From Minnesocold, Bass Fishing Blog Capitol of the World!

Monday, February 21, 2011

41st Bassmaster Classic Final Analysis

If a new "Greatest Angler Debate" were to be held again this year or any year hereafter I think there can be little doubt a different king of the mountain would emerge as the winner. Kevin Van Dam has now matched Rick Clunn's signature accomplishments of 4 Bassmaster Classic Titles and back to back Bassmaster Classic wins. I recently read that Clunn told KVD to hurry up and win #4, so they could race to #5. Who knows maybe Clunn has what it takes to make a run at the Classic title a few more times. After all Clunn was in the hunt for the US Open in 2010. If Clunn can make it back to the Classic, he could win. However there can be little doubt that absent unforeseen tragic circumstances Kevin Van Dam will be contending for Classic crowns as far as the eye can see.


As for how KVD won this Classic it was a virtuoso performance that showed just why he is the best there has ever been. Just like last year he was among a fair host of others that located the area where the tournament would be won. Last year at Lay Lake Kevin pretty much had the winning water to himself thanks to Takahiro Omori conceding the area to Kevin after the first day. This year Kevin was sharing the exact same water with no fewer than 3 other anglers, all of whom finished in the top 10 and two of which with KVD made up the top 3. To win Kevin had to be flat out better than the other anglers and there can be no doubt that he was in winning with a 10lb plus margin of victory. What Kevin did at this Classic was truly astounding.

I think the biggest keys to Kevin's victory were his uncanny abilities to read the behavior of bass then to "trigger" the bass to strike. Kevin stated he was aware that the first days spinnerbait bite was going away by the end of the day. Kevin knew the fish were changing and so he began to experiment to find out what would work best. Strike King has to be the most fortunate fishing lure company in the history of fishing*. The fish wanted the new Strike King KVD 1.5 crankbait and Kevin figured out exactly how to fish the crankbait to trigger the strikes on Day 2. From that point Kevin stepped on the gas and never looked back. A 10lb 11oz margin people! Simply amazing!

*For the 2nd year in a row the Bassmaster Classic was won by KVD on a lure Strike King Lure Company was just bringing to market, no doubt driving initial sales through the roof and building a legacy that will make the lure a top seller for years to come.

1 comment:

Brian said...

In my book, while I think he'll eventually become the greatest bass angler of all time, at present, I'd have to put him in a tie with Clunn for that title. It's close, but people forget all the titles Clunn has collected from all the various circuits, which in my book is worth more than winning a lot or even more in just a single circuit.

They both have 4 Classic wins, and KVD has him beat hands down in AOY titles 6(?)-1, but while he (KVD) won an FLW AOY title, he never actually won a single event in the 4 years he fished that circuit. Clunn won 3 FLW tour events and had Top-10 finishes in almost 35% of all the FLW events he fished (60), but could only muster a 2nd as his best AOY effort. In addition, Clunn has 1 All-American title, 1 MegaBucks title, and 2 U.S. Open titles to his credit. To offset that a bit, KVD has a few more B.A.S.S. indiviual wins than Clunn, but then again, Clunn has 32 Classic appearances, 28 of which were consecutive. KVD just finished his 21st consecutive Classic.

Overall, these two are head and shoulders above everybody else in my book, but I don't put one above the other at this point.