Bassmaster Elite Series Pros Face Tough Conditions in Sunshine Showdown

What's at stake: $673,150 in cash to the top 50 Elite pros, and valuable points in the race for the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year award. In addition to crowning the final Elite Series event winner of 2007, one angler will emerge as the winner of bass fishing's highest honor: the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year title. Also to be awarded: the Toyota Rookie of the Year award, and the Toyota Moving Forward Award. Additionally, 36 Bassmaster Classic berths will be awarded to the Elite anglers with the highest number of points, and the top 84 anglers in the AOY standings will qualify for the 2008 season.

 Telecast: The Sunshine Showdown presented by Allstate Boat Insurance on Lake Tohopekaliga in Kissimmee, Fla., will be aired on ESPN2's The Bassmasters Saturday, Sept. 29, at 9 a.m. ET.

 The Pros Said It

"Right now practice is pretty slow and I've yet to get a limit of bites in one day. I'm still hunting and pecking, trying to find a glory hole or solid pattern where I can go catch a limit each day. The fish are biting first thing in the morning and then they really shut down. If anything, I've eliminated a lot of stuff. I'm hoping to find something today and then let the derby begin! As long as I beat Kevin (VanDam) by one point (in the AOY race), that's all that matters." — Skeet Reese, 38, Auburn, Calif., eight-time Bassmaster Classic qualifier and 2007 Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year points leader headed into final event

 "I can sum up the practice in one word: challenging. There's something wrong with the water clarity in the lake, it's off-color and there's no current moving. When you combine those two things it makes it really tough. It's going to be one tough event to win and I think you're going to have to fish two or three patterns to do it. It's tough enough to fish here four days when the fishing is good, and the conditions right now are making it much more difficult." — Terry Scroggins, 38, San Mateo, Fla., four-time Bassmaster Classic qualifier, fifth in combined Bassmaster Angler of the Year standings for 2006 and 2007

 "The lake's fishing pretty tough right now. I'm doing a lot of flipping but it's sporadic and it's hard to get a big bite and duplicate on the conditions that we have. I'm looking for that magic spot and have to almost win this tournament as well as Skeet (Reese) have a bad tournament for me to win Angler of the Year. I've seen enough good things happen that it gets me excited, but I'm also a realist. I'm looking for five big ones in fives casts and haven't found that yet." — Kevin VanDam, 39, Kalamazoo, Mich., two-time Bassmaster Classic Winner, now second in the 2007 Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year points standings

 The Strategy

 Reese: The leader in Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year points is playing up his fishing strengths by flipping grass beds and hoping it will work to his advantage in the final event. He is fishing a variety of lures including crankbaits, top-water baits, Carolina rigs and a variety of soft plastics. He is moving often and targeting several areas, including shallow-water grassy areas, deep-water grassy areas, pockets and points. The spinnerbait and jig are not factors in his strategy.

 Scroggins: Before practicing for the Sunshine Showdown, the Floridian estimated that it would take 17 to 20 pounds to win the event, but now he believes it will be far less: an estimated 13 pounds per day to win. He is fishing a variety of lures, including a Carolina rig with Houdini worm and flipping a Big Show Craw lure. Scroggins is planning to cover as much water as possible. He has identified a little bit of schooling activity but says it is limited.

 VanDam: He's moving often and covering lots of water. While he has fished Lake Toho several times in the past, he has never fished it at this time of year, which is making it tough. The Michigan pro is targeting Kissimmee grass, reeds, hydrilla and matted vegetation, as well as searching for structure and deeper water. VanDam estimates that pros will need 13 pounds a day on average, and 50 to 55 pounds overall will likely win.

 Location and Field

 Sunshine Showdown

 Lake Tohopekaliga

 Kissimmee, FL

 Sept. 13-16, 2007

 Field

 108 pros, 108 co-anglers

 Cut to top 50 after Day 2

 Cut to top 12 pro anglers after Day 3

 

 

Launch/Weigh-in

 

Kissimmee Lake Front Park

 

698 Lakeshore Blvd.

 

Kissimmee, Blvd. 34744

 

6:50 a.m. ET / 3 p.m. ET

 

 

 

Background

 

Previous BASS events

 

2006 Bassmaster Classic

 

2006 ESPN Outdoors Bassmaster Series

 

2005 ESPN Outdoors Bassmaster Series Championship

 

2005 BASS Southern Open

 

2005 ESPN Outdoors Bassmaster Series

 

2005 Bassmaster Tour

 

2001 Bassmaster Tour

 

2001 Bassmaster Top 150

 

2000 Bassmaster Top 150

 

1999 Bassmaster Top 150

 

1982 BASS Invitational

 

1980 BASS Invitational

 

1978 BASS Invitational

 

1977 Bassmaster Classic

 

 

Previous winners on lake

 

56-2, Luke Clausen, 2006

 

15-8, Josh Guess, 2006

 

27-11, Jeff Coble, 2005

 

39-9, Terry Scroggins, 2005

 

21-7, Charlie Coleman, 2005

 

50-11, Takahiro Omori, 2005

 

61-4, Tim Horton, 2001

 

108-12, Dean Rojas, 2001

 

53-11, Shaw Grigsby, 2000

 

41-0, Danny Kirk, 1999

 

30-1, Ken Cook, 1982

 

33-11, Horace Phipps, 1980

 

David Gliebe, 1978

 

Rick Clunn, 1977

 

 

Heaviest winning weight

 

108-12, Dean Rojas, 2001

 

 

Lowest winning weight

 

15-8, Josh Guess, 2006

 

 

Temperature

 

90 degrees

 

 

Lake level

 

0 ft. above mean sea level

 

 

Local sponsors: Central Florida Sports Commission and the Kissimmee Convention and Visitors Bureau.

 

Bassmaster Elite Series sponsors: Sponsors of the Bassmaster Elite Series include Toyota Tundra, Purolator, Triton Boats, Mercury Marine, Berkley, Advance Auto Parts, Lowrance Electronics, MotorGuide, Evan Williams Bourbon, Ramada Worldwide and Costa Del Mar.

 

Live, streaming video of the Sunshine Showdown's daily weigh-ins begins at 3 p.m. ET at www.ESPNOutdoors.com. Also live on www.ESPNOutdoors.com, the pre-show Hooked Up will preview the final weigh-in Sunday. ESPN2 Outdoors personalities Mark Zona and Tommy Sanders return as the Hooked Up hosts.

 

For more information, contact BASS Communications at (407) 566-2208 or visit www.bassmaster.com. Visit www.espnmediazone.com for ESPN's latest releases, schedules and other news, plus photos, video and audio clips and more.

 


 

News exclusives, audio and video clips of bass fishing's biggest stars, loads of discounts and more are all part of BASS Insider, an exclusive membership, now available at www.bassmaster.com.

 


 

BASS is the worldwide authority on bass fishing, staging more than 20,000 events through the BASS Federation Nation annually. Guided by its mission to serve all fishing fans, BASS sets the standard for credibility, professionalism, sportsmanship and conservation, as it has for nearly 40 years.

 


 

BASS stages and sanctions bass fishing tournaments for every skill level culminating with the Bassmaster Classic. Through its clubs, youth programs, aquatic resource advocacy, magazine publishing and multimedia platforms, BASS offers the industry's widest array of services and support to its nearly 530,000 members. The organization is headquartered in Celebration, Fla.

 

 

2007 TOYOTA TUNDRA BASSMASTER ANGLER OF THE YEAR STANDINGS

 

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Place Name St Pts

 

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1 Skeet Reese Calif. 2579

 

2 Kevin VanDam Mich. 2472

 

3 Jared Lintner Calif. 2276

 

4 Steve Kennedy Ala. 2178

 

5 Terry Scroggins Fla. 2166

 

6 Aaron Martens Ala. 2165

 

7 Fred Roumbanis Calif. 2136

 

8 Kelly Jordon Texas 2133

 

9 Todd Faircloth Texas 2109

 

10 Boyd Duckett Ala. 2063

 

11 Scott Rook Ark. 2054

 

12 Edwin Evers Okla. 2053

 

13 Tommy Biffle Okla. 2038

 

14 Greg Hackney La. 2037

 

15 Chris Lane Fla. 2030

 

16 Jeff Kriet Okla. 2027

 

16 Kevin Wirth Ky. 2027

 

18 Ishama Monroe Calif. 2024

 

19 Stephen Browning Ark. 2023

 

20 Gary Klein Texas 1999

 

21 Brent Chapman Kan. 1979

 

22 Derek Remitz Texas 1978

 

23 John Murray Ariz. 1976

 

24 Peter Thliveros Fla. 1972

 

25 Cliff Pace Miss. 1964

 

26 Timmy Horton Ala. 1954

 

27 Michael Iaconelli N.J. 1929

 

28 Takahiro Omori Texas 1922

 

29 Casey Ashley S.C. 1917

 

30 Mark Tyler Okla. 1878

 

31 Mike McClelland Ark. 1852

 

32 Randy Howell Ala. 1834

 

33 Alton Jones Texas 1830

 

33 Matthew Sphar N.Y. 1830

 

35 Jason Quinn S.C. 1805

 

36 John Crews Va. 1803

 

37 Dave Wolak N.C. 1799

 

38 Davy Hite S.C. 1794

 

38 Matt Reed Texas 1794

 

40 Jason Williamson S.C. 1784

 

41 Dean Rojas Texas 1783

 

42 Kevin Short Ark. 1782

 

43 Mark Menendez Ky. 1781

 

44 Jeff Reynolds Okla. 1779

 

45 Shaw Grigsby, Jr Fla. 1772

 

46 Kotaro Kiriyama Ala. 1770

 

47 Scott Campbell Mo. 1756

 

48 Mike Wurm Ark. 1755

 

49 Gerald Swindle Ala. 1751

 

50 Brian Snowden Mo. 1741

 

51 Rick Morris Va. 1735

 

51 Yusuke Miyazaki Texas 1735

 

53 Britt Myers S.C. 1720

 

54 Morizo Shimizu Calif. 1719

 

55 Bill Lowen Ohio 1715

 

56 Marty Robinson S.C. 1712

 

57 Denny Brauer Mo. 1700

 

58 James Niggemeyer Texas 1673

 

59 Ray Sedgwick S.C. 1668

 

60 Kenyon Hill Okla. 1657

 

61 Mark Tucker Mo. 1653

 

62 Kurt Dove Va. 1638

 

63 Jami Fralick S.D. 1636

 

64 Rick Clunn Mo. 1632

 

65 Bernie Schultz Fla. 1621

 

66 Bryan Hudgins Fla. 1618

 

67 Paul Elias Miss. 1612

 

68 Ken Cook Okla. 1609

 

69 Bradley Hallman Okla. 1585

 

70 Russ Lane Ala. 1566

 

71 Pete Ponds Miss. 1558

 

72 Grant Goldbeck Md. 1553

 

73 Jeremy Starks W.Va. 1552

 

74 Ben Matsubu Texas 1549

 

75 James Kennedy La. 1521

 

76 Lee Bailey Ala. 1509

 

77 Jim Murray Ga. 1502

 

78 Jimmy Mize Ark. 1498

 

79 Jeff Connella La. 1497

 

80 Charlie Hartley Ohio 1466

 

81 Preston Clark Fla. 1461

 

82 Ken Brodeur Conn. 1438

 

83 Paul Hirosky Pa. 1432

 

84 Greg Gutierrez Calif. 1407

 

85 Mark Rogers Fla. 1393

 

86 Kevin Langill N.C. 1391

 

87 Marty Stone N.C. 1390

 

88 Matt Amedeo Ohio 1388

 

89 James Charlesworth Fla. 1372

 

90 Terry Butcher Okla. 1349

 

91 Guy Eaker N.C. 1329

 

92 Glenn Delong Ohio 1298

 

93 Zell Rowland Texas 1295

 

94 Dave Smith Okla. 1259

 

95 Bill Smith Ky. 1253

 

95 Keith Phillips Ala. 1253

 

97 Steve Daniel Fla. 1240

 

98 Darrin Schwenkbeck N.Y. 1232

 

99 Doc Merkin Ill. 1181

 

100 Bradley Stringer Texas 1173

 

101 Frank Scalish Ohio 1172

 

102 Jon Bondy Canada 1152

 

103 Eric Nethery Ga. 1142

 

104 Jimmy Mason Ala. 1099

 

105 Byron Velvick Texas 1065

 

106 Rick Ash Pa. 985

 

107 Charlie Youngers Fla. 980

 

108 Elton Luce Jr Texas 855

 

2007 TOYOTA ROOKIE OF THE YEAR RACE

 

2007 ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

 

After Potomac River, Charles County, MD ending 08-12-2007, Day 4

 

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Place Name St Pts

 

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1 Derek Remitz Texas 1978

 

2 Casey Ashley S.C. 1917

 

3 Matthew Sphar N.Y. 1830

 

4 Jason Williamson S.C. 1784

 

5 Scott Campbell Mo. 1756

 

6 Marty Robinson S.C. 1712

 

7 James Niggemeyer Texas 1673

 

8 Bryan Hudgins Fla. 1618

 

9 James Kennedy La. 1521

 

10 Matt Amedeo Ohio 1388

 

11 James Charlesworth Fla. 1372

 

12 Glenn Delong Ohio 1298

 

2007 TOYOTA MOVING FORWARD AWARD

 

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Place Name 2006 Finish 2007 Standings

 

---------------------------------------------------------

 

1 Fred Roumbanis 69 7

 

2 Chris Lane 61 15

 

3 Scott Rook 47 11

 

4 Mark Tyler 64 30

 

5 Rick Morris 81 51

 

6 Stephen Browning 45 19

 

6 Terry Scroggins 31 5

 

8 Mark Menendez 68 43

 

8 Kevin Short 67 42

 

10 Britt Myers 76 53

 

11 Kurt Dove 82 62

 

11 Brent Chapman 41 21

 

13 Ishama Monroe 37 18

 

14 Jeff Kriet 33 16

 

15 Grant Goldbeck 88 72

 

15 Ken Brodeur 98 82

 

15 Gary Klein 36 20

 

18 Jared Lintner 18 3

 

19 Todd Faircloth 23 9

 

19 Mark Rogers 99 85

 

21 Pete Ponds 83 71

 

22 Takahiro Omori 35 28

 

23 David Wolak 43 37

 

23 Skeet Reese 7 1

 

25 Ken D Cook 73 68

 

26 Timmy Horton 30 26

 

26 Yusuke Miyazaki 55 51

 

26 Brian Snowden 54 50

 

29 Charlie Hartley 83 80

 

29 Jami Fralick 66 63

 

31 Davy Hite 40 38

 

31 Kelly Jordon 10 8

 

33 Kevin VanDam 3 2

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