Bassmasters Classic heads to Louisiana Delta

Published online: Feb 17, 2011 News Don Dziedzina -
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The most prestigious bass fishing tournament, the Bassmasters Classic, will be held Friday through Sunday in New Orleans. It includes a field of 49 anglers from across the United States and one from Japan.

Competitors will be fishing the Louisiana Delta, which has the potential to have anglers bringing in a three-day total weight of more than 50 pounds. Limits are five fish per day.

Three-time Classic winner Kevin Van Dam, who was recently inducted into the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame in Chicago, will be defending the title he won last year Birmingham, Ala.

If VanDam wins, his career winnings will total more than $5 million. The top prize for this weekend's Classic is $500,000. (At the first Classic in 1971, it was $10,000.) Van Dam would also tie Rick Klunn's record number of Classic titles at four.

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"Kevin Van Dam is always a threat. He's the best competitive bass angler of all time, and he's won here before (2001)," said Ken Duke, senior editor of B.A.S.S. Publications. "Gary Klein is a sentimental favorite. He's done well here in the past (fourth in 1999 and second in 2003), and after 28 previous attempts he deserves to win a Classic."

Chicago is familiar with Classic fishing. In 2000, Classic anglers fished Lake Michigan, the Chicago River, the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, the Calumet River and Lake Calumet.

Woo Daves dominated the Classic here by brining to the scales a three-day total of 14 bass weighing 27 pounds, 13 ounces. That netted Daves $100,000 in prize money.

Daves' biggest catch for one day was a five-fish limit weighing 13 pounds, 1 ounce. He fished a tube with an eight-ounce jig.

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