Conservative Pick – None!
Popular Pick – Russ Lane
Wild Card Pick – Pete Gluszek
Sentimental Pick – Marty Robinson
My Pick – Jared Lintner
The most popular pick in Bucket D, Russ Lane (30 percent ownership) finished 41st and 49th on Grand Lake in June 2006 and 2007, respectively. He doesn’t, however, have much experience fishing in cold weather in fisheries without grass. Tournament records indicate that most of his professional fishing experience in February has been in Classics on rivers and impoundments with grass, or tournaments on grass-laden Florida lakes.
Robinson might not be a good bet on Grand Lake in cold weather. While he did place seventh on Grand in 2007, that was in June. A cold Grand is a different animal; an animal that Robinson does not have much history taming. Outside of a February 2006 event on West Point Lake in which he placed 135th, he has little experience fishing in winter on fisheries without grass.
Lintner has experience on Grand, having placed 23rd and 82nd there in 2007 and 2006, respectively. More importantly, his resume includes two Top 20s in February/early March tournaments that will likely fish similar to Grand this year – 20th in the 2008 Classic and 13th in the 2007 Amistad event.
Want a Wild Card in Bucket D? Go with Gluszek, a former Bassmaster Tour pro (and running buddy/business partner of Iaconelli) who got back into the top competition ranks with an Open win last year.
Because he’s from New Jersey, fishing in the cold won’t likely affect him as much as it might some other anglers. In fact, he won a February 1999 Alabama Eastern Invitational on Alabama’s Lake Martin, which fishes similar to Grand, especially in the winter. Iaconelli finished fifth in that event. On the other hand, Gluszek finished 126th in the early March 2003 Eufaula tournament.
See Bucket E on the next page.