Kevin VanDam Keeps Lead on Day Three of 2016 Elite Series Toledo Bend

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2016 Bassmaster Elite Series Toledo Bend Day Three Leader Kevin VanDam - photo by Seigo Saito - Bassmaster

2016 Bassmaster Elite Series Toledo Bend Day Three Leader Kevin VanDam – photo by Seigo Saito – Bassmaster

MANY, La. — Kevin VanDam continued his charge toward a possible wire-to-wire victory in the A.R.E. Truck Caps Bassmaster Elite at Toledo Bend with a Saturday catch of 24 pounds, 12 ounces that pushed his four-day total to 74-12.

But he said to make no mistake: The fishing has definitely gotten tougher.

“It was one of the toughest days I’ve ever had on the water — absolutely brutal,” said VanDam, who is vying for his record 21st career B.A.S.S. victory. “I only caught five fish all day, and the last one came very late.”

As other anglers in the Top 5 started fast, VanDam only had one fish that weighed just under 5 pounds by 10:30 a.m. But then he worked the same deep-diving crankbait magic he worked the first two days, landing a giant largemouth that tipped the scales at 8-11.

It was 2 p.m. before he landed his third and fourth keepers — one that weighed 2-plus pounds and one that weighed just over 3. Then just when he seemed destined to come in one shy of a five-bass limit, he caught a 5-pounder on his final stop with only minutes remaining.

The superstar pro from Kalamazoo, Mich., said he wasn’t really sure what made the fishing so much slower than it was on Thursday and Friday.

“I don’t know if it was pressure or if it was because there was no current and no wind,” he said. “There were a lot of people fishing, and I saw a lot of them out there who watched me yesterday.”

The fans have been out in force for this week’s tournament, which is taking place on a fishery that was ranked No. 1 on the most recent list of America’s Top 100 Bass Lakes by Bassmaster magazine. While he appreciates the fanfare, VanDam said it can make things tougher sometimes.

“It’s pretty hard to duplicate water when I have as many people around me as I do,” he said. “Somebody told me I had 40 boats following me at one time. So it’s pretty noisy out there.”

“I know I’m fishing the way I need to fish to catch a really big sack. So we’ll see what the weather does and just see what happens.”

VanDam almost doubled his lead over second-place angler Chris Lane, but Lane seems to be on a solid big-fish pattern as well.

The veteran Alabama pro, who has won seven career B.A.S.S. events, caught a good limit early Saturday and slowly upgraded throughout the day to bring in 21-3. He used a couple of different topwater baits from start to finish.

“I had a pretty bag early, but I knew I still had three fish that I needed to cull out,” Lane said. “I ran some new water today, fishing some stuff that I was just checking. There was some stuff I wanted to fish on one side of the lake before I ran to the other side.”

Lane caught his early limit on a walking bait and then switched to a buzzing lure later in the day. He said he stuck with the second bait because it usually gets better as the day goes along.

“The bite for that bait really doesn’t start until around 10:30,” Lane said. “To me, when you’re topwater fishing, the biggest ones you’ll catch will usually be around 1 o’clock when the sun gets as high as it will get.

“I’m fishing topwater all day long.”

With a gap of 5-12 to make up, Lane said he’ll need to catch 6-pounders Sunday instead of the 4-pounders that have been so common for him this week.

“The mountain just got a little higher because of what Kevin caught today,” he said. “I’m just going to put the hammer down and try to bust a giant bag and make him earn it.”

California pro Ish Monroe (65-13) moved into third place, while North Carolina pro Hank Cherry, Jr. (63-2) dropped one place into fourth.
The other anglers who made the Top 12 cut to fish on Championship Sunday were as follows: Paul Mueller      (59-10), Keith Combs (57-14), Tommy Biffle (57-10), Andy Montgomery (57-8), Stephen Browning (57-1), Edwin Evers (56-12), Morizo Shimizu (55-13) and Brett Hite (54-7).

The tournament will conclude Sunday, with take-off scheduled for 6:15 a.m. CT from Cypress Bend Park. The weigh-in will begin back at the park at 3:15 p.m., with the winning angler earning $100,000.

2016 Bassmaster Elite Series Premier Sponsors: Toyota, Mercury, Minn Kota, Nitro Boats, Skeeter Boats, Triton Boats, Yamaha, GoPro, Berkley, Huk, Humminbird

2016 Bassmaster Elite Series Supporting Sponsors: Lowrance, Phoenix Boats, Power-Pole, Rapala, Shell Rotella, Shimano, Academy Sports + Outdoors, A.R.E. Truck Caps, Carhartt, Dick Cepek Tires & Wheels, Livingston Lures

About B.A.S.S.
B.A.S.S. is the worldwide authority on bass fishing and keeper of the culture of the sport, providing cutting edge content on bass fishing whenever, wherever and however bass fishing fans want to use it. Headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., the 500,000-member organization’s fully integrated media platforms include the industry’s leading magazines (Bassmaster and B.A.S.S. Times), website (Bassmaster.com), television show (The Bassmasters on ESPN2), social media programs and events. For more than 45 years, B.A.S.S. has been dedicated to access, conservation and youth fishing.

The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the most prestigious events at each level of competition, including the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Open Series, B.A.S.S. Nation, Carhartt Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops, Costa Bassmaster High School Series, Toyota Bonus Bucks Bassmaster Team Championship and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by GoPro.

2016 A.R.E. Truck Caps Bassmaster Elite at Toledo Bend 5/12-5/15
Toledo Bend Reservoir, Many  LA.
(PROFESSIONAL) Standings Day 3

Angler                   Hometown              No./lbs-oz  Pts   Total $$$

1.  Kevin VanDam           Kalamazoo, MI           15  74-12  110     $500.00
Day 1: 5   29-05     Day 2: 5   20-11     Day 3: 5   24-12
2.  Chris Lane             Guntersville, AL        15  69-00  109
Day 1: 5   23-14     Day 2: 5   23-15     Day 3: 5   21-03
3.  Ish Monroe             Hughson, CA             15  65-13  108
Day 1: 5   18-15     Day 2: 5   24-10     Day 3: 5   22-04
4.  Hank Cherry Jr         Maiden, NC              15  63-02  107
Day 1: 5   24-07     Day 2: 5   19-15     Day 3: 5   18-12
5.  Paul Mueller           Naugatuck, CT           15  59-10  106
Day 1: 5   17-13     Day 2: 5   22-12     Day 3: 5   19-01
6.  Keith Combs            Huntington, TX          15  57-14  105
Day 1: 5   21-03     Day 2: 5   16-04     Day 3: 5   20-07
7.  Tommy Biffle           Wagoner, OK             15  57-10  104
Day 1: 5   18-07     Day 2: 5   21-01     Day 3: 5   18-02
8.  Andy Montgomery        Blacksburg, SC          15  57-08  103
Day 1: 5   17-11     Day 2: 5   23-04     Day 3: 5   16-09
9.  Stephen Browning       Hot Springs, AR         15  57-01  102
Day 1: 5   20-10     Day 2: 5   22-06     Day 3: 5   14-01
10. Edwin Evers            Talala, OK              15  56-12  101
Day 1: 5   22-11     Day 2: 5   16-05     Day 3: 5   17-12
11. Morizo Shimizu         Suita, Osaka JAPAN      15  55-13  100
Day 1: 5   18-09     Day 2: 5   20-07     Day 3: 5   16-13
12. Brett Hite             Phoenix, AZ             15  54-07   99
Day 1: 5   19-00     Day 2: 5   18-03     Day 3: 5   17-04
13. Fred Roumbanis         Bixby, OK               15  53-10   98  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   19-11     Day 2: 5   18-03     Day 3: 5   15-12
14. Ott DeFoe              Knoxville, TN           15  52-11   97  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   17-10     Day 2: 5   16-15     Day 3: 5   18-02
15. Dennis Tietje          Roanoke, LA             15  51-12   96  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   13-14     Day 2: 5   23-00     Day 3: 5   14-14
16. Aaron Martens          Leeds, AL               15  51-06   95  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   18-02     Day 2: 5   22-02     Day 3: 5   11-02
17. Dave Lefebre           Erie, PA                15  51-03   94  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   17-00     Day 2: 5   16-12     Day 3: 5   17-07
18. Michael Iaconelli      Pitts Grove, NJ         15  50-09   93  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   14-13     Day 2: 5   21-15     Day 3: 5   13-13
19. Shane Lineberger       Lincolnton, NC          15  50-05   92  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   18-13     Day 2: 5   16-15     Day 3: 5   14-09
20. Jason Christie         Park Hill, OK           15  50-03   91  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   20-00     Day 2: 5   12-01     Day 3: 5   18-02
21. Brandon Palaniuk       Rathdrum, ID            15  50-00   90  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   15-00     Day 2: 5   21-08     Day 3: 5   13-08
22. Jacob Powroznik        Port Haywood, VA        15  49-13   89  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   22-09     Day 2: 5   14-14     Day 3: 5   12-06
23. John Murray            Spring City, TN         15  49-04   88  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   16-06     Day 2: 5   17-04     Day 3: 5   15-10
24. Matt Herren            Ashville, AL            15  49-03   87  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   19-00     Day 2: 5   17-07     Day 3: 5   12-12
25. Jonathon VanDam        Kalamazoo, MI           15  49-02   86  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   12-08     Day 2: 5   21-07     Day 3: 5   15-03
26. Bill Lowen             Brookville, IN          15  48-12   85  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   16-13     Day 2: 5   15-05     Day 3: 5   16-10
27. Drew Benton            Panama City, FL         15  46-14   84  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   14-10     Day 2: 5   16-08     Day 3: 5   15-12
28. James Elam             Tulsa, OK               15  46-11   83  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   18-08     Day 2: 5   12-08     Day 3: 5   15-11
29. David Mullins          Mt Carmel, TN           15  46-11   82  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   15-04     Day 2: 5   17-12     Day 3: 5   13-11
30. Kelley Jaye            Dadeville, AL           15  46-09   81  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   16-10     Day 2: 5   12-09     Day 3: 5   17-06
31. Skeet Reese            Auburn, CA              15  46-01   80  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   14-11     Day 2: 5   15-12     Day 3: 5   15-10
32. Chad Morgenthaler      Reeds Spring, MO        15  45-15   79  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   21-14     Day 2: 5   13-01     Day 3: 5   11-00
33. Alton Jones            Lorena, TX              15  45-13   78  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   16-14     Day 2: 5   11-12     Day 3: 5   17-03
34. Gerald Swindle         Warrior, AL             15  45-12   77  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   16-07     Day 2: 5   13-00     Day 3: 5   16-05
35. Clifford Pirch         Payson, AZ              15  45-09   76  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   10-08     Day 2: 5   21-02     Day 3: 5   13-15
36. Steve Kennedy          Auburn, AL              15  45-01   75  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   19-09     Day 2: 5   13-14     Day 3: 5   11-10
37. Bobby Lane Jr.         Lakeland, FL            15  44-15   74  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   15-11     Day 2: 5   15-13     Day 3: 5   13-07
38. Gary Klein             Weatherford, TX         15  44-10   73  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   14-02     Day 2: 5   18-05     Day 3: 5   12-03
39. James Niggemeyer       Van, TX                 14  44-06   72  $10,000.00
Day 1: 4   13-02     Day 2: 5   15-07     Day 3: 5   15-13
40. Clent Davis            Montevallo, AL          15  43-12   71  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   21-03     Day 2: 5   11-04     Day 3: 5   11-05
41. Bradley Roy            Lancaster, KY           15  43-07   70  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   14-12     Day 2: 5   15-13     Day 3: 5   12-14
42. Brent Ehrler           Newport Beach, CA       15  43-03   69  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   20-02     Day 2: 5   12-01     Day 3: 5   11-00
43. Greg Hackney           Gonzales, LA            15  42-12   68  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   14-11     Day 2: 5   17-06     Day 3: 5   10-11
44. Jordan Lee             Grant, AL               15  42-08   67  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   16-10     Day 2: 5   12-06     Day 3: 5   13-08
45. Keith Poche            Pike Road, AL           14  42-01   66  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   17-05     Day 2: 5   14-10     Day 3: 4   10-02
46. Cliff Pace             Petal, MS               15  42-00   65  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   15-02     Day 2: 5   14-14     Day 3: 5   12-00
47. Josh Bertrand          Gilbert, AZ             13  39-13   64  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   17-02     Day 2: 5   12-04     Day 3: 3   10-07
48. Matt Lee               Guntersville, AL        14  38-11   63  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   11-07     Day 2: 5   18-02     Day 3: 4   09-02
49. Jeff Kriet             Ardmore, OK             12  33-11   62  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   11-07     Day 2: 5   18-00     Day 3: 2   04-04
50. Rick Clunn             Ava, MO                  6  29-07   61  $10,000.00
Day 1: 5   24-10     Day 2: 1   04-13     Day 3: 0   00-00
———————————————————————–
Totals
Day   #Limits    #Fish      Weight
1        99       517      1556-06
2        96       511      1513-01
3        45       238       731-13
———————————-
240      1266      3801-04