Saturday, September 19, 2015

2015 Toyota Angler of the Year Championship on Sturgeon Bay Day 2: Greg Hackney Leads as Anglers Stress.

Making the Bassmaster Classic is Everything!

DOOR COUNTY, Wis. — The lack of drama in the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year race is more than compensated for at the other end of this Sturgeon Bay measuring stick.
Hackney leads event but eyes on Classic spots.
(Photo: BASS)
All the theatrics center on the final berths for the 2016 GEICO Bassmaster Classic from the AOY point standings. And it’s quite the spectacle.

Mike Iaconelli is the perfect example of how treacherous the footing can be around the 40th-place Classic cutoff mark. He felt horrible when he came off the water with only four bass weighing 11 pounds, 7 ounces Thursday, after experiencing a two-hour loss of fishing time due to mechanical problems.
Iaconelli entered the tournament 45th in AOY points, so anything less than a stellar day would drop him even lower, right? As Iaconelli boated to the service yard for further work on a balky oil pressure system, he got a text message from his wife, Becky, telling him that he was 27th in the tournament and had moved up to 38th in the unofficial AOY standings.
“I’m like, ‘That’s not possible. Are you sure?’” Iaconelli recalled.

So Iaconelli goes out trouble free on Friday, catches a nice 16-10 limit and moves up to 14th in the tournament standings, but remains 38th in the AOY standings – still on the bubble.
His reaction from the previous day would be appropriate here too: That’s not possible. Are you sure?
Anything is possible surrounding these final Classic berths, which have as much to do with how everyone else does as they do with how well you do. Until the AOY points become official – on Sunday at the Day 3 weigh-in – the bubble boys are going to feel like they’re walking the edge of a cliff, in the dark.
“Fortunately, but unfortunately, that seems to be the way my season is going,” said Jonathon VanDam, who charged all the way from 52nd place after two days at Lake Havasu to make the Top 12 on the final day there. He made a similar rescue of his season at Lake St. Clair three weeks ago just to qualify for the AOY Championship.
VanDam will have to successfully navigate another cliffhanger to make the Classic. He’s 46th in AOY points, unofficially, going into the final day.
But the tightest bunch of anglers is right at the 40th-place cutoff mark in the AOY standings. From 38th-place Mark Davis to 43rd-place Mark Menendez, six guys are separated by only five points. The list looks like this: 38. Davis – 476 points, 39. Billy McCaghren ¬– 475, 40. Gerald Swindle – 475, 41. Ish Monroe – 474, 42. Brandon Card ¬– 472, 43. Menendez – 471.
There are way too many scenarios possible to even determine likely odds for these guys making the Classic because the volatility in the standings extends both above and below them.
Just keep this in mind: If Mike Iaconelli can catch only 11-7 one day and move up in the unofficial AOY standings, then catch 16-10 the next day and not move at all, anything can happen on Sunday when these final Classic berths are officially determined.

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