Kevin VanDam Keeps Lead on Day Two at 2016 Elite Series Toledo Bend

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2016 Bassmaster Elite Series Toledo Bend Day Two Leader Kevin VanDam - photo by Gary Tramontina - Bassmaster

2016 Bassmaster Elite Series Toledo Bend Day Two Leader Kevin VanDam – photo by Gary Tramontina – Bassmaster

MANY, La. — The biggest thing Kevin VanDam has caught so far this week has been himself.

But there could be far bigger catches ahead of him if he remains on his current path at the A.R.E. Truck Caps Bassmaster Elite at Toledo Bend.

VanDam had to have a treble hook removed from his hand during Friday’s second round after landing his biggest fish of the day. But it didn’t stop him from catching five bass that weighed 20 pounds, 11 ounces and helped him hold onto the tournament lead with a two-day total of 50-0.

“The fish had just one hook in its mouth, and those Mustad treble hooks are really sharp,” VanDam said. “The fish kind of shook as I was trying to take the hook out, and it jerked one of those trebles right in my hand. I had a crankbait with one hook connected to my hand and the other connected to a big bass.”

Freelance photographer and experienced saltwater angler Garrick Dixon was nearby, and he performed a quick hook removal for VanDam. Once the angler was free of his own bait, he turned his attention back to a day that was rapidly improving.

After a slow start, he quickly put together a limit that weighed better than 18 pounds. Then he managed a couple of culls to get to 20-11 — and he did it all despite a strong wind that gave him fits much of the day.

“I knew it was just a matter of running enough places,” VanDam said. “If you fish long enough here, you’re going to get them.

“I really only had the one big bite today, but it was a good one.”

VanDam will begin the semifinal round with a solid chance at securing his 21st career victory and the $100,000 check that goes with it.

He is followed closely by Alabamian Chris Lane (47-13), North Carolina pro Hank Cherry, Jr. (44-6), Californian Ish Monroe (43-9) and Arkansas pro Stephen Browning (43-0).

Lane, who has struggled at times this year, said he had hoped to catch a good limit early by targeting schooling fish. But when those fish wouldn’t cooperate, he made a long run and put together a catch of 23-15 doing something different.

Earlier this season, Lane complained that his “loonies,” were off, meaning he wasn’t making the best decisions on the water. But now he’s within striking distance of his first Elite Series win since the 2015 season-opening event on the Sabine River — another Louisiana fishery.

“I’m having a blast, and I’ve got a full head of confidence,” Lane said. “My loonies are starting to come back now.

“Feeling confident helps you make those early adjustments, and it helps you to grind it right to the end. I caught a good fish late (Thursday), and I caught a 4 1/2-pounder late today.”

Cherry began Friday’s round in third place and held onto that spot with a catch of 19-15 that gave him a two-day total of 44-6.  He said he’s been fishing for bass that are still spawning, even as the weather in central Louisiana has turned hot.

“It was still slow this morning, just like it was the first morning,” Cherry said. “But once I got to where I thought the fish would be, they were there.

“I think all of the fish I’m catching are spawning. If you miss one, you can just about count on going back to that spot and getting bit again.”

Monroe had the heaviest bag Friday with 24-10 — and he didn’t hesitate to detail how he caught his fish.

“It’s no secret what I do,” Monroe said. “I love to frog and flip. This week, I’m throwing a River2Sea Tommy Biffle Jig that has a really big, wide-gap hook. I’m backing that up with a Missile Baits D Bomb Destroyer, and it gives the bait a big profile that these big fish down here love.”

Toledo Bend Reservoir is noted for producing big largemouth bass — so much that it topped the most recent list of America’s Top 100 Bass Lakes by Bassmaster Magazine.

The biggest bass of the week so far was caught Friday by Arkansas angler Stephen Browning. At 9-5, the fish took the lead for Phoenix Boats Big Bass and will earn Browning $1,500 if no one tops the mark the rest of the way.

VanDam also earned the Livingston Lures Leader award of $500 for leading the second day of the event.

The tournament will resume Saturday with the Top 50 remaining pros leaving Cypress Bend Park at 6:15 a.m. CT. The weigh-in will be held back at the park at 3:15 p.m., with only the Top 12 pros advancing to Championship Sunday.

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

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

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, Academy Sports + Outdoors B.A.S.S. Nation presented by Magellan, 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 2

Angler                   Hometown              No./lbs-oz  Pts   

1.  Kevin VanDam           Kalamazoo, MI           10  50-00  110
Day 1: 5   29-05     Day 2: 5   20-11
2.  Chris Lane             Guntersville, AL        10  47-13  109
Day 1: 5   23-14     Day 2: 5   23-15
3.  Hank Cherry Jr         Maiden, NC              10  44-06  108
Day 1: 5   24-07     Day 2: 5   19-15
4.  Ish Monroe             Hughson, CA             10  43-09  107
Day 1: 5   18-15     Day 2: 5   24-10
5.  Stephen Browning       Hot Springs, AR         10  43-00  106
Day 1: 5   20-10     Day 2: 5   22-06
6.  Andy Montgomery        Blacksburg, SC          10  40-15  105
Day 1: 5   17-11     Day 2: 5   23-04
7.  Paul Mueller           Naugatuck, CT           10  40-09  104
Day 1: 5   17-13     Day 2: 5   22-12
8.  Aaron Martens          Leeds, AL               10  40-04  103
Day 1: 5   18-02     Day 2: 5   22-02
9.  Tommy Biffle           Wagoner, OK             10  39-08  102
Day 1: 5   18-07     Day 2: 5   21-01
10. Edwin Evers            Talala, OK              10  39-00  101
Day 1: 5   22-11     Day 2: 5   16-05
11. Morizo Shimizu         Suita, Osaka JAPAN      10  39-00  100
Day 1: 5   18-09     Day 2: 5   20-07
12. Fred Roumbanis         Bixby, OK               10  37-14   99
Day 1: 5   19-11     Day 2: 5   18-03
13. Jacob Powroznik        Port Haywood, VA        10  37-07   98
Day 1: 5   22-09     Day 2: 5   14-14
14. Keith Combs            Huntington, TX          10  37-07   97
Day 1: 5   21-03     Day 2: 5   16-04
15. Brett Hite             Phoenix, AZ             10  37-03   96
Day 1: 5   19-00     Day 2: 5   18-03
16. Dennis Tietje          Roanoke, LA             10  36-14   95
Day 1: 5   13-14     Day 2: 5   23-00
17. Michael Iaconelli      Pitts Grove, NJ         10  36-12   94
Day 1: 5   14-13     Day 2: 5   21-15
18. Brandon Palaniuk       Rathdrum, ID            10  36-08   93
Day 1: 5   15-00     Day 2: 5   21-08
19. Matt Herren            Ashville, AL            10  36-07   92
Day 1: 5   19-00     Day 2: 5   17-07
20. Shane Lineberger       Lincolnton, NC          10  35-12   91
Day 1: 5   18-13     Day 2: 5   16-15
21. Chad Morgenthaler      Reeds Spring, MO        10  34-15   90
Day 1: 5   21-14     Day 2: 5   13-01
22. Ott DeFoe              Knoxville, TN           10  34-09   89
Day 1: 5   17-10     Day 2: 5   16-15
23. Jonathon VanDam        Kalamazoo, MI           10  33-15   88
Day 1: 5   12-08     Day 2: 5   21-07
24. Dave Lefebre           Erie, PA                10  33-12   87
Day 1: 5   17-00     Day 2: 5   16-12
25. John Murray            Spring City, TN         10  33-10   86
Day 1: 5   16-06     Day 2: 5   17-04
26. Steve Kennedy          Auburn, AL              10  33-07   85
Day 1: 5   19-09     Day 2: 5   13-14
27. David Mullins          Mt Carmel, TN           10  33-00   84
Day 1: 5   15-04     Day 2: 5   17-12
28. Clent Davis            Montevallo, AL          10  32-07   83
Day 1: 5   21-03     Day 2: 5   11-04
29. Gary Klein             Weatherford, TX         10  32-07   82
Day 1: 5   14-02     Day 2: 5   18-05
30. Brent Ehrler           Newport Beach, CA       10  32-03   81
Day 1: 5   20-02     Day 2: 5   12-01
31. Bill Lowen             Brookville, IN          10  32-02   80
Day 1: 5   16-13     Day 2: 5   15-05
32. Jason Christie         Park Hill, OK           10  32-01   79
Day 1: 5   20-00     Day 2: 5   12-01
33. Greg Hackney           Gonzales, LA            10  32-01   78
Day 1: 5   14-11     Day 2: 5   17-06
34. Keith Poche            Pike Road, AL           10  31-15   77
Day 1: 5   17-05     Day 2: 5   14-10
35. Clifford Pirch         Payson, AZ              10  31-10   76
Day 1: 5   10-08     Day 2: 5   21-02
36. Bobby Lane Jr.         Lakeland, FL            10  31-08   75
Day 1: 5   15-11     Day 2: 5   15-13
37. Drew Benton            Panama City, FL         10  31-02   74
Day 1: 5   14-10     Day 2: 5   16-08
38. James Elam             Tulsa, OK               10  31-00   73
Day 1: 5   18-08     Day 2: 5   12-08
39. Bradley Roy            Lancaster, KY           10  30-09   72
Day 1: 5   14-12     Day 2: 5   15-13
40. Skeet Reese            Auburn, CA              10  30-07   71
Day 1: 5   14-11     Day 2: 5   15-12
41. Cliff Pace             Petal, MS               10  30-00   70
Day 1: 5   15-02     Day 2: 5   14-14
42. Matt Lee               Guntersville, AL        10  29-09   69
Day 1: 5   11-07     Day 2: 5   18-02
43. Rick Clunn             Ava, MO                  6  29-07   68
Day 1: 5   24-10     Day 2: 1   04-13
44. Jeff Kriet             Ardmore, OK             10  29-07   67
Day 1: 5   11-07     Day 2: 5   18-00
45. Gerald Swindle         Warrior, AL             10  29-07   66
Day 1: 5   16-07     Day 2: 5   13-00
46. Josh Bertrand          Gilbert, AZ             10  29-06   65
Day 1: 5   17-02     Day 2: 5   12-04
47. Kelley Jaye            Dadeville, AL           10  29-03   64
Day 1: 5   16-10     Day 2: 5   12-09
48. Jordan Lee             Grant, AL               10  29-00   63
Day 1: 5   16-10     Day 2: 5   12-06
49. Alton Jones            Lorena, TX              10  28-10   62
Day 1: 5   16-14     Day 2: 5   11-12
50. James Niggemeyer       Van, TX                  9  28-09   61
Day 1: 4   13-02     Day 2: 5   15-07
51. Casey Ashley           Donalds, SC             10  28-06   60
Day 1: 5   11-14     Day 2: 5   16-08
52. Mark Davis             Mount Ida, AR           10  28-04   59
Day 1: 5   13-03     Day 2: 5   15-01
53. John Hunter Jr         Shelbyville, KY         10  28-04   58
Day 1: 5   13-09     Day 2: 5   14-11
54. Brian Snowden          Reeds Spring, MO        10  27-08   57
Day 1: 5   17-02     Day 2: 5   10-06
55. Jared Lintner          Arroyo Grande, CA       10  27-08   56
Day 1: 5   16-04     Day 2: 5   11-04
56. John Crews Jr          Salem, VA               10  27-07   55
Day 1: 5   13-09     Day 2: 5   13-14
57. Todd Faircloth         Jasper, TX              10  27-04   54
Day 1: 5   13-09     Day 2: 5   13-11
58. Koby Kreiger           Bokeelia, FL            10  27-02   53
Day 1: 5   18-03     Day 2: 5   08-15
59. Takahiro Omori         Emory, TX                8  27-00   52
Day 1: 3   11-04     Day 2: 5   15-12
60. Brandon Card           Caryville, TN           10  26-14   51
Day 1: 5   14-13     Day 2: 5   12-01
61. Seth Feider            Bloomington, MN         10  26-14   50
Day 1: 5   14-08     Day 2: 5   12-06
62. Dean Rojas             Lake Havasu City, AZ    10  26-12   49
Day 1: 5   17-01     Day 2: 5   09-11
63. Mark Menendez          Paducah, KY             10  26-12   48
Day 1: 5   13-10     Day 2: 5   13-02
64. Cliff Crochet          Pierre Part, LA         10  26-11   47
Day 1: 5   12-07     Day 2: 5   14-04
65. Justin Lucas           Guntersville, AL        10  26-09   46
Day 1: 5   14-03     Day 2: 5   12-06
66. Shaw Grigsby Jr.       Gainesville, FL         10  26-08   45
Day 1: 5   15-15     Day 2: 5   10-09
67. Chris Zaldain          Laughlin, NV            10  26-05   44
Day 1: 5   12-06     Day 2: 5   13-15
68. Tim Horton             Muscle Shoals, AL       10  26-03   43
Day 1: 5   13-00     Day 2: 5   13-03
69. Kelly Jordon           Flint, TX               10  25-12   42
Day 1: 5   17-03     Day 2: 5   08-09
70. Boyd Duckett           Guntersville, AL         8  25-10   41
Day 1: 3   05-00     Day 2: 5   20-10
71. Brandon Coulter        Knoxville, TN           10  25-09   40
Day 1: 5   10-02     Day 2: 5   15-07
72. Billy McCaghren Jr     Mayflower, AR           10  25-09   39
Day 1: 5   14-15     Day 2: 5   10-10
73. Randy Howell           Guntersville, AL        10  25-09   38
Day 1: 5   14-04     Day 2: 5   11-05
74. Jason Williamson       Wagener, SC             10  25-08   37
Day 1: 5   12-06     Day 2: 5   13-02
75. Casey Scanlon          Rocky Mount, MO          8  25-00   36
Day 1: 5   16-09     Day 2: 3   08-07
76. Britt Myers            Lake Wylie, SC          10  24-13   35
Day 1: 5   11-06     Day 2: 5   13-07
77. J Todd Tucker          Moultrie, GA            10  24-05   34
Day 1: 5   13-09     Day 2: 5   10-12
78. Randall Tharp          Port St. Joe, FL         9  24-02   33
Day 1: 5   13-09     Day 2: 4   10-09
79. Mike McClelland        Bella Vista, AR         10  24-01   32
Day 1: 5   11-05     Day 2: 5   12-12
80. Jay Brainard           Enid, OK                10  24-00   31
Day 1: 5   14-01     Day 2: 5   09-15
81. Marty Robinson         Lyman, SC                8  23-11   30
Day 1: 3   05-07     Day 2: 5   18-04
82. Chad Grigsby           Maple Grove, MN         10  23-09   29
Day 1: 5   11-08     Day 2: 5   12-01
83. Davy Hite              Ninety Six, SC          10  22-12   28
Day 1: 5   09-03     Day 2: 5   13-09
84. Paul Elias             Laurel, MS               8  22-11   27
Day 1: 5   09-05     Day 2: 3   13-06
85. Brent Chapman          Lake Quivira, KS        10  22-08   26
Day 1: 5   10-06     Day 2: 5   12-02
86. Greg Vinson            Wetumpka, AL            10  22-08   25
Day 1: 5   11-14     Day 2: 5   10-10
87. Ken Iyobe              Tokoname  Aichi JAPAN   10  22-06   24
Day 1: 5   08-11     Day 2: 5   13-11
88. Adrian Avena           Vineland, NJ            10  21-15   23
Day 1: 5   12-08     Day 2: 5   09-07
89. Scott Rook             Little Rock, AR         10  21-11   22
Day 1: 5   11-15     Day 2: 5   09-12
90. Yusuke Miyazaki        Forney, TX               9  21-10   21
Day 1: 4   08-13     Day 2: 5   12-13
91. Fletcher Shryock       New Philadelphia, OH    10  21-08   20
Day 1: 5   13-11     Day 2: 5   07-13
92. Brock Mosley           Collinsville, MS        10  21-08   19
Day 1: 5   10-08     Day 2: 5   11-00
93. Micah Frazier          Newnan, GA              10  21-07   18
Day 1: 5   11-04     Day 2: 5   10-03
94. Russ Lane              Prattville, AL          10  21-02   17
Day 1: 5   09-03     Day 2: 5   11-15
95. Luke Clausen           Otis Orchards, WA        7  20-14   16
Day 1: 2   03-06     Day 2: 5   17-08
96. Matt Reed              Madisonville, TX        10  20-06   15
Day 1: 5   10-00     Day 2: 5   10-06
97. Chad Pipkens           Lansing, MI             10  19-07   14
Day 1: 5   09-02     Day 2: 5   10-05
98. Brandon Lester         Fayetteville, TN         8  19-05   13
Day 1: 5   13-11     Day 2: 3   05-10
99. Cliff Prince           Palatka, FL             10  19-02   12
Day 1: 5   10-00     Day 2: 5   09-02
100. David Walker           Sevierville, TN         10  18-13   11
Day 1: 5   10-08     Day 2: 5   08-05
101. Terry Scroggins        San Mateo, FL            8  18-05   10
Day 1: 5   12-09     Day 2: 3   05-12
102. Brett Preuett          Monroe, LA               7  18-02    9
Day 1: 5   12-12     Day 2: 2   05-06
103. Kotaro Kiriyama        Moody, AL               10  17-11    8
Day 1: 5   07-14     Day 2: 5   09-13
104. Bernie Schultz         Gainesville, FL          8  16-13    7
Day 1: 5   10-03     Day 2: 3   06-10
105. David Williams         Newton, NC               7  16-02    6
Day 1: 5   08-13     Day 2: 2   07-05
106. Fabian Rodriguez       Ocean City, DE           4  13-15    5
Day 1: 1   01-15     Day 2: 3   12-00
107. Randy Allen            Shreveport, LA           5  07-14    4
Day 1: 1   01-06     Day 2: 4   06-08
108. Carl Jocumsen          Queensland TX AUSTRALIA  1  02-01    3
Day 1: 1   02-01     Day 2: 0   00-00
———————————————————————–
Totals
Day   #Limits    #Fish      Weight
1        99       517      1556-06
2        96       511      1513-01
———————————-
195      1028      3069-07