Bassmaster.com has asked our team of writers and staff to reflect on their favorite moment of 2016. Bryan Brasher is the Editor of B.A.S.S. Times and a frequent contributor to Bassmaster.com.
Jordan Lee may not remember it as one of his finest moments.
But for me, the Busch Beer Bassmaster Elite at Cayuga Lake provided an incredible look at the past, present and future of B.A.S.S.
Lee, a budding young superstar from Vinemont, Ala., was poised to claim his first Elite Series victory after leading the event on Days 2 and 3.
But just as Lee was about to take his final step into the winner’s circle, he was denied by the longtime king of the sport, Kevin VanDam of Kalamazoo, Mich.
Down by almost 2 pounds going into the final round, VanDam closed the event with a final-day catch of 15 pounds, 7 ounces to push his four-day weight to 71-13. Lee caught just 12-10 on the final day and finished second with 70-12.
While it wasn’t the changing of the guard it could have been, it offered a fascinating look at the three encompassing eras of professional bass fishing.
KVD has ruled the sport for a long time.
For the moment, he still does.
But young guns like Lee are the future of the sport – and Cayuga proved more than ever that his day in sun is rapidly approaching.