Kevin VanDam, the all-time money leader in bass fishing history, added to his bankroll on Friday by taking the title in the Bassmaster Classic Bracket, which was staged this week on the upper Niagara River. VanDam of Michigan beat out Brett Hite of Arizona in the championship round to earn a check for $10,000.
The format was changed for Friday’s final, as all legal-sized bass that were caught on Friday were weighed by tournament officials and counted toward each fisherman’s total. VanDam caught 11 bass that weighed 20 pounds, 3 ounces. Hite checked in with seven bass weighing 13 pounds, 9 ounces. In the previous rounds, a five-fish limit was enforced.
VanDam won the event despite having one of his catches ruled invalid because he was considered to be in an off-limits area.