The most telling number about the Bassmaster Classic after two days of competition is that the leader goes on to win 57.5 percent of the time. And the winner is among the top two anglers going into the final day of competition 77.5 percent of the time.
Those numbers will almost certainly rise a little after this year's Classic, since Kevin VanDam and Brent Chapman have about a 5-pound lead over the rest of the field. It looks like a two-horse race going into the final round.
Here are some other numbers for the 41st Bassmaster Classic: VanDam has to be the odds-on favorite to win his fourth world championship. Only Rick Clunn has done that. If he wins, KVD will become just the second angler to claim back-to-back Classic championships. Clunn did it in 1976-1977. A win would also give the Kalamazoo Kid his 20th career B.A.S.S. victory, the most in history. He's currently tied at 19 with Roland Martin.
VanDam is on pace to weigh in 62-8 for the tournament. The current record weight for a Classic in the five-bass-limit era is 56-2 by Luke Clausen in 2006. The field is on pace to catch 1,770.5 for the event. That would be the most weight for any Classic and exceed the current record (1,578-14 on the Red River in 2009) by almost 200 pounds. We're on a pace for an average weight of 14.16 pounds per angler day.
That means the average angler brought that weight to the scales every time he weighed in. That would also be a new record, eclipsing 12.43 from (you guessed it) the Red River in 2009. The average Delta bass this year weighs 2.4675 pounds. That would be seventh all-time.
VanDam's catch of 22-8 yesterday is the eighth best single-day catch of the five-bass-limit era. Greg Hackney's 42nd-place finish here is the eighth worst ever by an angler fishing in his home state. If VanDam goes on to win, he'll surpass the $5 million mark in B.A.S.S. earnings. What's more, he'll have won more B.A.S.S. tournament prize money than the next two anglers combined!
If Brent Chapman can overcome his 3 pound, 10 ounce deficit, it'll be the sixth biggest comeback after Day 2 in Classic history. The biggest deficit overcome on the final day was 9-10 by Rick Clunn in 1990. Aaron Martens is currently 8-9 off the lead. If he holds, it'll be the second worst fall by a Day 1 leader in Classic history. Bo Dowden led the first round of the 1982 Classic and wound up 9-5 off the pace.
KVD has now led the way at the Classic after eight competition days. If he can win this one, he'll tie Rick Clunn with nine. Russ Lane's 7-12 lunker from Day 2 was not only the biggest bass ever weighed at a Delta Classic but the fifth best daily big bass in Classic history and the third best daily lunker from a Day 2.
VanDam had the heaviest catch of the day for the sixth time in his Classic career. Only Rick Clunn, with 8, has done it more times.