Great Lakes Angler Blog

JVD Trails Leader By 4 Ounces Heading into Final Day

Sunday, July 01, 2012
Share |

GREEN BAY, WI – Kalamazoo's Jonathon VanDam is fishing in the final day of a Bassmaster Elite tournament for the first time in his two-year pro career. Yesterday's catch of five smallmouth weighing 20 pounds, 12 ounces moved him into second place, just four ounces behind Idaho's Brandon Palaniuk, who brought in five fish totaling 21 pounds, 2 ounces caught in Lake Michigan in the Bassmaster Elite Series Green Bay Challenge.

On the first day, it was 2005 Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year Aaron Martens. On Day 2, three-time Elite winner Dean Rojas grabbed the top spot. Palaniuk, has already won one Elite event this year on Bull Shoals Lake in Arkansas.

Palaniuk's was the heaviest catch by any angler thus far in the event. It moved Palaniuk up from fourth place and gives him 56-2.

Palaniuk’s big bite started on the second day, when he brought a 5-10 bronzeback to the scales to take the lead in the Carhartt Big Bass contest. Today, VanDam’s limit was anchored by a smallmouth that weighed 5-9 — today’s best, but not quite good enough to surpass Palaniuk for the tournament lead or big bass of the tournament.

VanDam’s catch came by drop shotting a 4-inch Strike King Dream Shot in KVD Magic (green and silver with blue flake). He’s using a 3/8-ounce sinker and fishing in the same area that has kept him high on the leaderboard for all three days.

“I think my area will hold up,” VanDam said, “but I’d like the wind to blow a little more. It helps my bite, and I think it makes it tougher for the other anglers in the field to hold on their spots and fish them effectively.” When VanDam was fighting his biggest bass to the boat today, the fish was followed by several others, some of which were also in the five-pound class. He’s hoping to put them in the boat today. VanDam, 24, contributes the column JVD on GL Bass to Great Lakes Angler Magazine.

Day 1 leader Aaron Martens fell from second place into third today after catching a limit of smallmouth that weighed 16-1. He has 53-0 for three days. Dean Rojas, the Day 2 leader, slipped to fourth with 13-8 for a total of 51-4.

With fewer than four pounds separating the top four anglers, this is one of the closest tournaments of the Elite season. Palaniuk could become the first angler to win multiple Elite events in a single season since Skeet Reese won two in 2010. Jonathon VanDam would earn his first Bassmaster Classic berth with a win, and either Martens or Rojas could notch a third Elite title with a victory in Green Bay.

On the Angler of the Year front, the race continues to tighten among a trio of anglers. For Brent Chapman and Todd Faircloth, the Green Bay Challenge is over. In this tournament, they finished in 27th and 29th, respectively. For Ott DeFoe, last season’s Bassmaster Rookie of the Year, there’s still a chance to add to his AOY points total. DeFoe is in sixth place going into the finals on Lake Michigan. A few spots up or down tomorrow could be critical to his dream of winning the AOY title.

For now, Chapman leads the race with 566 points. DeFoe is second with 552, and Faircloth is third with 546. The race will be decided in the season finale at the Oneida Lake Challenge, Aug. 23-26.

First prize in the Challenge is $100,000 and a berth in the 2013 Bassmaster Classic. The pros also are fighting for points to earn a qualification for the 2013 Classic. Those near the top of the points standings are in contention for a postseason entry and the 2012 Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year title.


The Challenge will continue through Sunday at Metro Boat Launch in Green Bay. Takeoff was set for 6:30 a.m., and weigh-ins will begin at 3:15 p.m. The Bassmaster Elite Series Family Festival will open at noon on Saturday and Sunday.

All Bassmaster fan activities are free and open to the public. will provide extensive daily coverage, including daily streaming of the weigh-ins as they happen, real-time leaderboards, photo galleries, results and standings. Saturday and Sunday, the Bassmaster Elite Series War Room will present updates from BASSTrakk, a catch system relayed from the water, plus in-depth interviews and analysis. Hooked Up! segments will be presented Saturday and Sunday. Access is free to all pages and features.

PHOTO: Jonathon VanDam, shown at yesterday's weigh-in, is competing against 11 other anglers for the $100,000 top prize today on Green Bay. Photo courtesy of B.A.S.S. / Seigo Saito



GlAngler Subscription

Recent Posts


Betsy Yamaha ATV Port of Indiana Contaminants Telescoping JIggler Long Rod South Haven, Michigan Bob Schmidt Shelter JBL Jerky Martin-Flory Lights Catfish USO Venice, Louisiana Insect repellent Side Imaging spreader light NMEA Wind Power Boat lifts Ranger Aluminum Deep V Series Matt Straw Sportsman's rights PLB Homeport Marine Marketing Sport Shows Niagara Falls ODNR Bass Lake Ontario Berkley Walleyes Salmon Unlimited of Illinois ABT X-2 Countdown AKOYA RAT FINKEE Kurt Mazurek AmVets Shurhold Lake Erie Chargers Stabenow Walleye St. Croix Gear Silver Horde Northwest Indiana Steelheaders Alabama Rig Michigan DNR National Guard Oakley Sunglasses iPhone Bro Brosdahl PulseTech Angler 175T Bad Elf Princecraft Mr. Twister Brown trout Fuel Chatterbait Rugged Shark Manistee Power Streams Tournament Navigation Rain suit Titan Chain Foul weather gear Asian carp Muskie Lure Audio Z-Man Ranger Scott Martin Safe boating Mosquito repellent SOG Clay Dyer Rig'N Tails Black Earth Creek Plano Tackle Boxes New Zealand Black Velvet WFN dock lines U.S.S.A. Gene Larew EVOLVE FISHING CO Up Stream Hydration Back Pack Soo Locks Aqualuma BASSMASTER CLASSIC Bass Pro Shops Raritan Forage Minnow spoon Magnum Flow-Troll Holland Lake Assault Sunglasses Mack's Lures Line Hobie Pro Angler Multi-species Macho Minnow Whale Hobie Shoremaster USCGA New York Michigan City, Indiana Kevin VanDam Church Tackle iPilot Strike King Conservation Spreads Boat US Larson Electronics Swanson-Russell Frigibar B.A.S.S. Fish Hawk XD4 Chicago barrier Kill switch Northland Oculus BASSMASTER Sphaera Keep Kool Lund Jeff's Tackle Shop Bass Pro Skamania Mania Ice Features Electronics Lowrance St. Croix Rods Izaak Walton League Bheestie Bag SeaLife Cameras jigs Indiana DNR News Green Bay eZSplice Dunkirk, NY Nautical Olcott, NY Shock Wave Wisconsin Baitcast Fishing Pole BBQ Lighter Evolve YUM iPilot Link ONIX Beckson Airmar Prosepec Electronics Accon Marine Lakemaster Team Aqua-Vu tree stand injury Catch & Cook Andrew Semprevivo Swim bait Hamlin Glacier Glove hardbaits WeatherStation Rods CMP Global Jack Links Quantum Corey Schmidt Bass lure USCG Todd Sokolow Chronglobal Great Lakes Troller Blue Collar Outdoors ShowSpan Lures Gary Dollahon Bug bite relief splice Ditty bag Triton Boats Bass Pro Shops Four-Person Dome Tent with Screen Porch Balog CLASSIC MATE USA Line Recycle Bin Onyx Legend Gold Mark Chmura Moisture Muncher Aquatic AV 1675 Pro Guide BoatUS Lake Huron Aluminum Deep V Series F-Series Storm Gear Invasive species Tommy Skarlis Trade Shows Ranger Boats Rippin' Lips Costa Sunglasses RedHead Rubrail Ascend Pop-Up LED Bowlights Spencer Yachts Accessories Trout Unlimited great lakes Rippin Lips Rapala Normark blue marlin Bait Holder Alaskan iPad EZ Splice Fasteners Bristol Bay Salmon Frabill Fishing Clubs Ryan Wilson Evinrude Boats Traditions Media Dave Genz Aqua-Vu Dave Mull Blog Sharpeners Launch ramp 360 Rovermax LR 100 Fort Wayne, Indiana YUMphibian redfish Scholarship Boat names Side Thruster Mustad Hevi-Beads GPS Speedometer LCWCC Pro Polish Owners tournament Patrick Hurst Ultimate Flannel Shirts WileyX Boating safety Earth Day clubs Batteries Brandon Newby News/Social Mazurek Vick Brite Wash Endura Swim Whizz Fiberglass boat Tim Popfinger treestand injury LineSnubber Radio Shipping Apps Extended Warranty Tom Neustrom Gravity Smart Guide Publications Lead Radial Games Gunnison, CO Skarlis Chaco Tournament Grade Circle Hooks Alaska Knife sharpening Milennia MIL-iDock LOTSA Whale Pumps Weather Buoy The Conference & Event Center Niagara Falls Matt Serbenski Whistler Spoon Marcum Cannon Gary Giudice Davis Instruments Plano Synergy Kayak Fish America Foundation Thermacell Tight Lines Jewelry FLW Bethel University Rushton Gregory Reese Minn Kota Mark Zona Speakers STRATTEC ice fishing, Bro Show, Traditions Media Gill NA Dave Mull Volvo Penta GPS for Lightning Connector Traxstech Bait head Greater Niagara Fishing & Outdoor Expo Jonathon VanDam MUSHING BOLT Padlock Records Bristol Bay Innovative Outdoors McMurdo Jeff Wenzel USSA Safety Ravenswood Media Serious Shine Costa Sheldon's Soft Jigwobbler tackle storage Mike Seymour Faria Costa Del Mar Green Bay, Wisconsin Kayaks Tyee John E. Phillips South Haven OHIO Odd'ball Fin Spin Lake trout Marine NewsWire DuraSafe Electronics Lock Honda Oshkosh BoatUS Angler On board LineGrabber Flat Slider 75 Marine Lighting Lock boat rental Promise Keeper Husky Jerk TRAC Tip-Up Ditch Contest Autotether Tracker Marine TRAC Ecological Reef Runner Wounded Warriors spinning rod Footwear Slender Spoon Glorvigen Boat Covers Kindle book Marine Radio Salmon Optima Dogs Ryan Kleckner binoculars Bait Rigs Turning Point Props The Harry Lure NAIFC Championship Orca Fin System Mack's Lure Delorme mudsnail exotic invader toilet Wildlife Forever Rough Weather Size limits Grunden's Swedish FireKnife Pharmaceuticals Custom Jigs & Spins Big Bear Products Bug repellent Camera mount Lund Boats Coast Guard Ultracoat FRIDAY FUNNIES JVD InvisaSnap Downriggers Fiberglass tiller Lake Superior Hunting Soul5 Tackle Labs Boat maintenance New Lures One-Handle-Does-It-All System SeaEra QC Cliff Pace Storage ABT Bibs Lighting Tackle Bag KVD Boating Traditions Okuma Iaconelli Rescue Michigan University of Buffalo Rain gear Gull Lake Marine Steve Wood Smart Guide to Freshwater Fishing Uncle Norm's Ranger VS1780 Lake Michigan Buff River Fishing Yamaha Home Port Marine Marketing Barry Brown Marine EZ Dock DSC Mag Light Sunstream Boat Lifts Topwater Knives Smartfind S20 Personal AIS Beacon Insurance Video DuraSafe Air show Seakeeper gyro Headgear Bass Pro Shops Gift Card Marine Speakers Practical Sailor Walleye tournament Aqua Vu bimini top Global Spectrum Sun protection Grady-White Snow-Shoe Tip-Up ATV Brian Brosdahl IGFA Angler inReach Clam Muscle Squared 65 Ice Fishing Technology Youth CUSTOM JIGS 'N' SPINS Wild River series Crankbait Net Wedding Ring Goby Humminbird Ethanol marlin Fishing Slide Moor PRADCO Interlux Dollahon Monel Metal EZ BoatPort Deep Sea Diver Plano Shoes Torpedo Divers VMC Tides Synergy Outdoors exotic species Cabela's Acme Legend Extreme ASA Wake Fishing cruzin HELLA Tournaments Jeff Gustafson Marsh Madness Tools Multitools LakeMaster Western States Version Army Corp of Engineers weather