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VanDam Fishes The Perfect Tournament to Win Classic
By Ed Snyder

31st Annual BASSMaster World Classic Championship
Saturday, August 4, 2001, New Orleans, LA.

Racing against the building winds and surging tides of an approaching tropical storm, the best cut of bass anglers in the world were "going for broke" on this final day of the BASSMaster Classic as the winner would collect the $100,000 top prize and the title of being the best BASSMaster in the World. And after the final weigh-in the kid from Kalamazoo Michigan who became a bass fishing legend managed to win the most prestigious tournament in the world.."The BASSMaster Classic"

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. 1st place leader-board mark shifted to the- (5 bass/10-2 lbs)--(10 bass/21-7 -lbs)- catch of Kevin VanDam of Kalamazoo MI, with the 2nd place leader-board mark going to the- ( 5 bass/10-13 lbs)-(10 bass/20.16 lbs)- catch of Scott Rook of Little Rock AR,

Day-3-PAYDAY- as the 45 pros and federation anglers launched under a clear full-moon sky the predicted 40 -plus- mph winds from Tropical Storm Barry had yet to arrive. But even so, most of the classic anglers had already initiated plans to navigate the calmer protected waters closer to the launch site rather than to take a chance on not being able to make it back, but some still chose to take the chance and make those long runs to their fishing holes.

1st place- ( 15 bass/32.05 lbs )- Kevin VanDam of Kalamazoo Michigan managed to fish a perfect tournament by "not" losing a single bass to win the Louisiana BASS Classic in New Orleans. "This was my "hurry up offense" technique, VanDam explained as he told of how he won the classic. "I mainly stuck to fishing ½ oz Strike King double rattle black/blue/purple jigs with powder-blue Zoom super-chunks, which resembled the crabs that were in the area I was fishing. Quantum rods and reels spooled with BassPro line. "My target areas were in dirty water areas around channel points or wellheads that had current passing over them. "I also used a new Strike King redshad Wild-Thang tube-bait that was bulky with rattles for sound. "I really wanted to win this classic, Kevin stated, "So I gave it all I had. "The key to my success in my career as well as for winning this "awesome" Classic event is to read the BASSMaster Magazine. "Believe me, Kevin advised, "it works!!!!!

2nd place- ( 15 bass/31.04 lbs) Scott Rook of Little Rock Arkansas fished the Bayou Black area stained colored water that had plenty of grasses and current. "The current was the key for me, he stated, as he told of working ST Croix rods and Shimano reels spooled with 20 lb test Big Game mono. The Arkansas angler fished slow and methodical with MizMo black/neon Tubes and a crank-bait to catch his bass from the edges of the canal drops to win the $100,000 1st place prize.

3rd place- ( 13 bass/31.03 lbs)- David Walker of Cannon Kentucky fished Delacroix and Houma area canals that held cleaner waters. The Kentucky angler worked 6" Zoom green/pumpkin dead-ringer worms with Castaway rods and reels spooled with 12/17 lb test P-line. He also worked G-splash top-waters around pilings as he worked long casts from the middle of the canals to win his $40,000 payday.

4th place- ( 13 bass/27-10 lbs)- Harold Allan of Huxley TX, put his expertise around Venice area canals and bulkheads to work Shimano V-Rods and Shimano reels spooled with 14 lb test Triple Fish line. The Texas bass legend fished Reaction 4" tube-craws and wacky worms as well as 3/8 oz accent spinner-baits to catch his 4th place $19,000 check.

5th place- ( 15 bass/26-11 lbs)- Todd Faircloth of Jasper TX, put his trust in Erhardt rods and Shimano reels spooled with 15 lb test big game mono. The 26 year old Texas Skeeter/Yamaha Pro fished Lake Fork Tackle tube-craws and ¼ oz Stanley wedge spinner-baits. He worked canal grasses and milfoil to catch his 5th place $9,000 check.

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
Day-3 Overall Big Bass-(4.07 lbs0-Paul Elias of Pachuta MS-$1,000

As the adult BASSMasters were flipping, pitching, and casting the Louisiana Delta for their hopeful winning catches, the younger generation of BASSMasters were pitching, flipping, and casting for points at the Classic Outdoor show in the Morial Convention Center. To date, over 2.1 "million" kids have attended over 11,000 competitive casting kids events which were put on by the BASS Federation Groups throughout the world which gives the children a chance to compete at the Classics for the honor of becoming the best Casting Kid Champions in the world. Among that winners group who managed to best a field of over

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-
Day-3 Total-Tally-418 bass weighing 687 lbs.

"Luck-O-The-Draw" $30,000 Triton Fantasy Bass Boat Draw-Kevin Cossner of Indiana.

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 3

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

1. Kevin VanDam Kalamazoo, Mich. 15 32-05 $100,000
Day 1: 5 11-05 Day 2: 5 10-02 Day 3: 5 10-14
2. Scott Rook Little Rock, Ark. 15 31-04 $40,000
Day 1: 5 10-00 Day 2: 5 10-13 Day 3: 5 10-07
3. David Walker Cannon, Ky. 13 31-03 $19,000
Day 1: 5 12-04 Day 2: 3 8-02 Day 3: 5 10-13
4. Harold Allen Shelbyville, Texas 13 27-10 $9,000
Day 1: 5 11-13 Day 2: 3 5-04 Day 3: 5 10-09
5. Gerald Swindle Hayden, Ala. 15 26-11 $6,250
Day 1: 5 8-01 Day 2: 5 9-04 Day 3: 5 9-06
5. Todd Faircloth Jasper, Texas 15 26-11 $6,250
Day 1: 5 9-04 Day 2: 5 7-04 Day 3: 5 10-03
7. Robert Lee Angels Camp, Calif. 15 24-14 $5,500
Day 1: 5 11-01 Day 2: 5 7-00 Day 3: 5 6-13
8. Skeet Reese Auburn, Calif. 14 24-01 $5,500
Day 1: 4 5-15 Day 2: 5 9-03 Day 3: 5 8-15
9. Chet Douthit Clewiston, Fla. 15 23-10 $5,500
Day 1: 5 6-09 Day 2: 5 10-00 Day 3: 5 7-01
10. Paul L Elias Pachuta, Miss. 14 23-07 $6,500
Day 1: 4 7-04 Day 2: 5 7-03 Day 3: 5 9-00
11. Dean Rojas Lake Havasu City, Ariz. 11 22-02 $5,500
Day 1: 1 1-13 Day 2: 5 8-06 Day 3: 5 11-15
12. Marty Stone Linden, N.C. 14 20-01 $5,500
Day 1: 4 5-03 Day 2: 5 7-07 Day 3: 5 7-07
13. Chris Baumgardner Gastonia, N.C. 14 19-01 $5,000
Day 1: 5 6-06 Day 2: 5 7-14 Day 3: 4 4-13
14. Clark Wendlandt Cedar Park, Texas 13 17-05 $5,000
Day 1: 4 6-12 Day 2: 5 5-04 Day 3: 4 5-05
15. Bud Pruitt Spring, Texas 10 17-03 $5,000
Day 1: 5 8-14 Day 2: 2 3-10 Day 3: 3 4-11
16. Roland Martin Clewiston, Fla. 11 16-11 $4,000
Day 1: 3 5-14 Day 2: 4 5-09 Day 3: 4 5-04
17. Rick Clunn Ava, Mo. 12 16-07 $4,000
Day 1: 4 6-15 Day 2: 3 2-15 Day 3: 5 6-09
18. David Fritts Lexington, N.C. 11 16-04 $4,000
Day 1: 3 4-02 Day 2: 5 7-14 Day 3: 3 4-04
19. Rufus Johnson Strwplains, Tenn. 13 16-00 $4,000
Day 1: 3 4-09 Day 2: 5 4-15 Day 3: 5 6-08
19. Keith Green Arkadelphia, Ark. 9 16-00 $4,000
Day 1: 2 2-15 Day 2: 3 5-04 Day 3: 4 7-13
21. Michael Holt Lexington, Tenn. 9 15-07 $5,000
Day 1: 3 4-13 Day 2: 5 9-08 Day 3: 1 1-02
22. Dwayne Horton Knoxville, Tenn. 9 15-00 $4,000
Day 1: 5 10-02 Day 2: 4 4-14 Day 3: 0 0-00
23. Mark Davis Mount Ida, Ark. 9 14-11 $4,000
Day 1: 1 2-03 Day 2: 5 8-02 Day 3: 3 4-06
24. Gary Yamamoto Mineola, Texas 9 13-15 $4,000
Day 1: 3 5-11 Day 2: 1 1-04 Day 3: 5 7-00
25. John Semken Olympia, Wash. 10 12-08 $4,000
Day 1: 4 4-05 Day 2: 4 6-00 Day 3: 2 2-03
26. Takahiro Omori Emory, Texas 5 12-00 $4,000
Day 1: 2 5-09 Day 2: 1 2-08 Day 3: 2 3-15
26. Kotaro Kiriyama New Milford, N.J. 9 12-00 $4,000
Day 1: 5 6-12 Day 2: 2 2-05 Day 3: 2 2-15
28. Gerry Williams Winter Garden, Fla. 8 11-12 $4,000
Day 1: 5 8-01 Day 2: 3 3-11 Day 3: 0 0-00
29. Jay Yelas Tyler, Texas 5 11-09 $5,000
Day 1: 3 9-11 Day 2: 1 1-00 Day 3: 1 0-14
30. Kelly Jordon Mineola, Texas 8 11-00 $4,000
Day 1: 3 5-02 Day 2: 4 4-14 Day 3: 1 1-00
31. Pete Ponds Madison, Miss. 8 10-08 $4,000
Day 1: 2 3-10 Day 2: 3 3-03 Day 3: 3 3-11
32. Curt Lytle Suffolk, Va. 7 10-01 $4,000
Day 1: 0 0-00 Day 2: 2 2-13 Day 3: 5 7-04
33. Woo Daves Spring Grove, Va. 6 9-05 $4,000
Day 1: 1 1-11 Day 2: 2 3-06 Day 3: 3 4-04
34. Randy Blaukat Lamar, Mo. 5 9-00 $4,000
Day 1: 0 0-00 Day 2: 4 7-15 Day 3: 1 1-01
35. Peter E. Thliveros Jacksonville, Fla. 6 8-10 $4,000
Day 1: 0 0-00 Day 2: 5 7-06 Day 3: 1 1-04
36. Mike Wurm Hot Springs, Ark. 5 8-09 $4,000
Day 1: 2 2-09 Day 2: 2 4-15 Day 3: 1 1-01
37. Mark Tyler Concord, Calif. 6 8-05 $4,000
Day 1: 1 1-14 Day 2: 3 3-13 Day 3: 2 2-10
38. Harry Charcalis Gilmanton, N.H. 6 8-03 $4,000
Day 1: 0 0-00 Day 2: 5 7-00 Day 3: 1 1-03
39. Mark Menendez Paducah, Ky. 5 7-11 $4,000
Day 1: 1 1-01 Day 2: 3 5-09 Day 3: 1 1-01
40. Tim Horton Muscle Shoals, Ala. 6 7-03 $4,000
Day 1: 0 0-00 Day 2: 4 5-06 Day 3: 2 1-13
40. Alton Jones Waco, Texas 6 7-03 $4,000
Day 1: 1 0-15 Day 2: 1 1-01 Day 3: 4 5-03
42. Randy Howell Trussville, Ala. 2 4-12 $4,000
Day 1: 2 4-12 Day 2: 0 0-00 Day 3: 0 0-00
43. Jim Johnson LaCrosse, Wisc. 3 4-08 $4,000
Day 1: 1 1-06 Day 2: 2 3-02 Day 3: 0 0-00
43. Aaron Martens Castaic, Calif. 4 4-08 $4,000
Day 1: 2 1-15 Day 2: 2 2-09 Day 3: 0 0-00
45. Robert L. Kilby Hot Springs, Ark. 0 0-00 $4,000
Day 1: 0 0-00 Day 2: 0 0-00 Day 3: 0 0-00

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Big Bass
Day
1 Jay Yelas Tyler, Texas 4-11 $1,000
2 Michael Holt Lexington, Tenn. 3-13 $1,000
3 Paul L Elias Pachuta, Miss. 4-07 $1,000
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Totals
Day #Limits #Fish Weight
1 13 129 229-01
2 18 156 245-09
3 16 133 212-08
----------------------------------
47 418 687-02


Kevin VanDam with Classic Trophy

Rook with 2nd place classic fisnish
< photos by Ed Snyder >

"YES" VanDam yells to the crowd after upon learning that that he had just won the Classic

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