Year in Review: Elite Series


There are still a few tournaments going on, but in the grand scheme of it all the 2011 season has officially come to a close.

Fish have been caught and released. Champions have been crowned. Dreams have been made. All that’s left now is to start the countdown to the 2012 season.

However, before looking forward to all that will be, it’s always good to reflect on all that was. In this case, who were the pros that capitalized in 2011 and climbed our rankings, and who took steps back. We’ll start with on BASS Elite Series.

Elite Series Ranking

Oh how things can change in a year. A year ago on this day, we were all talking about the battle brewing between Skeet Reese and Kevin VanDam for the rights to bass fishing’s thrown. After all, Reese had a commanding hold on the top slot in the Elite Series Ranking compared to VanDam in second (826.089 to 768. 275).

Fast-forward a year and the battle has been put on hiatus. VanDam was the top angler on any tour in 2011 according to one one-year Majors World Rankings, but he was downright dominant on the Elite Series. He scored an 859.694 this year in Elite Series events, while the next best was Edwin Evers with a 753.827. And that doesn’t include VanDam’s victory at the Bassmaster Classic.

Meanwhile, Reese had a year to forget, as his 500 score had him as the 53rd best angler on the Elite Series this season. However, even with the poor season he still only dropped to 11th in the Elite Series Ranking, showing just how dominant he had been in 2010.

Gary Klein and Mike McClelland are two more who would probably like to forget 2011. Klein fell from 9th to 28th after this season. But that pales in comparison to McClelland’s plummet from 10th to 60th, the farthest drop over the course of this Elite Series season.

Other notable descents in the rankings include Kelly Jordan (16th to 49th), Terry Butcher (17th to 47th), Brian Snowden (19th to 42nd), Matt Herren (22nd to 41st) and Derek Remitz (25th to 45th).

Of course, 2011 wasn’t all bad. In fact, for many it was a coming out season or at least one to get them back on track.

Ott Defoe may have had the best season (aside from VanDam) in that he fished well enough in his Elite Series debut that he is ranked third. The same could be said for Keith Combs and Brandon Palaniuk, who are 10th and 14th, respectively. Meanwhile, John Crews launched himself into the top 10, going from 38th to 8th.

Other notable rises include Greg Vinson (41st to 12th), Terry Scroggins (43rd to 15th), Dean Rojas (29th to 19th), Davy Hite (48th to 21st), Casey Ashley (39th to 26th), Keith Poche (70th to 32nd), Chris Lane (83rd to 52nd) and Ish Monroe (82nd to 54th).

Check back the next few weeks to see breakdowns of the 2011 FLW Tour and PAA, and how the 2011 season shook up the Majors World Ranking. 



About Author

Sean cut his teeth in the journalist world as an award-winning sports reporter, editor and freelancer for various Chicagoland newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun Times and Daily Herald, eventually crossing over into editing and freelance writing in the Outdoor industry. In addition to his position as Editor for, he is also a freelance outdoor writer and lure designer. He resides in the Chicago suburb of Lockport. An avid Bass and Muskie fisherman, his fishing influence began on ponds and lakes in northeast Illinois and has since expanded to a multitude of species across North and Central America. His passion for the sport is rivaled only by his love for building fishing lures, with a number of his designs being used by top professional anglers and produced by various lure companies today. Google+

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