Does it get any tougher than the Sabine River?
Nearly half the field in last weekend’s Elite Series event failed to crack 10 pounds combined for the entire event. Included in that bunch was No. 1-ranked Ott DeFoe, who caught a mere four pounds and finished 79th. That made the Sabine River his worst finish in any event in three years.
Obviously, that didn’t help his average. So despite the fact that both he and Kevin VanDam’s averages dropped over the weekend — the Harris Chain event from 2011 also dropped off — DeFoe’s dropped more, slipping him to third and VanDam back to No. 1.
There was another noteworthy move in the top 10, and Todd Faircloth — the winner at the Sabine River — continues to climb, as he’s now No. 8. If he keeps on his torrid pace — he has three top 10s in his last four Major events — he could soon contend for the No. 1 spot, as his worst tournament in the last two years will drop off in early April. Faircloth, as he has been on the water, is someone to watch in the rankings.
One of the few other anglers who enjoyed his stay at the Sabine was Dean Rojas, who finished second and climbed nine spots to 20th in the Majors Ranking. Yet, he wasn’t the only pro who climbed, as the rest of the 20s are packed with Elite Series pros who rose either from surviving the Sabine or from the Harris Chain event dropping off. Bill Lowen (25th to 21st), Gerald Swindle (32nd to 23rd), Keith Combs (31st to 24th) and Greg Hackney (33rd to 28th) all climbed in the top 30.
Michael Iaconelli wasn’t one of the fortunate ones rankings-wise, but he is probably still counting his blessings after he crashed his boat at the Sabine. Luckily, he was ok, but losing an entire day of fishing caused him to finish 83rd, dropping him from 21st to 41st, as he also lost his 19th-place finish at the Harris Chain.
As for Aaron Martens, the Sabine just wasn’t his event, as he finished two spots behind Iaconelli. That dropped him from 26th to 33rd in the rankings. It’s been a rough start to the 2013 season for him.
Meanwhile, Bobby Lane is loving life after this weekend. He finished sixth at the Sabine, while also dropping a 93rd at the Harris Chain to catapult from 58th to 35th. And if you can believe it, Ish Monroe nearly did the same thing, finishing fourth at the Sabine and dropping an 89th at the Harris Chain to climb from 64th to 46th (Monroe fishes more Major tournaments than Lane, making it harder for him to make larger leaps with his average).
The only other notable moves in the top 50 after this weekend include Randy Howell (35th to 42nd), Greg Vinson (37th to 45th) and Steve Kennedy (48th to 52nd).