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2008 Elite Series - Pride of Georgia


The Elite Series gets back to cooler air and water in Georgia. Don’t expect the huge bags that were seen in Texas a few weeks back, but any angler will have to average 20 pound bags nonetheless to take this tourney.

Tour Review

KVDs thoughts on the final day

“I knew that I could catch a good stringer today if we had wind or clouds, and we didn’t have either,” he said. “These fish really bite if you get wind, but they’ve been kind of finicky all week. You can fish a point for an hour and then drive up there and you’ll see four of five fish just sitting there. It’s really frustrating.”

“I was fishing that Zero fast right up near the top, kind of like a topwater. These fish are so conditioned to those big topwater baits I just wanted to do something different.”

“My best bait was really a Strike King RedEye shad. I’d throw it up on those points and just rip it up and let it fall. You couldn’t let them get a good look at it. These fish know the difference between what’s real and what’s not.”

“The big problem for me today was the lack of wind,” VanDam suggested. “It was everything you don’t want if you expect to have a good fishing day at Clarks Hill. With clouds or some wind, I really felt like I could catch them pretty well. I didn’t have either of those today so it just turned into a real grind.”

KVD explained that due to the primary forage base of Blue Herring, the lake fishes a lot differently than most others that the Elites encounter. “The fish here at Clarks Hill are really finicky which can be awfully frustrating. You can’t let them have too good of a look at the bait. But the tough thing today really was the conditions. It’s pure torture for me to try and sit up there with a drop shot hoping for a bite. All week I was trying to trigger a reaction strike. “I’m fishing to win every week, and the best way I know to do that is to cover water.”

“*Sherry, Jackson and Nicholas, and I will be going to New York City next week to be on the Fox & Friends show on Saturday morning*. Bass Pro Shops has been asking me to it for a while, and Mother’s Day weekend is when it works out. Where going to sort of make a mini-vaction out of it.”

Day 4 - KVD up to 4th

Kevin moved even further up the standings on day 4, getting all the way to 4th place. One more day and he might have had it. Kenyon Hill took in the largest bag of the day however and moved into first for the win. More coverage to come…

Day 3 KVD storms into the top 12

“Our (Elite Series) field is full of great anglers,” VanDam said, “and I guess the cream rises to the top.”

KVD said the cloud cover Saturday allowed him to rely on his strength — power fishing — and moved from 23rd to eighth with 41-10.

“I’ve had quite a few days on this lake, all in practice, when I’ve caught 25-pound bags,” VanDam said. “It can happen real quick here.

“This lake has the potential. You just need to get a couple of those real big bites.”

Day 1 veterans push

Several tour veterans jumped up to the top of the standings after day 1 with Denny Brauer leading the way. The weights were down in a big way compared to the Texas events, but most of the field is staying in contention heading into day 2.

What a difference from Texas, man.“ — Mike Iaconelli, 85th place

2008 Elite Series - Pride of Georgia
Clarks Hill Lake, Evans, Georgia
May 1 - May 4, 2008


Kenyon Hill - 68-0
1. 17-0, 2. 14-13, 3. 18-1, 4. 18-2
Davy Hite - 59-8
1. 18-15, 2. 9-2, 3. 18-14, 4. 12-9
Edwin Evers - 57-1
1. 15-1, 2. 18-13, 3. 17-3, 4. 6-0
Kevin VanDam - 55-1
1. 13-7, 2. 11-6, 3. 16-13, 4. 13-7
Casey Ashley - 54-10
1. 12-3, 2. 16-12, 3. 13-5, 4. 12-6
Timmy Horton - 54-2
1. 9-1, 2. 17-11, 3. 15-15, 4. 11-7
Todd Faircloth - 53-15
1. 10-6, 2. 13-7, 3. 17-2, 4. 13-0
Peter E Thliveros - 53-11
1. 12-2, 2. 15-5, 3. 16-13, 4. 9-7
Skeet Reese - 53-6
1. 12-3, 2. 15-13, 3. 14-7, 4. 11-9
Denny Brauer - 52-4
1. 22-0, 2. 9-12, 3. 9-9, 4. 10-15
Alton Jones - 49-3
1. 16-12, 2. 13-9, 3. 10-10, 4. 8-4
David Smith - 48-9
1. 17-4, 2. 12-11, 3. 10-13, 4. 7-13

History & Notes;

Big Bass
Day 1 David Smith 7-1
Day 2 Edwin Evers 6-07
Day 3 Edwin Evers 5-14
Day 4 Kenyon HIll 7-1

In 2007, Mike McClelland became the first angler to win two Elite events. He used a jig to work shallow clay points with scattered patches of rock and catch 70 pounds, 7 ounces of bass over four days. A year earlier, Davy Hite used a jig to catch almost the same weight on his way to victory. With the Pride of Georgia tournament coming up at about the same time in 2008, jigs are likely to be in the mix once again.