VanDam leads Bassmaster Classic after day one

The 2010 Bassmaster Classic at Shelby County’s Lay Lake shaped up to be a three-man battle between defending Bassmaster Elite Series champion Skeet Reese, 2007 Bassmaster Classic at Lay Lake winner Boyd Duckett of Demopolis and five-time Angler of the Year Kevin VanDam.

Following the first day of fishing at Lay Lake, it looks more like a one-man show with VanDam putting Reese and Duckett to shame.

VanDam took the early lead after weighing in with a 19-pound, 8-ounce catch on the first day. VanDam brought the tournament limit of five fish to the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex weigh-in.

VanDam leads Todd Faircloth of Jasper, Texas and Jeff Kriet of Ardmore, Okla., who sit in second and third place, respectively. Faircloth reeled in a catch of 18 pounds and 2 ounces, while Kriet bagged 16 pounds and 7 ounces on day one. Both Faircloth and Kriet caught the limit of five fish Feb. 19.

Meanwhile, Reese is in 37th place after catching only three fish on the first day of action. Reese faces an uphill climb after bagging only 5 pounds of bass on the first half. Duckett fared even worse, reeling in only one fish at Lay Lake, a 1 pound and 2 ounce bass. Duckett is in 48th place.

The top local fisherman on the first day was Warrior, Ala. native Gerald Swindle, who caught 10 pounds and 8 ounces as he reeled in the limit. Swindle currently sits in 13th place.

Moody, Ala. native Kotaro Kiriyama, is in 14th place after bagging 10 pounds and 3 ounces of bass. Kiriyama caught the limit of five fish.

The biggest bass of the day was caught by Michael Iaconelli, a Pitts Grove, N.J. native. Iaconelli reeled in a 6 pound, 10 ounce bass at Lay Lake.

The anglers return to Lay Lake Saturday morning for the second day of competition. The event wraps up Feb. 21.