Posted by Z3 on 08/20/2014

Story and photos by Matt Pangrac

Union Springs, NY - The final regular season Elite Series tournament of the 2014 season kicks off tomorrow on Cayuga Lake, the longest of the 11 Finger Lakes (nearly 40 miles long) located in Upstate New York.  

Featuring crystal clear water and abundant offshore grass, the Elite Series tournament on Cayuga is expected to produce results that are in stark contrast to the last Elite Series tournament on the Delaware River, where limits were difficult to come by.   

For over half of the Elite Series field competing this week, Cayuga will mark the end of the 2014 season. After Sunday’s weigh-in, the Top 50 in the Toyota Angler Of the Year point standings will move on to compete in the AOY Championship on Michigan’s Bays de Noc in mid September.  

For a handful of the 107 competitors, there’s a lot riding on Cayuga.  Currently, Chad Pipkens holds down 50th place in the TAOY standings with 394 points.   There are 22 pros on either side of the cut line that are within 20 points of the 50th place position.   Included in that list is Kevin VanDam, who slid to 42nd in the TAOY standings after a 97th place finish two weeks ago on the Delaware River.  The four-time Classic champion is just 18 points above 50th place.  

This week also presents the opportunity for several anglers to gain some separation in the Angler Of the Year race heading into the AOY Week.  Louisiana’s Greg Hackney holds a one point lead over Aaron Martens, and a 12 point lead over Skeet Reese, who is holding down the 3rd place position in the race. In total, 11 anglers are within 50 points of the TAOY lead.  

In the Rookie Of the Year race, a group of five FLW Tour veterans have separated themselves the rest of the 14 anglers who comprise the rookie class.  Toledo Bend champion, Jacob Powroznik, leads the pack with a total of 528 points.   Chad Morgenthaler is in 2nd place, 20 points behind Powroznik, and Justin Lucas is in 3rd with 472 points.   Randall Tharp and Brett Hite are also within 65 points of the ROY lead.   

This week, The BASS ZONE will return to LIVE evening shows covering the tournament which will begin at 6:00 PM EST.  On Wednesday, Matt and Dave will be live from Cayuga Lake with a pre-tournament report.   There will also be a LIVE show following the first day of competition on Thursday, and a LIVE post-tournament show on Sunday night following the conclusion of the tournament.   

Stay tuned for a video wrap up and complete preview story that will be posted following the Elite Series pre-tournament meeting later this afternoon, and make sure to check out the LIVE pre-game show that will begin at 6:00 PM CST tonight.