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YAMAHA PROS FINISH WELL AT 2010 BASSMASTER CLASSIC

Posted 2/24/2010

Yamaha pros captured two of the top five and five of the top 10 positions in the 40th Bassmaster Classic® that concluded Sunday on Alabama's Lay Lake. They were led by Todd Faircloth and Russ Lane, who finished third and fourth, respectively.

Faircloth, runner-up in the 2008 Angler of the Year title chase, finished with a total of 44 pounds, three ounces, while Lane finished with 43 pounds 12 ounces. They were beaten by Michigan veteran Kevin VanDam who weighed in 51 pounds six ounces, and runner-up Jeff Kriet with 46 pounds six ounces.

"I think we just had too many anglers working the same water," explained Faircloth. "All of the top six finishers were fishing the same tributary creek, as well as several others, but only Kevin had a section of water totally to himself.

"I caught two bass early, but between 8:30 and 10 a.m. I didn't have another strike so I made a 15-mile run down the lake to another creek where I'd caught a nice bass in practice, but I didn't get any strikes there, either, so I ran back to my original spot in Beeswax and was able to catch three more, but it wasn't enough."

Other Yamaha pros in the top 10 included Michael Iaconelli, 6th; Matt Herren, 7th; and Takahiro Omori, winner of the 2004 Bassmaster Classic®, in 10th. On the first day of competition, Omori actually fished part of the same area VanDam was using, but readily surrendered it to him when he realized his competitor had taken the lead in the tournament.

Yamaha anglers Cliff Pace, Bobby Lane, and Kotaro Kiriyama finished 14th, 15th, and 16th, respectively, and Dean Rojas finished 23rd.

The dominant technique used by Faircloth and Lane, as well as by VanDam and many others in the tournament, consisted of slowing working lipless crankbaits over submerged vegetation. Bass were holding at depths of less than 10 feet, waiting for the water temperatures to warm enough for them to continue moving shallow to spawn. After three days of bright sunshine, however, water temperatures throughout much of the 12,000 acre lake remained in the mid-40's, which contributed to the difficult fishing.

All of the Yamaha Pros who fished the final day of the Classic ran the new Yamaha VMAX® SHO™ on the backs of their boats. Launched to critical acclaim last November, the revolutionary outboard is lighter, faster, more powerful and efficient than its two-stroke predecessor. Many of the Yamaha Pros will be fishing with the new outboard during the 2010 tournament season.

From Birmingham the pros travel to Stockton, Calif. where the 2010 Bassmaster Elite Series begins on the San Joaquin River Delta on March 11. The season concludes June 20 on the Arkansas River in Muskogee, Okla.