Thanks to Shawn Martinie for sending in these images from Kevin VanDam's day on the water. Surely KVD is looking forward to seeing the sun rise over White Lake as he heads into the final day of the Evan Williams Bourbon Championship with Hank Cherry, Cliff Pace and Edwin Evers.
Chris Zaldain, Gerald Swindle and Kevin VanDam have picked up and zoomed past us.
I think our work is done on Lake Muskegon.
"The pyramid" is a popular spot for the final minutes at Lake Muskegon. Kevin VanDam is fishing the riprap banks near the somewhat pyramid-shaped office building and Aaron Martens is fishing the big brushpile where he caught two 3-pounders this morning. Martens just landed 5-pound northern pike that hit a spinnerbait.
The accompanying photo is from Mike Elkins' Humminbird unit this morning, when he was showing me how thick the wood was stacked in that spoil site from the shipping canal. It's a giant fish attractor now. Martens said he was seeing "a ton of fish" on it this morning.
VanDam blanked on the riprap. He's on the move again.
They're getting bigger but still he needs to find a couple 5-pounders to make the cut. Photo by Bill Heller.
Kevin VanDam is scrambling to the bitter end. Add a frog to the baits VanDam has thrown in the last two hours today. And you can add it to the list of lures that haven't produced a single fish for him this afternoon.
He may have enough weight to make Sunday's Final Four, but that's a definite uncertainty at this point. Fifteen minutes ago, VanDam had moved back into the Heritage Landing area and was fishing about 100 feet from the check-in spot. But he's now on his second spot since then. He has moved across the lake again, west of Bear Lake Channel, fishing a jerkbait along a dropoff - a well-known spot, according to boat driver Mike Elkins.
Elkins fishes this lake a lot. He lives in Kalamazoo and has known VanDam since KVD was 15. And Elkins is stunned that VanDam hasn't caught even a short fish this afternoon. The wind is blowing, like the anglers wanted, and it's Kevin VanDam, for goodness sakes.
"That just shows you how off the bite is in this lake right now," Elkins said.
Mike Iaconelli is fishing in a little industrial area surrounded by loading docks and big piles of sand. And he is killing it in here with three keepers in 15 minutes. We think he's throwing a soft plastic stick bait. Mike estimated the last keeper as a three pounder. We're thinking that gives him at least 12 pounds for the day.
Ike has a big, loud flotilla of boats, around 15, following him. When he celebrates, they holler along with him.