Classic Outdoor Show report from Kevin
Feb 20, 2009 - 12:02 PM (2:29)
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The official 3-day Bassmaster Classic pre-practice ended last night, and the early verdict is in: The Red River near Shreveport, La. is fishing even smaller than anyone expected.
The water has been stable and clearing for several weeks, the fish are in pre-spawn with some already spawning, and the field’s right on top of each other in traditional, predictable areas.
Water temps vary from the mid-50s to mid-60s, and judging by the weather forecast, it looks like that’s going to hold.
Feb 21, 2009 - 2:16 PM
Kevin stormed back with an impressive 19 pound bag on Saturday, but it wasn’t enough to overcome an off first day of fishing. Kevin will be watching as the top 25 take to the water on the final day. Quotes and reaction to come…
2PM – Kevin VanDam is six pounds out of the cut and he has 9-12 on three fish today. This seems like his kind of weather, and if he can add two more 3-pounders, who knows? If adds a 3 and a 5, he’ll fish Sunday. In other news Scott Rook and Boyd Duckett are also flirting with the cut. That’s right, Day One leader Boyd Duckett. This board has gone crazy today. That’s what’s great about a river — it gives and it takes away, which keeps things real interesting.
1PM – Early results have Kevin coming back strong on day 2, with a limit already of 9-12. These results are unofficial, but with much of the day still aheady, KVD is on the comeback trail.
11AM – KVD made a big change. He stayed in Pool 5 on Day One, but locked to Pool 4 on Day Two. He’s started his day with a 3-8 keeper. He’s fishing near Rook and Alton Jones.
Feb 20, 2009 - 11:58 PM
With two days left to fish, the leaderboard is far from set. But the most certain surprise to come out of Day One: Kevin VanDam, the two-time Classic champ and the reigning Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year, showed up with a 4-4 four-fish stringer that left him in 45th place.
“You’ve got to catch them every single day,” said VanDam, the first angler to weigh fish in the CenturyTel Arena. “I love to fish fast. I have to slow down.”
Kevin also reported that his boat hit an underwater stump and he subsequently hit the deck pretty hard. At first he thought he may have broken an arm. Luckily everything was OK and the fishing continued…
“I found a spot in practice the other day and decided to take a chance on it. (I wish now I hadn’t found it.) They were really in there and really biting. I though I could find them today even with the cooling water temperatures. Unfortunately, in the morning I just couldn’t make them bite, just couldn’t make it happen no matter what I did. I was the only one there, too. It wasn’t like I was fighting pressure.” — KVD
Feb 20, 2009 - 12:05 PM
2PM report: KVD is on the board. He just boated his first keeper. He has two hours left, which is plenty of time for him to make a big move. We’ll be watching this closely.
12PM: Early reports have KVD off the grid. He’s evidently trying out some remote areas with less traffic. Information coming as we receive it.
Kevin reported he didn’t find the pockets of fish he’d hoped for going through his practice rounds. This will be a tough tournament, but hard work will always pay off. Stay tuned…
Feb 20, 2009 - 9:25 AM
The 39th Classic is officially underway and for the next couple of hours every angler in the field is still full of hope that this event is theirs to win.
Of the 51 boats that took off this morning, 50 of them took a hard left and headed out to the main river. Rick Clunn, though, turned right and slipped toward the back of Port Lake near Cooley’s Lake. For those of you who follow these events, Cooley’s Lake is where Dean Rojas was DQ’d several years ago.
Feb 19, 2009 - 10:35 PM
Two-time Classic champ Kevin VanDam says he thought the winner this year would have to find some productive water all to themselves. He’s been searching for such a spot on the main river channel, of all places. “I’ve spent a lot of my time looking for it,” he says. “I haven’t found it. Not the winning thing. But I’ve seen enough to know it’s there.”
Bassfan’s pre tournament analysis puts KVD as the #1 angler to watch:
1. Kevin VanDam – He’s the greatest angler of the modern era, a two-time Classic winner, and the No. 1 ranked angler in the world. His last Classic victory was on a river (Pittsburgh, 2005). What sets VanDam apart as perhaps the clear favorite this week is his ability to work with and within crowds – both other competitors and spectators. The spinnerbait’s also going strong, which makes him look even better. Plus, he’s first boat out tomorrow.
Feb 19, 2009 - 3:04 PM
“After 18 years, I still love this sport more than anything. It’s in my blood.”
Growing up, KVD said, all he wanted to do was compete against the best in the sport. “I never dreamed,” he said, “I could make a living bass fishing.”
Feb 19, 2009 - 1:06 AM
“I just used today to try to expand some new stuff. I was really just trying to look at some places that are more obscure. It’s hard to reinvent the wheel here, so to speak. The fish are where they’re at for a reason. Location’s a big deal here, and I mean exact location.”
KVDs guess at the winning weight: “I’d hate to guess. I don’t think it’ll take nearly as much as the predictions have been.”
Feb 17, 2009 - 12:36 PM
Two-time Classic champion Kevin VanDam said he wants his career to be defined by AOY titles because they’re harder to win and prove more in his eyes, but admits that there’s no kind of attention like the attention focused on a Classic champion.
“There’s nothing like winning the Classic,“ VanDam said. “Without a doubt, it’s done more for my career than anything else.“
Feb 16, 2009 - 11:34 PM
Based on the weather, BassFan reports it’s likely that: