The Superbowl, the World Cup, the World Series, and the Stanley Cup; these are just a few of the terms associated with the best of the best of each sport in the world today. The sport of bass fishing has its own tribulation, as well, the winner of which earns further fame, respect, and prestige among the legends in the world of fishing: the Bassmaster Classic. With the culmination of the 2011 Classic, I’d like to recap this year’s tournament by detailing the location, the effective tactics, and the tournament’s winner, for anyone who didn’t get to watch it.
With true Southern hospitality, the city of New Orleans welcomed the 2011 Classic and its anglers with open arms. The battle for this year’s Classic took place on the Louisiana Delta, where 50 of the sport’s best pit their experience and knowledge against one another in hopes of winning the $500,000 grand prize, prestigious trophy, and immortality in fishing’s history.
Anticipating each year’s winner can be hard, as the leaderboard tends to change quickly with each fish caught. This year’s Classic was no different. At the end of Day One, for example, Aaron Martens, one of the sport’s greatest anglers, sat at the top of the leaderboard with an impressive 20 lbs, 7 oz. However, Day Two belonged to another legendary angler who went on to claim the title and when the tournament was all said and done, Martens was kicked to second place by perhaps the most recognizable name in the sport today, and this year’s Classic winner, Kevin Van Dam.
Van Dam utilized the spinnerbait throughout the early part of the Classic, but after the fish began to “bump” the spinnerbait, rather than strike it, he changed his approach and threw a Strike King KVD 1.5 Square-Bill Crank. Once he found the right color, this lure, whose erratic action triggered the fish’s aggressive nature, allowed KVD to pull away and win the Classic by a 10 ½-pound margin.
The weedy waters and little ponds of Lake Cataouatche, in the Louisiana Delta, changed drastically throughout the weekend, but, as always, the 50 anglers vying for the trophy didn’t miss a step in varying their approach and their tactics on the water. To many, it was no surprise when Kevin Van Dam left everyone else in the dust and came away with a fourth Bassmaster Classic title. The sport of fishing is ever-changing, however, and, at the end of the day, a loss or a win depends on the fish.