June 12, 2011

VanDam Broke An Unwritten Rule of Bass Fishing

I have been following the Bassmaster Live Blog of the Diamond Drive on the Arkansas River all weekend.  I really love the coverage they have been doing this year.  One interesting story line has been the drama between Denny Brauer and Johnathan VanDam. I saw JVD blanked on Day 1 and Denny was leading it, then I heard they were fishing the same water on the second day.  What!?  That doesn't make sense and is definitely breaking one of the unwritten rules of bass fishing.  I know that if you start fishing by a guy with a chance to win and you are basically out of it, you should give up the water. Now JVD is in contention after two huge bags on Day 2 and Day 3.  Still, I think it's pretty messed up.  It seems like everyone else agrees.

Photo: James Overstreet, Bassmaster.com

Steve Wright of Bassmaster.com posted a great article called "Who owns the water?".  It has some quotes from others in the Elite field and they all seem to be slamming JVD.  Here are a few from the article:

  • On stage at the Little Rock Riverfront Amphitheater Saturday, Brauer said, “I won’t be joining the Jonathan VanDam fan club, I’ll tell you that.”
  • Brauer also said “when a guy goose eggs (on Day One), then comes in on the leader, that’s just unheard of.”
  • “I’m an outsider looking in,” Jason Quinn said. “I think (VanDam) is in the wrong. This sport is all about making good impressions on everybody. That’s not a good way to end your rookie season.”
  • Skeet Reese added: “These younger guys don’t have that etiquette yet, and they are making bad decisions. Unfortunately, that’s part of being young.”
  • John Murray said “Usually if you go up to a guy and say that’s where I’m catching them, the guy will leave. He doesn’t have to, but what goes around comes around.”
Johnathan on the other hand said “I’ve got nothing to worry about, I’m not doing anything wrong, so I’m going back there.”

Another Elite Rookie Brandon Palaniuk took the high road, here is what BP said:  “I went up to Denny (Saturday) morning, and I said, ‘You’re fishing to win, so I’m not going back there,’” said Palaniuk, who dropped from 21st place to 32nd Saturday. “It will cost me a top 12 cut here, but I plan on being around for awhile."

He added: “Denny has always been one of my favorites growing up. It was a decision I had to make. It wasn’t easy. I just felt like this will get me a lot further along in my career.”

What's you opinion on this?  Is everyone making too big of a deal about this?  Does Johnathan VanDam feel he is entitled because of his last name?  Tell me what you think!
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