LAKE MICHIGAN, Ill. — In one of the most challenging Classics ever staged, Woo Daves of Spring Grove, Va., brought in a total of 14 bass weighing 27 pounds, 13 ounces.
The weight was enough to win the 30th Classic, even though it was just 18 ounces more than the runner-up. Along with the crown, Daves received a $100,000 paycheck.
The event marked his 15th Classic appearance, and in previous events he had recorded a second place finish, along with two thirds, a fourth, a fifth and a sixth.
Daves made his move to win the Classic on the second day, bringing in five smallmouth weighing 13-1, which turned out to be the heaviest catch of the tournament.
Daves decided to move in close to the bank and began casting parallel with it instead of toward it. He also switched from 8-pound-test Stren to 6-pound test, and it appeared to make the difference, as each of his fish came after he began using the lighter line.
He fished a Zoom tube jig, with a 1/8-ounce leadhead with the hook exposed.
For the first time in Classic history, BASS issued more than 300 working media credentials in 2000.
• Champ Woo Daves was fishing in his 15th Classic. In his first Classic (1975), he was the youngest angler in the field. In 2000, he was the oldest.
• At 54, Daves became the oldest angler to win a Classic championship.
• Following his Classic win, Daves sat out the 2001 BASS season to cash in on his celebrity. He qualified for the 2001 Classic as the defending champion.
Top 6 finishers
1. Woo Daves Spring Grove, Va. 27-13
2. Mark Rizk Antelope, Calif. 26-11
3. Shaw Grigsby Jr. Gainesville, Fla. 24-07
4. Rick Clunn Ava, Mo. 23-14
5. Kotaro Kiriyama Tokyo, Japan 23-14
6. Norio Tanabe Tokyo, Japan 23-15