Kevin VanDam will scratch and claw to get to the Top 12 every week and on the rare occasions when he doesn't make it to Sunday, heaven help anyone who gets in his way at the next event.
Follow your favorite Elite pro on the day four launch of the 2009 Blue Ridge Brawl. The 2009 Blue Ridge Brawl was held on Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia.
If there was a technique Kevin VanDam hasn't quite mastered, most would agree that sight-fishing would be it.
Coming out of practice, Steve Kennedy had located both sight fish and swimbait fish. He chose to target the swimbait fish first, but struggled because the cold nights had pushed them down.
A number of circumstances, both natural and man-made, conspired to keep some of the anglers from seeing their finned quarry.
Heading into the third day of competition, five of the top twelve anglers in the standings were either born in California, raised there, or at some point called it home.
In this photo gallery, you'll find images of the anglers as they prepare to launch on Day Three of the 2009 Elite Series Blue Ridge Brawl on Smith Mountain Lake, near Moneta, Virginia.
It's like Groundhog Day, a broken record and déjà vu all over again rolled up into one.
"The whole thing was humiliating," Swindle said. "I had the trolling motor on high and the boat was swinging around while I was fishing a dock on my tip toes from the front of the boat, looking for fish. The boat hit the dock and I did a front flip, X-Games style off the front deck into the water."
VanDam was running a defined pattern in different areas, primarily focusing on smallmouth bass. He mixed in sight fishing — a technique used by many in the top tier of the field — along with a number of blind casts.