Mercury Angler Kevin VanDam repeats as Bassmaster Classic champion
Feb 21, 2011
Kevin VanDam, sponsored by Mercury and MotorGuide, shattered the Bassmaster Classic three-day weight record with a total of 69 pounds 11 ounces on the Louisiana Delta when he successfully repeated as the 2011 champion for this fourth Classic title.
The previous record of 56 pounds, 2 ounces was established by Luke Clausen at the 2006 Bassmaster Classic on Lake Toho, Florida.
VanDam, 43, of Kalamazoo, Mich., won the 41st Bassmaster Classic for a record-tying fourth time and a half-million-dollar payday. His first title came 10 years ago on these same Louisiana Delta waters. VanDam is also the 2009 and 2010 Bassmaster Angler of the Year. His six AOY titles are second only to the legendary Roland Martin, who has nine.
VanDam bagged 15 fish with a weight total 10 pounds more than fellow Mercury angler and 2011 runner-up Aaron Martens. VanDam entered the final day with a slim lead over Mercury Pro angler Brent Chapman, but pulled away Sunday with the second-best daily performance of the competition. Chapman finished fifth overall.
VanDam finished in the top three spots each day, hauling in 19-3 pounds Friday, a daily-best 22-8 Saturday and 28-0 total in Sunday’s championship round.
Mercury sponsored Derek Remitz finished third behind VanDam and Martens with 56 pounds 8 ounces.
Boyd Duckett, also a Mercury angler, finished sixth and had the best single-day performance when he boated 28 pounds 13 ounces during the championship round.
VanDam has run Mercury engines his entire career. Seven of the top 10 finishers were sponsored by Mercury.
The Classic Weigh-In was held each afternoon in the New Orleans Arena.
Fifty of the best bass anglers in the world competed for the $500,000 first-place check and a place in bass fishing history. The field weighed in a total of 547 fish over three days.
The VanDam victory puts yet another superlative on what is considered by many the most complete resume in the history of the sport. He now has four Classic titles, including two on the Louisiana Delta (2001 and 2011), another in 2005 on the Three Rivers fishery surrounding Pittsburgh, Pa. and last year’s title on Lay Lake near Birmingham, Ala. His string of 21-straight Classic qualifications is the longest active streak in BASS.