PHILADELPHIA — The Bassmaster Elite at Delaware River is the monkey wrench that got thrown into multiple players’ plans for Bassmaster Fantasy Fishing.
That’s because many buckets were heavily skewed toward one angler, and that single angler performed really well — or really terribly.
Here’s the perfect team for Fantasy Fishing for the Delaware:
A: Skeet Reese, 316
B: Bill Lowen, 272
C: Edwin Evers, 251
D: Michael Iaconelli, 315
E: Boyd Duckett, 313
Total points: 1,467
No Fantasy Fishing player achieved a score that high.
Here’s the breakdown, bucket by bucket.
Skeet Reese delivered the highest score in Fantasy Fishing this week by virtue of his sixth-place finish and Carhartt Big Bass, a 4-pound, 6-ouncer on Day 3. He scored 316 points total.
Reese had solid ownership at 9.1 percent, but he was not the most chosen in the bucket. That honor belonged to Aaron Martens at 18.8 percent, who finished nearly 100 points back at 219.
Greg Hackney was the next-most owned angler at 12.7 percent, and he earned 179 points for his owners.
If you didn’t choose Reese, you would have done well with Chris Lane, 295 points, or Jason Christie, 290.
This bucket is the one where many of the mighty fell, and fell hard. Exactly 40 percent of players chose Kevin VanDam. And exactly 40 percent paid dearly for that choice by earning only 81 points. Ouch.
That decision put VanDam owners 191 points behind Bill Lowen pickers. Lowen was owned by 9.2 percent of the field, and those players got 272 points.
If you didn’t choose Lowen, you should have gone with Scott Rook at 264 percent, although almost no one did. Less than 1 percent of players believed in Rook.
The two anglers most picked besides VanDam were Ott DeFoe, 14.4 percent, and Brandon Palaniuk, 14 percent. DeFoe pickers earned 229 points, and Palaniuk owners got 177 — which is not a great number, but it’s still much higher than VanDam’s owners received.
Only two Bucket B anglers scored lower than VanDam — Rick Clunn (1.7 percent) and Russ Lane (0.5 percent). What that means is, if you chose VanDam, you were beaten by (or tied with) 97.8 percent of Bassmaster Fantasy Fishing players. Double ouch.
In Bucket C, the most-owned angler delivered best. Edwin Evers pulled 251 points to give to his 37.4 percent of owners.
However, the second-most owned angler, Hank Cherry, delivered third-worst, behind Josh Bertrand and David Mullins — owned by a combined 1 percent. What that means for Cherry’s 13.9 percent of owners is that 99 percent of players beat them.
Two anglers who were not far behind Evers were Steve Kennedy with 243 points and Jeff Kriet with 239. Players who chose them were indeed behind Evers pickers, but not by much.
Mike Iaconelli was owned by the majority of the bucket — 66.9 percent — and his 315 points were pure gold to the people who believed in him.
But that high percentage had others scurrying to find an alternative. That proved to be a misstep, more for some than for others.
Players who picked Kevin Short (2.3 percent) and Shaw Grigsby (1.9 percent) were rewarded with 285 and 280 points, respectively. Those players were not hurt that badly.
Alas, the 7.3 percent of players who chose to go with Jonathon VanDam got a real hurting put on them. The goose-egg that he got on the Delaware transferred directly to them.
It hurts to get beaten by 100 points or even 200 points in a Bassmaster Fantasy Fishing bucket. But Jonathon VanDam’s owners were beaten by a solid 315 points by two-thirds of the field. And they were beaten by at least 69 points (Charlie Hartley, who posted the lowest non-zero score) by every single player.
Fantasy Fishing players have stood strong with Boyd Duckett all season. He’s been the second choice (behind Ish Monroe) in Bucket E all season. Finally, after all this time, it paid off — and paid off big.
Duckett’s big bag on Day 1 of 16-14, his Day 1 leader points, and his eighth-place finish earned 313 points for his owners. That vaulted 4.8 percent of the players into the lead in this bucket.
It gave them a 104-point lead over the 23.4 percent who chose Ish Monroe, who scored 209 points, and a huge 224-point lead over the 15.3 percent who chose Grant Goldbeck (89 points).
The next-best pick in E was Byron Velvick, who gave 260 points to his 1.4 percent of owners. James Elam was third in the bucket with 237 points for his 0.2 percent.
Buckets are open for the A.R.E. Truck Caps Bassmaster Elite at Cayuga Lake! This is your last chance to make a difference in Bassmaster Fantasy Fishing while playing the whole field of pros.