The 2014 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by Diet Mountain Dew and GoPro is almost in the books, and it's already been an interesting one.
Here's where we stand — numbers-wise.
Move over Rick
Though the 2014 championship was a disappointing one for him, Kevin VanDam did take over the top spot in another big-time Classic category: career cumulative weight.
The old record was 772 pounds, 2 ounces by Rick Clunn. KVD passed him yesterday and now has 784-5, though he missed the cut in 26th place. It's the first Classic cut VanDam has missed since 2009.
More weight records
By far the most exciting weight record that fell yesterday (and there were several big ones) was the record for heaviest daily catch in the 5-bass-limit era. Luke Clausen held the top mark at 29-6 set in 2006 on the Kissimmee Chain. An unlikely challenger obliterated that one on Day 2 when B.A.S.S. Nation qualifier Paul Mueller tallied 32-3.
You want spooky? How about this: The record for heaviest daily weight ever brought to the scales at a Classic is 33-5 ... also on Day 2 at Guntersville, but this one was back in 1976. Rick Clunn posted that catch in the 10-bass-limit era.
Impressively, Guntersville now holds a lot of the Classic records for weights. It took only two days to break the record for most cumulative weight. The old record was 1,578-14 set on the Red River in 2009. Guntersville now has 1,667-11 with a day to go. If there's any caveat at all, it's that are more anglers in this year's Classic than in 2009, but that record was going to be eclipsed either way. Guntersville hasn't been spectacular, but it's been strong.
Home sweet home?
There were nine Alabama residents in this tournament, and unless things change dramatically in the final round, this Classic will go down as the worst ever for the home team. The Alabama entries disappointed big time!
As competition begins on Day 3, there are no Alabamans in the top 10 (Randy Howell is best at 11th) and four of the nine missed the cut completely. Having the toughest Classic of all of them was Gerald Swindle, who finished 53rd.
I realize that Randall Tharp is a longtime Alabama resident, but now he lives in Florida.
It's a tight Classic — the tightest! Just an ounce separates first and second places. If you watch BASSTrakk, keep in mind that Edwin Evers always estimates his weights low … very, very low. If BASSTrakk shows him with 17 pounds, know that he has 20. I love ya, Edwin, but it's true! Jason Christie will underestimate his catch, too.
Evers needs 22-6 to break the 5 bass heaviest catch record (currently set at 69-11 by KVD in 2011) and 28-4 to break the all-time record (75-9 set by Rick Clunn in 1984 with a 7-bass limit).
Several other anglers are also in a position to break one or both of the records.
By making the cut after Day 2, Jordan Lee is guaranteed the best-ever finish by a College qualifier. The previous record was 31st by Andrew Upshaw in 2012.
Young man's game
All of the five oldest anglers in this Classic (Mark Dove, Gary Klein, Tommy Biffle, Rick Morris and Alton Jones) have been eliminated. Four of the five youngest (Jordan Lee, Jonathon VanDam, Brandon Palaniuk and Ott DeFoe) are still fishing. Of the younger group, only Josh Bertrand missed the cut.