The Classic King

By the time anglers and their boats lined up outside the New Orleans Convention Center for the final day of weigh-ins at the Bassmasters Classic, the buzz was all about one man--Kevin Van Dam. Could KVD be caught? Was his two-plus pound lead insurmountable? And you could pretty much tell by the look on every angler's face: They were fighting for second place. Morizo Shimizu said all along that he was just happy to be in the Classic, but made his mark finshing 23rd in his first Bassmasters.
His 3-day total was 35-9.
Shaw Grigsby, always a fan favorite, admittedly had a disappointing three days of fishing--but always had a smile on his face.
Dean Rojas had a couple of hefty final-day fish--enough to place him in 13th.
Mike Iaconelli provides a backstage glimpse of his final day fish sack. The former Classic champion finished 11th.
Dale Hightower shows off part of his 15-pound, last-day catch. His strong showing on Day 3 placed him squarely in 15th.
Lakeland, Florida's Bobby Lane, in his fourth classic, finished 9th.
Former Classic champion Skeet Reese was in the hunt after Day 1, but couldn't find enough lunkers to make a hard push at the end. Skeet finished 14.
The final day of fishing resulted in some of the biggest fish of the Classic, so large that biologists planned to do some genetic sampling to determine if they are progeny of Florida-strain fish planted in Louisiana waters.
Little Rock, Arkansas' Scott Rook had a strong 7th place finish.
Aaron Martens just could not overcome a tough second day of fishing to catch KVD. His second place finish was still more than 10 pounds behind Van Dam.
Derek Remitz ponders his fate after coming in a strong third. He used one crankbait the entire three days.
KVD meets the press moments after leaving the stage.
Is Van Dam the best tournament bass fisherman ever? Few would argue the point after his fourth Classic championship.
KVD's total three-day weight was 69 pounds, 11 ounces.
The King of Bass Fishing 2011.

Was it really ever in doubt? A backstage look at Kevin Van Dam's fourth Bassmasters Championship win.