2007 Elite Series - Champion's Choice Lake Champlain - Plattsburgh, NY, Jul 12 - 15, 2007

2007 Elite Series - Champion's Choice: Final Day notes

Angler of the Year points race heats up

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. — Skeet Reese took the bridesmaid position once again in an Elite Series event, but he secured the No. 1 spot in one aspect … for at least a week, anyway. With his second-place showing, the Californian overtook Kevin VanDam in the Toyota Angler of the Year points race with three events remaining.

Reese reeled in 20-4, the day's biggest bag, in overtaking Steve Kennedy, Britt Myers, Fred Roumbanis and Peter Thilveros and more importantly, giving himself a 22-point cushion in AOY standings. Aggressive largemouths took a liking to his Lavender Shad colored Lucky Craft BDS3 crankbait.

"I had an amazing day," Reese said. "I had two doubles (a fish on each set of treble hooks) today and probably five for the week."

Reese said that while it's nice to have the points lead, plenty of work remains.

"I also know there's 12 completion days remaining and I'm hoping I can fish all 12 days," Reese said.

Classic conversation

With the2007 Elite Series season entering the stretch run, anglers can start looking more clearly at their place in the Angler of the Year standings. Especially the bubble boys — the guys looking to get into the big dance early next year in Greenville, S.C., site of the 2008 Bassmaster Classic.

A bad James Taylor pun notwithstanding — "In my mind I'm going to Carolina …" the time to zero in on one of the 37 at-large bids is at hand.

Two anglers, Takahiro Omori (41) and Cliff Pace (45), sit just outside in AOY points, but will make up ground with 6th and 5th place finishes, respectively.

Shaw Grigsby (52nd), Yusuke Miyazaki (65th) and Britt Myers (66th) have more work to do, but top 12 finishes — 7th, 8th and 10th, respectively — this week will help their cause in getting to bass fishing's Big Dance.

Mowed over

Steve Kennedy skipped some of his most productive fishing areas on Day Four of the tournament. The reason? They no longer existed.

Kennedy had relied on the big fish lurking in the thick water chestnuts growing in the south reaches of Champlain.

"It's the baddest grass you've ever seen in your life, bar none," he said. But mowers routinely remove the invasive plants. And after jumping to a Day One lead, he returned to find three of his six best spots had been mowed, and the fish scattered.

Still, in typical Kennedy fashion, he enjoyed his day nonetheless, throwing his modified black frog.

"It was so much fun," he said. "Those 2- and 3-pounders just knock it in the air. But it'll break your heart."

He bagged only 14-4 on Day Four in ceding the second-place position to Reese.

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