Kevin Van Dam of Kalamazoo, Mich., led wire-to-wire to claim his 14th BASS victory yesterday in a Bassmaster Elite Series tournament at Kentucky Lake near Gilbertsville, Ky.
VanDam had a four-day catch totaling 84 pounds, 13 ounces to win by one pound, one ounce over a hard-charging Tim Horton of Muscle Shoals, Ala.
In addition to the $100,000 first-place prize, VanDam claimed the lead in the 2008 Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year standings. With just three tournaments left on this year’s schedule, VanDam leads Todd Faircloth of Jasper, by a modest 65 points in the Angler of the Year race.
Horton trailed VanDam by seven pounds going into yesterday’s final round and made things interesting when he weighed in a final day’s catch of 24 pounds, 11 ounces to place second with an 83-pound, 12-ounce total. Terry Butcher of Talala, Okla., finished third with 78 pounds, three ounces.
The next Bassmaster Elite Series event will be June 26-29 at Old Hickory Lake near Hendersonville, Tenn. It is the ninth event of the season and one that was rescheduled from the Mississippi River at Fort Madison, Iowa, due to unsafe water conditions caused by floods.
Highlights of the Kentucky Lake tournament will be aired Saturday at 8 a.m. CST on ESPN2.