2012 Elite Series Green Bay Challenge Lake Michigan - Green Bay, WI, Jun 28 - Jul 1, 2012

2012 Green Bay Challenge Live Blog

JVD completes limit, likely has 20+ pounds

1:49 pm CDT, Jul 1, 2012

JVD almost done for the day

1:05 pm CDT, Jul 1, 2012

Jonathon VanDam just put another 4 1/2-pounder in the boat.


"We're going to make them earn it," said VanDam about his fellow competitors for the Green Bay Challenge title.


He said he is going to cull his one small fish, then head to Green Bay.


We think he has 21 pounds now, minimum.

The JVD show continues

12:56 pm CDT, Jul 1, 2012

Jonathon VanDam just missed one he claimed was as big as the TV camera. That's pretty big!


He is literally stalking these fish right now.

JVD lurking over big smallies

12:49 pm CDT, Jul 1, 2012

James Overstreet and I are watching one incredible show. We would compare Jonathon VanDam right now to a kingfisher wearing Strike King polarized glasses, looking in the shallows, waiting to strike.


According to VanDam, there are plenty of fish to get this job done.

JVD coming on strong

12:42 pm CDT, Jul 1, 2012

Earlier today I did a video saying I felt Jonathon VanDam was spinning out.


Well, I need to give him some credit now. We have seen him struggle with missed opportunities and yet now we are seeing a true professional just one fish away from a possible victory.


Two hours left and he is on some giants!

Martens adds a 4-pounder

12:24 pm CDT, Jul 1, 2012

We just received an on-the-water report that Aaron Martens has added a 4-pounder to his livewell, allowing him to cull up to 16 pounds for the day.

Rojas on a roll

12:23 pm CDT, Jul 1, 2012

No matter what happens today, Dean Rojas is on a roll.


Rojas has now made four final-day Elite Series cuts this season, starting the season with an 11th-place finish on Florida's St. Johns River, then missing two straight top 50 cuts before rebounding to finish fourth at Tennessee's Douglas Lake, 38th at Toledo Bend Reservoir and eighth at La Crosse.


"I really want to make the postseason," said Rojas, who is currently 10th in AOY points and needs to finish among the top eight to assure himself a spot in the Toyota Trucks All-Star Week at Decatur, Ill., on Lake Shelbyville.


Rojas is understandably excited about closing the regular season at New York's Lake Oneida.


"I could fish Oneida without practicing," Rojas said Sunday morning.


In 2007, Rojas was in first place after two days on Oneida before the finals in that Elite Series Major shifted to Lake Onondoga for the final two days, where he finished fourth overall. Rojas won on Oneida in 2008 and finished third there in 2009.


His confidence is understandable.

JVD on a rollercoaster

12:10 pm CDT, Jul 1, 2012

The show of missed opportunities just took a turn for the better for Jonathon VanDam. He just landed a 5-pounder. Check out the "On the water" photo gallery later today, as James Overstreet captured this lunker smallmouth in midair.


But before that, it had been heartbreak after heartbreak for VanDam. He has lost four good fish, including an estimated 6-pounder, to broken lines.


He's definitely on the fish to win.

JVD loses another giant

11:43 am CDT, Jul 1, 2012

Wow! Jonathon VanDam just broke off another giant. He has this school of fish activated, but he is having terrible luck.


He has now lost about 10 pounds of bass. He has 5 pounds in the box.

Classic spots at stake, too!

11:40 am CDT, Jul 1, 2012
| By Ken Duke

The other race heating up is the battle to qualify for the 2013 Bassmaster Classic. It's a race to accumulate enough points to grab one of about 36 spots that will go to the Elite Series anglers.


It's going to take something in the neighborhood of 448 AOY points to finish in the top 36 and get a berth in the Classic. That means anyone currently ranked lower than about 54th needs to win the Oneida finale if they want to fish for $500,000 next February. They're going to have to go for broke.


Currently, the top 15 or so have a spot locked up. Even if they were to zero at Oneida, they're likely going to make it based on what they've already done this year. Realistically, the Top 20 or so are pretty safe. Those between 15 and 20 would really have to bomb in the finale to miss the Classic.


Just about every year though, someone in the Top 30 has a bad tournament at the end of the season and goes home wondering how things went so wrong. Last year it was Andy Montgomery, who was 26th heading for the finish line, but he ended up 41st.


And there's always one angler in the 40s going into the last event who turns on the jets and slips into the Classic with one final burst of glory. Last year it was David Walker. He was 46th going into the last tournament and won it, earning an automatic Classic berth and moving all the way up to 28th in the AOY rankings.