DRAGONFLY - RAYMARINE

CLASSIC BUSINESS - PACE WINS

Posted by Z3 MEDIA STAFF on 02/25/2013

Tulsa, OK - After back-to-back limits surpassing the 21-pound mark, Mississipi's Cliff Pace  entered the final day of the Bassmaster Classic on Grand Lake with a commanding 7-pound lead over his closest competitor, Brandon Palaniuk.  

After Palaniuk took the hot seat with a 15-4 limit to boost his total weight to 51-8, Pace stepped up and delivered the knockout blow.  Although he was one short of a limit, Pace’s four Grand Lake Largemouth tipped the scales at 11-8 to boost his three day total weight to 54-12 and make the Mississippi pro the 2013 Bassmaster Classic champion.   

“I knew that it was going to be a lot closer than I wanted it to be,” said Pace during the Classic press conference.  “I didn’t know if I had won or not.  I knew that the potential (to win) was there, but I left the door open. 

“When I went out there this morning, I wanted to do nothing more than just slam the door shut and be done.  You only get a few tremendous opportunities like this in your life, and I didn’t want this to slip away.  It’s just a true miracle to have a bad third day and win the Classic,” Pace explained. 

1st Place - Cliff Pace (21-8, 21-12, 11-8; 54-12)
Primary Pattern
“I bounced around a bunch.  I’m not sure what the names of them are, but I know that I fished in Drowning and Horse Creek, as well several areas between Horse and the dam. I also fished between Horse and Shangri-La in some of the little no name coves. 

“I was fishing the very first thing that I thought would be a staging area. I fished inside of any pocket that was off a major creek or the main lake itself. The fish were migrating off the main lake and coming in there and staging.  The main lake was actually a little colder than the pockets were, but the fish didn’t want to be way back in the backs yet to spawn.  I was fishing what you would call the ‘in between’ part."

Key Bait
“I was using a ¾-ounce football head jig in green pumpkin. The only alteration was that I made was trimming the weed guard.  When the fish are biting funny, I don’t want a lot of strands of fiber in my jig, so I cut a few out.  When the fish are deep and you set the hook, you really don’t need much weed guard or else you won’t hook them. 

“The trailer was a V&M Twin Tail Trailer in green pumpkin.  It was dying the ends of the trailer with orange.  If the water color had been clearer I probably would have left it alone, but I think that the orange got me a few more bites.  

“I fish just about everything on Fluorocarbon line.  Especially when the fish are deep and kind of lethargic, the fluorocarbon line has less stretch and enhances the feel. It also has much more sensitivity than monofilament, so it gives you the ability to hook and feel fish better.  

“The biggest fish this morning was stuck in a brush pile when I hooked it. I credit Hi-Seas with my ability to land that fish, because I set the hook and it didn’t move but I could feel the fish on there.  I just held it for a second and (the fish) swam out.  After I landed the fish, I had to cut about four feet of line off and retie.”

Initial Reaction
“I’m pleasantly calm, believe it or not.  I’m glad that this isn’t a four day event where I don’t have to go out there and fight for it one more time.  

“The Classic win comes with a lot of responsibilities.  It puts a lot of eyes on you and a lot of eyes on the sport.  For me, I’m going to continue to do what I do.  I’m going to continue to fish the events as well as I can this year on the Elite Series and say thanks to as many fans as I can.

“For me, it’s going to be a learning curve and I’m looking forward to the opportunity to represent us all. It’s a great group of people and a great sport here. I’m looking forward to what the rest of my career with B.A.S.S. holds.”  

2nd  Place – Brandon Palanuik (16-10, 19-10, 15-4; 51-8) 
What were your expectations heading into the day?
"I knew I was going to be able to pinpoint the key areas that had been holding the quality fish and not waste time fishing dead water, so I was hopeful that the large spawning flats that I was fishing would produce.  I had about 7 key spots that I was able to find that had all the right elements that the fish I was targeting were keying on."

How would you summarize your day as a whole?
“Today went well, I only lost one fish that I never saw but other than that I did everything I could do.  I really didn't do anything wrong, Cliff earned it and he deserved to win.  I really wouldn't have done anything different, I tried everything  knew to do today and I really thought my fish would have bit this afternoon but it never happened.” 

Was there a key moment for you during the tournament?  
“ I think the key for me was the work I put into this event prior to the cut off.  I spent a lot of time up here last February and the months leading up to the tournament.  It really paid off and it pretty much turned out the way I was hoping it would.  Finishing second in the Classic only fuels my fire and makes me want it that much more."  

What was the most challenging/surprising aspect of your tournament? 
"I was really surprised that my area didn't turn on this afternoon.  The conditions were really the best we had all week long for my area, and everything seemed perfect for the fish to feed.  I really don't know what happened to those fish.  I'm not sure if they were still there and not feeding, or if they had moved on."

How would you assess your decision making and execution on the water?
"There were a couple of times over the past few days that I may have spent a little too much time in one area, but overall I think my decision making and execution were about as good as they could have been.  I never lost any big fish and the game plan I had coming into this tournament worked the way I was hoping it would."

Key Baits: Storm Twitch Stick, Rapala X-Rap, Berkley Havoc Bottom Hopper, Storm Wiggle Wart. 

3rd  Place – Hank Cherry (20-15, 10-13, 17-4; 49-0) 
What were your expectations heading into the day?
"I knew going into the day that the points I had been fishing had been beat up.  KVD was fishing some of the same stuff and I think we beat those up pretty bad, so I had to make some adjustments and try to adapt.  I knew that a lot of the places I had been fishing were  about done and I ended up fishing around kind of lost for about 4 hours today until I finally figured something out later in the day."

How would you summarize your day as a whole?
“My primary pattern I was fishing started to really fade so I had to make some adjustments and go to some stuff I had fished earlier in practice.  I was fishing bluff walls where they stick out into the lake and would actually have to make my bait run into the rocks to draw a strike.  I just lost a couple of key fish today, but that is fishing.  It has happened to everyone up here on this stage and I am sure it will happen again, you just have to pick yourself up and keep moving." 

Was there a key moment for you during the tournament?  
“Losing the two fish today was crucial.  I lost one about five pounds on the exact same spot earlier in the day and came back and lost one that was bigger.  The fish was probably at least 7 pounds or bigger."

What was the most challenging/surprising aspect of your tournament? 
"Watching those two big ones swim off today rather than putting them in the boat was obviously challenging.  You just have to take the good with the bad and knock off the dust and keep trying."

How would you assess your decision making and execution on the water?
"I would have put the fish in the boat instead of watching the fish come off.  I really wouldn't have changed much because I was able to come here and fish my strong suits." 

Key Baits: Megabass Vision 110, Lucky Craft Staysee 90 

4th Place – Mike Iaconelli (21-8, 13-11 , 13-2; 48-5) 
How would you summarize your day as a whole?
“I was targeting main points and secondary points going into creeks or coves.  If you found one of those points that had transitional rock on it that had a creek channel swinging near it, that was the deal."

Was there a key moment for you during the tournament?  
“Using the power/finesse approach was the key for me this week.  I would power fish through an area and then come back through with the beat shad and catch fish with a finesse approach."

What was the most challenging/surprising aspect of your tournament? 
"Overcoming technical difficulties on day two of the event and keeping my head in the game was a challenge."

How would you assess your decision making and execution on the water?
"I think overall I would have focused on some more main lake areas instead of the transition areas I was targeting.  I wish I had more main lake stuff to focus on during the tournament."

Key Baits: Rapala Husky Jerk, Rapala Crankbait, Berkley Gripper Jig, Berkley Beat Shad  

5th Place – Mike McClleland (17-15, 9-8, 17-4; 45-5) 
How would you summarize your day as a whole?
“Today was a good day for me.  I predominately fished the first secondary point in a creek or a pocket or the transition areas inside the creek.  The ones that had a channel swing near it were the deal for me today and that is what I was keying on to catch my fish today."

Was there a key moment for you during the tournament?  
“Having the bad day two really cost me the shot at winning this tournament.  You can't have a day like that and hope to compete on a lake that is as good as Grand."

What was the most challenging/surprising aspect of your tournament? 
"I was really surprised that the fish ended up relating to more of the main lake stuff rather than the transition areas in the mouths of the major creeks.  If I had to do it over I would spend more time trying to find more of the good spots nearer the main body of the lake."

How would you assess your decision making and execution on the water?
"I think that I made a wrong decision by not just fishing a pattern instead of fishing spots.  I said before the tournament started that I thought the guy that didn't get hung up fishing specific spots, but was able to develop a pattern would win the event.  

Key Baits: SPRO McStick 110, 1/2 OZ Bass-X Jig, Zoom Super Chunk

FINAL STANDINGS

PlaceAnglerDay 1Day 2Day 3Total FishTotal Weight
FishWeightFishWeightFishWeight
1 Cliff Pace 5 21- 8 5 21-12 4 11- 8 14 54-12
2 Brandon Palaniuk 5 16-10 5 19-10 5 15- 4 15 51- 8
3 Hank Cherry 5 20-15 5 10-13 5 17- 4 15 49- 0
4 Michael Iaconelli 5 21- 8 5 13-11 5 13- 2 15 48- 5
5 Mike McClelland 5 17-15 5 9- 8 5 17-14 15 45- 5
6 Tracy Adams 5 19-10 5 9-12 5 15-12 15 45- 2
7 Jason Christie 5 18-12 5 12- 9 4 12- 0 14 43- 5
8 Kevin VanDam 5 19-12 4 11- 2 4 10-13 13 41-11
9 Todd Faircloth 5 12- 5 5 14- 2 5 14-14 15 41- 5
10 Randy Howell 5 14-15 5 11- 6 4 14-15 14 41- 4
11 Ott DeFoe 5 16- 2 5 10-10 5 13-10 15 40- 6
12 Shaw E Grigsby 5 15-15 5 13- 9 5 10- 8 15 40- 0
13 Greg Hackney 5 14-14 5 12- 7 5 12- 5 15 39-10
14 Dean Rojas 5 13- 0 5 15- 7 5 10-11 15 39- 2
15 Bobby Lane 5 15- 7 5 13- 8 5 9-13 15 38-12
16 Joshua Wagy 5 14- 6 5 13- 6 5 9-15 15 37-11
17 Jonathan Carter 5 18-11 5 11- 1 3 6-14 13 36-10
18 Bill Lowen 5 12- 5 5 14- 3 5 10- 0 15 36- 8
19 Ishama Monroe 5 12- 0 5 14- 1 5 10- 7 15 36- 8
20 Marty Robinson 5 18- 8 4 10- 9 4 6-11 13 35-12
21 Boyd Duckett 5 12-11 5 13- 8 3 7-15 13 34- 2
22 John Crews 5 13-10 5 13-11 3 5- 7 13 32-12
23 Jonathon VanDam 5 16- 1 4 10-13 2 4-11 11 31- 9
24 Tommy Biffle 5 12- 0 5 13-15 1 3- 3 11 29- 2
25 Edwin Evers 5 16-13 4 9-10 1 2- 1 10 28- 8
26 Brent Chapman 5 10- 1 5 15-13     10 25-14
27 Gerald Swindle 5 11-12 5 13-15     10 25-11
28 Aaron Martens 3 6-12 5 18-13     8 25- 9
29 Matthew Herren 5 11- 0 5 13- 4     10 24- 4
30 Nate Wellman 5 9-13 5 13-12     10 23- 9
31 Alton Jones 5 12- 1 5 11- 1     10 23- 2
32 Mark Davis 5 15-11 4 7- 1     9 22-12
33 Jared Lintner 5 10-13 5 11-13     10 22-10
34 Jason Quinn 4 8- 5 5 13- 5     9 21-10
35 Gerry Jooste 4 11- 4 4 9-11     8 20-15
36 Mark Dove 5 13- 8 4 7- 0     9 20- 8
37 Skeet Reese 2 6- 9 5 13- 9     7 20- 2
38 David Walker 3 5-14 5 13-11     8 19- 9
39 Brandon Card 2 6- 6 5 13- 3     7 19- 9
40 Yusuke Miyazaki 4 7- 7 4 11- 7     8 18-14
41 Chris Lane 0 0- 0 5 18-11     5 18-11
42 Pete Gluszek 5 8-12 5 9-13     10 18- 9
43 Jeremy Starks 5 10-14 3 6- 6     8 17- 4
44 Casey Scanlon 5 9- 2 3 4- 5     8 13- 7
45 Andy Bravence 1 1- 8 5 10- 4     6 11-12
46 Matt Lee 2 4-15 3 6- 5     5 11- 4
47 Takahiro Omori 5 9- 8 1 1-10     6 11- 2
48 Albert Collins 2 4-15 3 5- 1     5 10- 0
49 Mark Pierce 1 7- 4 1 2- 0     2 9- 4
50 Terry Scroggins 4 6- 5 1 1- 6     5 7-11
51 Cliff Prince 3 7- 8 0 0- 0     3 7- 8
52 Jared Knuth 1 1- 4 1 2-12     2 4- 0
53 Russell Lane 1 2- 7 0 0- 0     1 2- 7