Kevin VanDam Wins BassMaster Elite on Toledo Bend
In a wire-to-wire victory, Kevin VanDam of Kalamazoo, Michigan proved again why he's the best in the fishing world, as he socked away his 21st B.A.S.S. win and the $100,000 grand prize in the BassMaster Elite Series at Toledo Bend with a solid, near 10 pound defeat over the rest of the field.
His first day limit of 5 bass weighing 29-5, proved to be the tournament's heaviest bag and too much for the other talented anglers to overcome. He followed that with limits weighing 20-11 on Day 2, 24-12 on Day 3 and his final day's limit weighing in a solid 21-6.
VanDam's total weight for the tournament was 20 bass weighing 96-2, just short of a 5 pound average, easily proving that Toledo Bend is still the Nation's #1 Bass Fishery. In the mix of those 20 bass, VanDam had the largest bass of Day 1 weighing 8-5 and the largest bass of the tournament, which he caught on Day 3 weighing 8-11.
The tournament wasn't without it's share of drama as on Day 3, VanDam looked as though his pattern was falling apart due to the sheer volume of onlookers he'd attracted. It was really late in the afternoon and he was still one fish short of his 5 fish limit. But his persistence paid off with a 5 pounder and kept him atop the leader board.
Chris Lane of Guntersville, Alabama and winner of the 2012 BassMaster Classic on Red River, also provided some drama as he continued to nip at VanDam's heels with a top water bite that just wouldn't stop. However, his daily weights of 23-14, 23-15, 21-3 and 19-7 for a total of 88-7 just couldn't overcome the huge first bag that VanDam weighed.
Congrats to all the Top 10 finishers as follows:
- Kevin VanDam - 96-2
- Chris Lane - 88-7
- Ish Monroe - 83-4
- Keith Combs - 82-11
- Paul Mueller - 81-12
- Hank Cherry, Jr. - 81-2
- Brett Hite - 79-14
- Andy Montgomery - 78-11
- Tommy Biffle - 75-9
- Edwin Evers - 71-1
Thank you guys for coming to Toledo Bend and showing the rest of the world just how good we've got it down here!