routes: The roster consists of the reigning Bassmaster Classic champion, the Top 28 in Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year (AOY) points standings, winners of Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Open and Bassmaster Elite Series events, and winners of championship events in the B.A.S.S. Nation, the College Series and the Weekend Series.
Classic day 3 weigh in with the 'Super 6'
Sunday updates - Classic '13
We just followed Pace back across the lake where he pulled in less than a hundred yards behind KVD. That's confidence, although if he doesn't care for spectator boats it's an odd choice because he just doubled his problem.
Because Cliff Pace has run over this lake, the bass and the competition this week, it was easy to assume this morning that he’d catch a limit without much issue. Even with some evidence to the contrary (Pace himself saying he’s only getting a few bites), we thought it was a foregone conclusion.
Any thought that this might be an interesting race to the finish felt more like a pipe-dream and it usually included someone catching 25 pounds. It never included Pace not catching a limit and someone sneaking in to win with 19 pounds.
But let’s remember, this is the same lake that held a lot of the loaded Classic field to less than a limit on Saturday (18 anglers came in with less than a limit), including Kevin VanDam. Limits are tough to catch.
Jerkbaits are probably the dominant lure of this Classic, and they're quite evident today. If you grew up in the Ozarks, like Mike McClelland and Jason Christie, you learned to throw suspending jerkbaits before suspending jerkbaits were manufactured. The original Rogues floated to the surface when they weren't being reeled.
About 40 years ago the best bass anglers in this region discovered that a suspending Smithwick Rogue was the go-to big bass lure in late winter and early spring. By drilling holes in them and filling the holes with lead, or wrapping lead wire around the hook shanks of the three trebles, they created a Rogue that could be reeled down into the middle of a cedar tree and just sit there, begging a bass to bite.
As Brent Chapman once said, "Sometimes you need to leave it long enough to eat a snack before you move it."
Jason Christie said Saturday that he's caught 95% of his fish this week on two jerkbaits - a Smithwick Rogue and a Smithwick Perfect 10 Rogue.
"My mentor, Bud Guthrie, was one of the main guys who developed (hand-altered Rogues)," Christie said. "But they make them now where they work right out of the box."
No one is eating a pack of crackers while a jerkbait suspends in a treetop this week. They're fishing them faster than that. But if you want to catch a big one, it's hard to fish a jerkbait too slow in the Ozarks.
KVD day 3 AM report
Day 2 weigh in
KVD day 2 morning update
Day 2: Saturday updates
As many as 70 spectator boats now following KVD's every move on day 2
11:30AM Unofficial Standings:
|1||Michael Iaconelli||10||33lbs 0oz||-||5||11lbs 8oz||6||12lbs 8oz||1||1lbs 0oz|
|2||Brandon Palaniuk||10||32lbs 3oz||13oz||5||15lbs 9oz||6||17lbs 1oz||1||1lbs 8oz|
|3||Cliff Pace||7||28lbs 8oz||4lbs 8oz||2||7lbs 0oz||2||7lbs 0oz||0||-|
|4||Kevin VanDam||9||28lbs 5oz||4lbs 11oz||4||8lbs 9oz||4||8lbs 9oz||0||-|
|5||Bobby Lane||10||28lbs 3oz||4lbs 13oz||5||12lbs 12oz||6||14lbs 8oz||1||1lbs 12oz|
|6||Hank Cherry||8||26lbs 11oz||6lbs 5oz||3||5lbs 12oz||3||5lbs 12oz||0||-|
|7||Jonathan Carter||9||25lbs 12oz||7lbs 4oz||4||7lbs 1oz||4||7lbs 1oz||0||-|
|8||Todd Faircloth||10||25lbs 5oz||7lbs 11oz||5||13lbs 0oz||8||17lbs 8oz||3||4lbs 8oz|
|9||Tracy Adams||7||23lbs 12oz||9lbs 4oz||2||4lbs 2oz||2||4lbs 2oz||0||-|
|10||Mike McClelland||8||22lbs 10oz||10lbs 6oz||3||4lbs 11oz||3||4lbs 11oz||0||-|
|11||Edwin Evers||7||21lbs 13oz||11lbs 3oz||2||5lbs 0oz||2||5lbs 0oz||0||-|
|12||Jason Christie||7||21lbs 12oz||11lbs 4oz||2||3lbs 0oz||2||3lbs 0oz||0||-|
|13||Ishama Monroe||8||21lbs 8oz||11lbs 8oz||3||9lbs 8oz||3||9lbs 8oz||0||-|
|Gerald Swindle||9||21lbs 8oz||11lbs 8oz||4||9lbs 12oz||5||11lbs 4oz||1||1lbs 8oz|
|15||Mark Davis||9||21lbs 7oz||11lbs 9oz||4||5lbs 12oz||4||5lbs 12oz||0||-|
KVD has moved a few hundred yards and brought his flotilla with him. The spot looks similar, but it has a little bit more wind pushing against it. Maybe that will help him generate bites.
KVD hasn't changed lures, but he's changing retrieve speeds and cadences on seemingly every cast. He's trying desperately to get these fish fired up. They seem to bite early and late, but then there's a lull.
Hank Cherry is fishing just a few hundred yards from KVD. We never saw him yesterday, but we were told he was nearby. None of this is meant to imply that either is infringing on the other, just that the best in the world are all likely to find the same sweet spots.
We just pulled up on KVD, right where we found him yesterday. It's much calmer, much sunnier, but his navy has grown to well over 30 boats. We're told that he's already boated three bass -- you snooze, you lose.
According to weather.com, it’s colder, but not colder his morning. Yesterday at this time it was 25 but feels like 17. This morning it’s 23 and feels like 23. Maybe it’s my extra layer, but it doesn’t feel like the cold is creeping its way toward your skin this morning. It’s quite pleasant.
If you missed any of the coverage last night, here’s a recap:
Find every photo you could ever want here.
Michael Iaconelli and Cliff Pace are tied for the lead, or as Mike Suchan would write: Keeping Pace with Ike.
Ken Duke wraps up Day One nicely with his 10 takeaways from Day One.
Trey Reid highlights former champions and the reigning AOY who struggled on Day One.
Chris Lane talks about his zero – he didn’t have a single bite.
Classic day 1 takeaways
• It was the first time that any day of the Bassmaster Classic has ended in a tie for first place. Three times the Day One lead was a single ounce — 1988 on the James River, 2000 on Lake Michigan and 2012 on the Red River. In those Classics, by the way, the angler with the slim lead ended up losing two times out of three.
• Day One on Grand was the coldest day in Classic history. When the boats launched, the temperature in nearby Grove, Okla., was a positively chilly 25. The previous record was a tie at 28 degrees — Day Three of the 2009 Classic on the Red River and Day One of the 2010 championship on Lay Lake.
• The average bass on the first day weighed 2.83 pounds. If it holds up for all three days, it’ll rank third best all-time. The Classic with the biggest average bass was in 1980 on New York’s St. Lawrence River (2.93 pounds).
• The average catch for an angler on Day One was 11.85 pounds. That’s pretty strong. In fact, it’s on a pace to be the fourth best in Classic history. The record is 12.43 pounds set in 2009 on the Red River.
• Co-leaders Michael Iaconelli and Cliff Pace are on a pace to tally 64 pounds, 8 ounces over three days. If that happens, it’ll be the second heaviest weight in the 5-bass-limit era of the Classic. Kevin VanDam set the record at 69-11 in 2011 on the Louisiana Delta.
• B.A.S.S. Nation qualifier Mark Pierce caught the day’s biggest bass, a 7-4 lunker. Nation anglers have had daily big bass many times before, but today marked the first time since Tennessee’s Michael Holt did it in 2001.
• Maine’s Jonathan Carter is the leading Nation angler so far. He’s an impressive seventh after the first round and just 2-13 off the pace. He appears a cinch to post the best Classic finish since Brandon Palaniuk was fourth two years ago.
• Two of the three Oklahomans in this Classic fared pretty well on Day One. Jason Christie is in sixth place, 2-12 behind the leaders. Edwin Evers ranks 10th, 4-11 back. The third, Tommy Biffle, is 27th,more than 9 pounds behind Iaconelli and Pace. Biffle’s chances of a home state title are rapidly evaporating, but Christie and Evers are very much in the mix.
• The Classic woes of Randy Howell and Ish Monroe continue. They’ve both been to lots of Classics, but don’t have great track records. In 10 previous tries, Howell’s best finish is 11th (1999). And in seven previous appearances, Monroe’s best finish is 14th (2007). They’re currently 17th and tied for 27th, respectively, but they still have at least one more day to move up.
Day 1 Weigh In
KVD on day 1, Bassmaster Classic 2013
Classic 2013 day 1 updates
We just came back into the area where we started on KVD. He's still there. Overstreet: "He's gonna Beeswax Creek these suckers."
We left Christie and his army and have been trying to keep pace with KVD. He's fishing much the same stuff as Christie - main-lake points and shallow pockets - with the same success. As opposed to McClelland, VanDam and Christie are working their jerkbaits fast and haven't dipped far into creeks and deeper pockets. Not surprisingly, VanDam is throwing a jerkbait, too.
KVD has culled up to 20 pound even to take a 2-plus-pound lead over second-place Tracy Adams. Ike and Christie remained tied at 17-8. Hank Cherry is fifth at 16-11, then Jonathan Carter at 16, Cliff Pace at 15-14 and Mike McClelland landed a 4 ½ to jump to seventh.
While the 20 anglers who are shown with more than 10 pounds on BASSTrakk are in the hunt, who are the surprises at the lower end?
They say you can’t win the Classic on the first day, but you can sure as heck lose it. Ok, that cliché is getting old, but it remains true.
Now, BASSTrakk weights are unofficial, and the technology could have connectivity, battery and user issues, so take this with a grain of salt: Who won’t be winning the Classic?
Now there’s still some fishing time to make a move up, but the stunners at the bottom of the standings include Gerald Swindle with only one 2-6 fish. G-Man is the last shown angler at 46th, so seven others haven’t caught a fish. Either that or they dropped their BASSTrakk device in the water.
That includes defending Classic champ Chris Lane. He’s not on the board. What up?
Aaron Martens probably won’t be finishing second again, what with his two fish for 4-0. He’s 43rd. Skeet Reese, a Classic champ, won’t be getting a bookend as he has two for 5-10.
Now there’s still time, and their reports might not have come in, but taken on BASSTrakk’s face value, they’ll be plenty of anglers with no chance after the day is done, especially considering KVD is at top.
KVD is fishing a stretch that's less than 100 yards long, but he's keying on a couple of sweet spots, casting at them over and over with the same lure. He finally hooked up and gingerly played it to the boat. It wasn't big, but after a session with the measuring board he slipped it in the livewell. Now he's back to bombing long casts.
KVD's day 1 plan
Wednesday, 2-20 updates
VanDam just spent some time on the deck of his Nitro rearranging his rods and getting some spinning gear out. It’s getting close to cold enough to make rod guides freeze, which might have prompted him to switch. He’s still moving in and around Duck Creek hitting docks and rocky outcroppings. We’re picking it up and moving just outside of Duck. The snow is falling more steadily now.
We're watching KVD now. Unlike some of the others, his body language is the same as it would be if it was 50, 70 or 90 degrees. It's snowing and he's a model of comfort, making extra-long casts.
Classic weekend weather forecast
Thursday's weather forecast isn't much better than today's. But no one will be going to the lake; it's media day in Tulsa.
The latest forecast for the three-day tournament is as follows:
Friday: High 37, low 20, 0% precipitation possibility, NW winds at 8 mph;
Saturday: High 48, low 25, 10% precip., S winds at 3 mph;
Sunday: High 65; low 34, 0% precip., SSE winds at 16.
The air will be chilly most days, but the roads between Grand Lake and Tulsa should be clear, although Friday's takeoff could be a bit dicey.
Cliff Pace - 54-12
1. 21-8, 2. 21-12, 3. 11-8
Brandon Palaniuk - 51-8
1. 16-10, 2. 19-10, 3. 15-4
Hank Cherry - 49-0
1. 20-15, 2. 10-13, 3. 17-4
Mike Iaconelli - 48-5
1. 21-8, 2. 13-11, 3. 13-2
Mike McClelland - 17-15
1. 17-15, 2. 9-8, 3. 17-14
Tracy Adams - 45-2
1. 19-10, 2. 9-12, 3. 15-12
Jason Christie - 43-5
1. 15-11, 2. 12-9, 3. 12-0
Kevin VanDam - 41-11
1. 19-12, 2. 11-2, 3. 10-13
Todd Faircloth - 41-5
1. 12-5, 2. 14-2, 3. 14-14
Randy Howell - 41-15
1. 14-15, 2. 11-6, 3. 14-15
Ott Defoe - 41-4
1. 16-2, 2. 10-10, 3. 13-10
Shaw E Grigsby - 40-0
1. 15-15, 2. 13-9, 3. 10-8
Greg Hackney - 39-10
1. 14-14, 2. 12-7, 3. 12-5
Dean Rojas - 39-2
1. 13-0, 2. 15-7, 3. 10-11
Bobby Lane - 38-12
1. 15-7, 2. 13-8, 3. 9-13
History & Notes;
Day 1: Mark Pierce, 7-4
Day 2: Cliff Pace, 7-2
Day 3: Jason Christie, 6-3