In the annals of Bassmaster Classic history, there are many records. You probably know most of them — Rick Clunn's four championships, Luke Clausen's 56-2 winning catch in 2006, Preston Clark's 11-10 lunker from the same year. These are our World Series and Super Bowl marks. This year in New Orleans, three big-time records are ripe for the picking.
If the weather cooperates and there are no numbing cold fronts that shut down the fishing, there's a great chance that the winner will post better than 60 pounds in this year's Classic. One reason for increased weights is the timing. What lunkers the Delta produces typically come in February and March. Three previous Classics here produced just one bass heavier than 6 pounds. We could absolutely see an 8- or even a 10-pounder this year.
In fact, in two previous Classic appearances here (1999 and 2003), he finished fourth and second. This could be the year he finally gets the monkey off his back and loses his tag as the angler who's fished the most Classics without ever winning. He'll certainly be a favorite among pundits and Fantasy Fishing players.
On Lay Lake last year, VanDam used the crowd like a floating fence to prevent other anglers from sharing his water. This year, he won't have that problem on the massive Louisiana Delta. And it's unlikely that fan boats will be factor in the labyrinthine canals and cuts. The boats that follow KVD will be challenged to keep up, and he should be able to fish in relative solitude.
That's important for the world's most popular and successful bass angler. What's more, he's won here before — in 2001. What better way to celebrate the 10th anniversary of his first Classic title than another championship?