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VanDam Takes Classic Lead
By Ed Snyder

31st Annual BASSMaster World Classic Championship
Friday, August 3, 2001, New Orleans, LA.

Despite the threat of an incoming major gulf storm system, the Classic anglers were in very high spirits for day-2 launch with multiple "thumbs-up" gestures being offered to the early-bird spectator crowd as the anglers were backed into their ease-off positions by Louisiana BASS Federation Club members. And despite the high water conditions and increasing winds caused by the approaching Tropical Storm Barry, several Classic anglers managed to catch & cull enough bass weight to provide some exciting moments for the thousands of fans who showed up to watch the 2nd day Classic weigh-in.

Day-1- Typical hot, muggy S/E Louisiana weather conditioned the bass bite for day-1 competition for the Classic anglers who fished the waterways of the Mississippi River Delta giving 1st place leader-board marks to the (5 bass/12-4 lb)- catch for David Walker of Cannon KY, and 2nd place leader-board marks to the (5 bass/11-13 lb)- catch of Huxley TX, Pro Harold Allen.

Day-2- Increasing winds and surging tides gave notice that a visitor was coming to town as Tropical Storm "Barry" continued on its "Classic" course towards the Louisiana coast. But most of the Pro's didn't seem to be worried about the storm as they made plans to continue in their quest to win the Classic.

1st place leader-board mark- ( 5 bass/10-2 lbs)--(10 bass/21-7 lbs)- Kevin VanDam of Kalamazoo MI, stated that although he has definitely had his opportunities to win the Classic, "But something has always happened, like losing fish or something else."But all you can do in an event like is go out and fish your heart out. And where you end up, that's where you finish. All you can ask for with the first two days of the Classic is to put yourself in a position to win going into the last day. And I've done that. So far, I've fished a perfect tournament and not lost a fish that has hurt me. "Now, with Tropical Storm Barry coming towards the Louisiana shoreline and already having its effects felt from gusting winds and muddy water I am a little uneasy about what Saturday will bring."So far the conditions have been favorable to my way of fishing. "But that could change in a hurry. "I've been fishing the VanDam way by run and gunning to as many fishing spots as possible to get my limit, Kevin stated, "and with a little luck tomorrow I may be able to catch another limit.

2nd place leader-board mark- ( 5 bass/10-13 lbs)-(10 bass/20.16 lbs)-Scott Rook of Little Rock AR, suddenly found himself in an unusual position of competing against Kevin VanDam for the Classic. "If there is anybody you don't want to be behind, Scott quipped, it's Kevin VanDam, as he is the best in my book. "But as far as the pressure goes, I'm not going to let that bother me. I'm fishing against the fish, not Kevin."

3rd place leader-board mark- ( 3 bass/8-2 lbs)-(8 bass/20.6 lbs)- David Walker of Cannon KY, gambled by making a long run to the Venice area, where he found his best spots flooded, wind-blown and muddy. "It felt like a hurricane out there," Walker said. "I just have to hope I can make the run down there (Saturday) and hopefully find some clean water to fish."

4th place leader-board mark- ( 5 bass/7-0 lbs)-( 10 bass/18-1 lbs)- Robert Lee of Angels Camp CA,

5th place leader-board mark- ( 5 bass/9-4 lbs)-(10 bass/17-5 lbs)- Gerald Swindle of Hayden AL,

Day-1 Overall Big Bass- (4-11 lbs)- Jay Yelas of Tyler TX.-$1,000
Day-2 Overall Big Bass-(3-13 lbs)-Michael Holt-Lexington KY.$1,000

All bass recovered and released by BASSMaster fish recovery & LA District Fisheries Supervisor Howard Rogillio and his Louisiana Wildlife & Fisheries Department fish recovery team.
Day-1 Tally-129 bass weighing 229 lbs-
Day-2 Tally-156 bass weighing 245 lbs-

By sanctioning over 20,000 tournaments worldwide, B.A.S.S. is the world's largest fishing organization. The BASSMASTER Tournament Trail is the oldest and most prestigious pro bass fishing tournament circuit. It continues to set the standard for credibility, professionalism, and sportsmanship after more than three decades. B.A.S.S. is a wholly owned subsidiary of ESPN.

The Honorable Governor of Alabama, Don Siegelman paid a special visit to the Classic Weigh-in to announce that the Birmingham AL, would Host the 2002 BASSMasters Classic next year.

For additional information contact: B.A.S.S. Communications at (334) 272-9530.

The 2001 BASS Masters Classic is presented locally in conjunction with: the State of Louisiana, Jefferson Parish Tourism and Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation.
Sponsors of the 2001 BASS Masters Classic include: Chevrolet Trucks, Mercury Marine, Yamaha Outboards, Triton Boats, Skeeter Boats, Lowrance Electronics, Pennzoil Marine, Flowmaster Exhaust Systems, Stowaway Batteries, Kumho Tires, Long John Silvers, Gore-Tex Outwear, MotorGuide Trolling Motors, Bass Pro Shops, Armstrong Industrial Hand Tools, GMAC Vehicle & Boat Insurance, B.A.S.S. Platinum First USA Visa Card. Associate Sponsors include: Bass Cat Boats, G3 Boats- "and" the 2001 season BASSMaster Classic Qualifiers.

This Classic Report Sponsored By www.fishingworld.com and Lakecaster Publications.

2001 BASS MASTERS CLASSIC
08/02-08/04
LOUISIANA BAYOU DELTA; NEW ORLEANS, La.
S t a n d i n g s D a y 2

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

1. Kevin VanDam Kalamazoo, Mich. 10 21-07
Day 1: 5 11-05 Day 2: 5 10-02
2. Scott Rook Little Rock, Ark. 10 20-13
Day 1: 5 10-00 Day 2: 5 10-13
3. David Walker Cannon, Ky. 8 20-06
Day 1: 5 12-04 Day 2: 3 8-02
4. Robert Lee Angels Camp, Calif. 10 18-01
Day 1: 5 11-01 Day 2: 5 7-00
5. Gerald Swindle Hayden, Ala. 10 17-05
Day 1: 5 8-01 Day 2: 5 9-04
6. Harold Allen Shelbyville, Texas 8 17-01
Day 1: 5 11-13 Day 2: 3 5-04
7. Chet Douthit Clewiston, Fla. 10 16-09
Day 1: 5 6-09 Day 2: 5 10-00
8. Todd Faircloth Jasper, Texas 10 16-08
Day 1: 5 9-04 Day 2: 5 7-04
9. Skeet Reese Auburn, Calif. 9 15-02
Day 1: 4 5-15 Day 2: 5 9-03
10. Dwayne Horton Knoxville, Tenn. 9 15-00
Day 1: 5 10-02 Day 2: 4 4-14
11. Paul L Elias Pachuta, Miss. 9 14-07
Day 1: 4 7-04 Day 2: 5 7-03
12. Michael Holt Lexington, Tenn. 8 14-05
Day 1: 3 4-13 Day 2: 5 9-08
13. Chris Baumgardner Gastonia, N.C. 10 14-04
Day 1: 5 6-06 Day 2: 5 7-14
14. Marty Stone Linden, N.C. 9 12-10
Day 1: 4 5-03 Day 2: 5 7-07
15. Bud Pruitt Spring, Texas 7 12-08
Day 1: 5 8-14 Day 2: 2 3-10
16. Clark Wendlandt Cedar Park, Texas 9 12-00
Day 1: 4 6-12 Day 2: 5 5-04
16. David Fritts Lexington, N.C. 8 12-00
Day 1: 3 4-02 Day 2: 5 7-14
18. Gerry Williams Winter Garden, Fla. 8 11-12
Day 1: 5 8-01 Day 2: 3 3-11
19. Roland Martin Clewiston, Fla. 7 11-07
Day 1: 3 5-14 Day 2: 4 5-09
20. Jay Yelas Tyler, Texas 4 10-11
Day 1: 3 9-11 Day 2: 1 1-00
21. John Semken Olympia, Wash. 8 10-05
Day 1: 4 4-05 Day 2: 4 6-00
21. Mark Davis Mount Ida, Ark. 6 10-05
Day 1: 1 2-03 Day 2: 5 8-02
23. Dean Rojas Lake Havasu City, Ariz. 6 10-03
Day 1: 1 1-13 Day 2: 5 8-06
24. Kelly Jordon Mineola, Texas 7 10-00
Day 1: 3 5-02 Day 2: 4 4-14
25. Rick Clunn Ava, Mo. 7 9-14
Day 1: 4 6-15 Day 2: 3 2-15
26. Rufus Johnson Strwplains, Tenn. 8 9-08
Day 1: 3 4-09 Day 2: 5 4-15
27. Kotaro Kiriyama New Milford, N.J. 7 9-01
Day 1: 5 6-12 Day 2: 2 2-05
28. Keith Green Arkadelphia, Ark. 5 8-03
Day 1: 2 2-15 Day 2: 3 5-04
29. Takahiro Omori Emory, Texas 3 8-01
Day 1: 2 5-09 Day 2: 1 2-08
30. Randy Blaukat Lamar, Mo. 4 7-15
Day 1: 0 0-00 Day 2: 4 7-15
31. Mike Wurm Hot Springs, Ark. 4 7-08
Day 1: 2 2-09 Day 2: 2 4-15
32. Peter E. Thliveros Jacksonville, Fla. 5 7-06
Day 1: 0 0-00 Day 2: 5 7-06
33. Harry Charcalis Gilmanton, N.H. 5 7-00
Day 1: 0 0-00 Day 2: 5 7-00
34. Gary Yamamoto Mineola, Texas 4 6-15
Day 1: 3 5-11 Day 2: 1 1-04
35. Pete Ponds Madison, Miss. 5 6-13
Day 1: 2 3-10 Day 2: 3 3-03
36. Mark Menendez Paducah, Ky. 4 6-10
Day 1: 1 1-01 Day 2: 3 5-09
37. Mark Tyler Concord, Calif. 4 5-11
Day 1: 1 1-14 Day 2: 3 3-13
38. Tim Horton Muscle Shoals, Ala. 4 5-06
Day 1: 0 0-00 Day 2: 4 5-06
39. Woo Daves Spring Grove, Va. 3 5-01
Day 1: 1 1-11 Day 2: 2 3-06
40. Randy Howell Trussville, Ala. 2 4-12
Day 1: 2 4-12 Day 2: 0 0-00
41. Jim Johnson LaCrosse, Wisc. 3 4-08
Day 1: 1 1-06 Day 2: 2 3-02
41. Aaron Martens Castaic, Calif. 4 4-08
Day 1: 2 1-15 Day 2: 2 2-09
43. Curt Lytle Suffolk, Va. 2 2-13
Day 1: 0 0-00 Day 2: 2 2-13
44. Alton Jones Waco, Texas 2 2-00
Day 1: 1 0-15 Day 2: 1 1-01
45. Robert L. Kilby Hot Springs, Ark. 0 0-00
Day 1: 0 0-00 Day 2: 0 0-00


Michael Holt of Lexington KY with 3-13 lb $1,000 bass

Alabama Governor Siegelman informs about Classic being "Bama" Bound
< photos by Ed Snyder >

Scott Rook of Little Rock AR, eases into 2nd place lead

Kalamazoo MI Pro Kevin VanDam takes over 1st place lead

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