VanDam Back on Top at Toledo

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kvd_mg_1322Has it really been five years since Kevin VanDam won a major tournament?

It’s hard to believe the most decorated angler in our sport’s history hasn’t laid his hands on a trophy since the 2011 Bassmaster Classic trophy. Sure, he’s been close a few times, with three runner-up finishes the last few years, but the former No. 1-ranked angler nearly fell out of the top 100 after his finish two weeks ago at Wheeler (he was 98th).

As they say, though, winning cures all, and this one certainly did that for VanDam. By dominating wire-to-wire on Toledo Bend, VanDam won his record 21st BASS event and showed he’s still a force when the fish head out deep. The win also gave VanDam a significant boost in the rankings. After flirting with triple digits, VanDam bounced up to 85th, and that will only get higher when the 2014 Dardanelle tournament drops off later this week.

Meanwhile, the Toledo Bend event caused plenty of shake up at the top of our ranking. Keith Combs did what he does in Texas, which is beat nearly everyone. His fourth-place finish jumped him back in the top 10 (now ninth), with Dave Lefebre doing the same (now eighth). Edwin Evers was already in the top 10, but he also did some climbing, to seventh.

Chris Lane’s runner-up bumped him nine spots to 37th, with Ish Monroe also enjoying being back in the top 50 (now 49th) after his third-place finish.

Of course, for all that shuffling at the top, someone had to drop. That someone was Adrian Avena. The Jersey Boy’s 88th at Toledo Bend dropped him from seventh to 15th. Luke Clausen also went from nearly in the top 10 to nearly out of the top 20. He currently sits in 20th.

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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 BassRankings.com, 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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