BOLIVAR, Mo. – The second day of Match 1 at the General Tire Team Series Costa Qualifier Presented by Toyota on Stockton Lake saw a different team on top of SCORETRACKER® than the first day. After entering the Day 2 with a 6-pound, 3-ounce lead, Team Ferguson (Brent Ehrler, Brett Hite and Tommy Biffle) was unable to hold off Kevin VanDam, Todd Faircloth and David Walker of Team B&W Trailer Hitches for the round win.
Captain VanDam’s team caught 54 bass for 88-12 to move past Team Ferguson, win the round by 8-4 and earn a trip to the General Tire Team Series Championship in Florida.
While their first day was nothing to shake their heads about VanDam’s team knew they had some work to do if they wanted to erase their deficit and catch up to Ehrler and company.
“We just really had a strategy session after the first day to know exactly what each guy did in each part of the lake we fished,” VanDam said. “We felt really confident coming into our second day of competition.”
The lake stayed the same, but instead of fishing the east side of Stockton Lake, the three teams were now limited to only the 12,330 surface acres of the west side. That change didn’t intimidate VanDam’s team.
“We were looking for areas that fit each person’s strengths because it was a new section of the lake,” VanDam said. “Walker loves shallow, dirty water, so he went to the upper end and got off to a decent start for us. I got going early as well using a Strike King KVD 1.5 squarebill and a spinnerbait, but it was a little bit of a struggle for Todd.”
The first two periods were a struggle for Faircloth as he was unable to put a scorable bass on the board. At the second period break of the day, VanDam, Walker and Faircloth made a decision as a team that would prove to be the difference.
“After two periods, we all kind of agreed that the water I was in was the best we were going to find, so everyone kind of moved to where I was at,” VanDam said. “The area had a lot of timber. I mentioned how much success I was having with a spinnerbait, so all three of us started throwing them. That move really won us the round because that’s when Todd started catching ‘em.”
Faircloth added 17 bass for 24-6 in the final period, pushing his team to the lead and eventually a victory with a two-day total of 76 bass for 125-9. Team B&W Trailer Hitches is now the first team of the Costa Qualifier to advance to the Team Series Championship in Florida.
“Our team has a ton of chemistry and a ton of experience,” VanDam said. “I basically drafted my team knowing that we were going to win our round and move on to the Championship in Florida. We obviously work well together, so I can’t wait to see what we do in Florida.”
You can catch Day 1 of Match 2 of the Costa Qualifier at the following times on Outdoor Channel: Feb. 25 (2-4 p.m. ET), Feb. 26 (4-6 p.m. ET) and March 3 (9-11 a.m. ET)