Empire Chase

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Empire Chase — Lake Erie


Todd Faircloth: When the pressure was on, Faircloth excelled. Everyone had all but left him for dead considering the pressure of AOY and KVD's smallmouth prowess, but he posted his sixth top-12 of the season and fished without KVD on Sunday.


Kevin VanDam: In similar fashion to last season, everyone had handed VanDam the AOY title with the smallmouth bite on Erie. But he only caught 16 pounds on two of the three days and finished in 18th. It's obvious he can't count on Faircloth to fold. VanDam will have to make a move on Oneida where he'll struggle between the mediocre finish the smallmouth guarantees and the hit or miss largemouth.

AOY Top Five
1. Todd Faircloth
2. Kevin VanDam
3. Mike McClelland
4. Skeet Reese
5. Edwin Evers