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2009 Elite Series - Battle on the Border

Preview

BASS’ history on Lake Amistad is a short but glorious one. Elite Series pros will be looking forward to this Battle on the Border. Ish Monroe won the first Elite Series event ever on Amistad in 2006 with an astounding 104 pounds, 8 ounces. That tournament not only kicked off BASS’ new tournament series with a bang but added Monroe and Fred Roumbanis to the 100-pound-club that previously was the exclusive province of Dean Rojas. A year later, four more Elite anglers joined the Century Club, including Derek Remitz, who won with 111-7.

High winds and rough water cut the 2008 event short by a day and prevented any 100-pound catches, but the century mark should be back within reach now.

Tour Review

KVD's thoughts on Amistad

Kevin VanDam weighed his fish and then exited the stage shaking his head.

He did this despite never falling below 11th place in the tournament. Such are the expectations of the highest-earning angler in BASS history.

For a man accustomed to coming out on top, finishing in eighth place wasn’t ideal, but VanDam was satisfied that he placed himself in good contention for another run at the TTBAOY title.

“For here, it wasn’t sexy, but I was consistent every day,” VanDam said. “I made the most of the pattern I was on in the areas that I was fishing.”

His fish management skills have put him on top in the past and according to VanDam, they kept him in the hunt this week with solid, if not spectacular, bags each day.

“The thing you have to do out here is manage the fish you are on,” VanDam said. “If you are on the fish to win, you have to go for it. I knew that I just didn’t have that, so I made sure to get what I needed each day and I was able to make each cut. With only eight tournaments this year, a good finish here is really important.”

Day 2 - holding steady

With the field being cut to only 50 anglers for Saturday’s field, Friday, for many, becomes an all-out blitz to ensure a paycheck. With weights being in near lockstep from 10th place on down after Thursday’s weigh-in, having a big kicker mixed in with four solid keepers on Friday may not only ensure survival to the weekend, but could put an angler into the thick of things on Sunday.

Anglers cautious but optimistic heading into day 2

It was another San Francisco morning on the Texas-Mexico border: 45-degree drizzle, low clouds, the mere rumor of sunlight filtering through the seamless grey.

Were it not for a bevy of trophy bass on Day One of the OPTIMA Batteries Battle on the Border, it would be hard to recognize this fishery as Lake Amistad. As anglers bemoaned the scarcity of mid-sized fish, and a cold front that delayed much of the impending spawn, a handful of them managed to haul in fish in the 7- to 9-pound range, or at least score a couple of healthy anchors.

“That’s the only difference between my bag and the 15-, 17-, 18-pound bags, is they caught a couple of 5-pounders,” said Cliff Pace, who sits squarely on the bubble for today’s cut, 50th place, with 13 pounds, 1 ounce.

Coats and hooded sweatshirts were de rigueur on a morning that saw temperatures in the low 40s.

Other anglers echoed that sentiment: They’re on fish, and maybe even the right fish, but with so few bites during the day, they can do little more than hope those bites are the right ones.

2009 Elite Series - Battle on the Border
Lake Amistad, Del Rio, Texas
Mar 12 - Mar 15, 2009

Leaderboard

1
Jason Williamson - 96-6
1. 16-12, 2. 11-1, 3. 33-13, 4. 34-12
2
Alton Jones - 87-15
1. 24-0, 2. 22-4, 3. 227, 4. 19-4
3
Jared Lintner - 76-10
1. 15-4, 2. 17-4, 3. 22-6, 4. 21-12
4
Stephen Browning - 75-8
1. 15-5, 2. 15-0, 3. 27-0, 4. 17-9
5
Gary Klein - 74-8
1. 25-4, 2. 29-3, 3. 12-6, 4. 17-11
6
Dean Rojas - 73-12
1. 12-15, 2. 15-15, 3. 29-5, 4. 15-9
7
Michael Iaconelli - 73-9
1. 27-9, 2. 15-15, 3. 16-10, 4. 13-10
8
Kevin VanDam - 68-12
1. 19-9, 2. 17-14, 3. 18-2, 4. 13-3
9
Boyd Duckett - 68-2
1. 21-10, 2. 25-5, 3. 12-9, 4. 8-2
10
Kevin Short - 66-15
1. 20-4, 2. 15-12, 3. 22-6, 4. 8-9
11
Kenyon Hill - 66-13
1. 15-0, 2. 19-7, 3. 26-14, 4. 5-8
12
Todd Faircloth - 66-5
1. 17-0, 2. 24-3, 3. 13-10, 4. 11-8

History & Notes;

Battle09 Big Bass
Day 1: Mike Iaconelli 12-13
Day 4: Jason Williamson 11-3

Weather Forecast:
Fri., March 13 – Mostly Cloudy – 48°/32°
> Wind: From the ENE at 9 mph

Sat., March 14 – Showers – 49°/34°
> Wind: From the NE at 7 mph

Sun., March 15 – Partly Cloudy – 59°/38°
> Wind: From the SSE at 6 mph