2007 Sooner Run
As much as fourteen inches of rain pounded areas of southeast Kansas and southwest Missouri in the days leading up to the Sooner Run. This is leaving high and muddy waters for the Elite Series anglers to deal with heading into the tourney this weekend. Expect the unexpected.
Audio Updates from KVDs championship run now posted
Check out the KVD audio gallery to hear how Kevin fished his way to the top on the Sooner Run. Click Here to get the scoop from KVD.
A KevinVanDam.com exclusive.
KVD wins the Sooner Run! - 18-12
KVD weighed in with 18 pounds, 12 ounces on a rainy Sunday on Grand Lake to overtake Oklahoma’s Jeff Kriet in the Bassmaster Elite Series Sooner Run. KVD, who led the first two days, finished with 78-2. Kriet, who managed only 14-8 on Sunday, had 74-5. Edwin Evers made a run on Sunday with 22-0 but was a distant third at 73-7.
This is Kevin’s 2nd Elite Series win this season and puts him back on top of the Angler of the Year standings.
“I was confident that crankbait would hold up,” VanDam said. “I made a decision before the tournament ever started that I was going to crank from start to finish and not get caught up in slowing down and trying to finesse fish.”
“There are two ways to catch them when they are inactive. You’ve got to fish real slow and throw finesse-type baits, or you’ve got to trigger them with a reaction bait. That’s just my style anyway.”
VanDam said he hit as many as 30 main lake and secondary points Sunday. When he found a fish or two that he could entice to bite, he continued to pound that point.
“I’d really work it thoroughly,” VanDam said. “A lot of times I’d make the same cast 30 or 40 times, then bam, I’d catch one. You had to make the fish react.”
KVD Keys to Success - day 4
1. Specific Technique: Run and gun on main lake points, really digging the crankbait on the rocks
2. Primary Bait: Strike King Series Five and Six in Sexy Shad color
3. Area of the Lake: Mid-lake down to Duck Creek
Kriet edges KVD, day 3 -- 16-3
“After every (PGA) golf tournament, what does everybody say?” asked Jeff Kriet, who then answered his own question by adding, “What did Tiger shoot?”
“After every fishing tournament, it’s what did VanDam catch?”
The anglers near the top of the standings all had a day down from where they had been prior to Saturday. KVD fell off his 20+ pound bag limit and caught a 16-3 haul. That allowed Jeff Kriet (with a tourney best 24-11 pound bag) to jump up from 8th and grab the top spot by just a few ounces. Kevin is in 2nd, and in the final 12 anglers heading into Sunday. Stay tuned, it’s going to be a tight finish.
“The fish definitely changed as they related to the structure today,” said VanDam. “It was 10 o’clock or so before I caught a limit.
“Typically, we want days like this during this time of year. But because of the water clarity here. It hurt today.”
About tomorrow – specifically, what will win the tournament – he said: “It’s whoever adapts to the changes. Today Kriet did the best job of that. Whoever catches the big bag tomorrow is going to win.
“I don’t have anything (saved) – just my attitude,” he added. “It’s hard to get yourself in position to win. I’m not going to let it slide by easy.”
KVD keeps his grip on the #1 spot, day 2.
“What we’re doing right now, we call putting a smack-down on them.”
Kevin maintains his grip on first place after Friday’s day 2 of fishing on Grand Lake in Oklahoma. In the process KVD has certainly moved back to the top of the Angler of the Year race, as Skeet Reese failed to make the top 50 cut moving into Saturday.
Kevin pulled in another 21 pound bag on Friday for a 2 day total of 43-3, and nearly a 3 pound lead on the field heading into Saturday. Kevin had some luck with a school of fish right on the surface, but for the most part VanDam and every other contender is concentrating on rocky points at depths of four to 15 feet where gizzard shad are bunched, seemingly pushed there by the wind. Early morning rain and cloudy skies have greeted the anglers heading into day 3, just the kind of weather KVD likes to up his total and keep his hold on 1st place.
“This lake is set up for the way I like to fish,” VanDam said. “But it’s such a timing thing. You’ve got to be at the right place at the right time.”
“It feels great (to lead), but it’ a chore to catch them,” he said. “There’s a lot of time in between bites. It can happen fast, but it also can take a long time.
“When you get into them, you can get into them, but it can take a long time to find that again. I’ve been fortunate to get into groups of fish like that a couple of times, but there’s no guarantee I can do it again. The way I’m fishing is conducive to that though, because what I’m looking for is where they’re coming up to feed.”
About whether he thinks he can hold the lead tomorrow, he said: “It usually gets tougher as the tournament goes on, but I hope some of the other guys are getting some of the same spectator traffic I am. It makes it challenging, no doubt.
“At my first stop this morning, I had 53 boats following me. Overall they’re real courteous. They’re just definitely excited to be out there. This area has got a bunch of fishing fans, obviously. But it isn’t easy when you have that many. And a couple places I caught them on, a half-hour later people were there fishing. It only takes a few to mess it up.”
KVD charges to the top, day 1 -- 21-11
Kevin set out on a very full lake in Oklahoma and came back leading the field with a 21-11 bag for the day. Several other familiar names are not far behind, but Kevin led the way on day 1. The lake was flooded and cloudy to begin the tournament, but is quickly clearing up.
“At full pool, like this lake is now, there is so much bait here,” said VanDam, who started out flipping the flooded willow trees, then used a spinnerbait and a buzzbait to help put him over 21 pounds. “And this lake is clearing up. That’s helping some guys and hurting others.”
“I think a lot of the guys thought they were going to catch them pretty good. The lake’s flooded, and it’s dirtier than last year, so the bite’s been a lot better. I expected the weights to be up, actually.”
“I’m just kind of hunting around here and there. I found a couple of little areas that had some fish on them, but it’s just a lot of hard work right now – especially to catch a good fish. I really didn’t expect to catch what I caught. You always hope, but I didn’t know.”
About how his fish changed, he said: “They changed a lot for me today – I didn’t catch them where I thought I was going to catch them. They quit dropping the water and the lake stabilized a lot. I think those fish are feeling a lot more comfortable about being in shallow water. There’s so many flooded willows, a lot of the fish are really happy.”
Kevin VanDam - 78-2
Jeff Kriet - 74-5
Edwin Ever - 73-7
Kevin Short - 72-7
Kelly Jordan - 70-11
Davy Hite - 70-11
Marty Robinson - 69-0
Boyd Ducket - 67-14
Timmy Horton - 67-6
Matt Reed - 66-15
Mike Mcclelland - 66-14
Terry Scroggins - 65-15
History & Notes;
2007 Sooner Run
day 1: Aaron Martens — 5-14
day 2: Davy Hite — 6-4
day 3: Kevin Short — 6-2
day 4: Edwin Evers — 5-13
- Grand Lake O’ The Cherokees was created in 1940 with the completion of Pensacola Dam. It covers 46,500 surface acres and has 1,300 miles of shoreline.
- Grand Lake is one of only two major lakes in the state where residents can own lakefront property on the water’s edge, making it a popular location among dock fishermen.