DAYTON, Tenn. — If you picked local for your Bassmaster Fantasy Fishing team for BASSfest, you’re surely wishing you hadn’t. Here is the best possible team you could have assembled:
Bucket A: Gerald Swindle, 290 points
Bucket B: Kevin VanDam, 300
Bucket C: Hank Cherry, 300
Bucket D: Jason Williamson, 264
Bucket E: Tracy Adams, 245
No Fantasy Fishing player achieved a score this high.
The 8.1 percent of players who chose Hank Cherry got a bigger boost for their overall points because in Bucket C, Cherry beat his closest opponent, Nate Wellman, by 67.
Here is the breakdown, bucket by bucket, of the best picks and the biggest disappointments.
Gerald Swindle, with his fourth-place finish, gave 290 points to the 2.4 percent of people who chose him. That’s only 10 points ahead of Greg Hackney pickers, who made up 6 percent, and 14 points ahead of Casey Ashley pickers, 4.9 percent.
The most-picked anglers in Bucket A were the biggest disappointments. Aaron Martens, at 15.1 percent, delivered only 77 points. David Walker’s fans, 11.8 percent, earned 155. And Mark Davis fans, 10.1 percent, scored 91.
In Bucket B, two anglers were heavily favored: Kevin VanDam and Ott DeFoe. VanDam owners came out way ahead of the local pro’s owners.
VanDam, who was owned at 24.4 percent, delivered a solid 300 points to his fans. DeFoe, who held more than a third of the players with 36.5 percent, was a big letdown at 178 points.
DeFoe pickers not only came out behind VanDam pickers but also several other angler owners. Bucket B was full of top performers who were close enough to VanDam’s final points to not hurt their Fantasy Fishing owners too much, including Matt Herren, 295 (0.3 percent), Brett Hite, 285 (2.9 percent), Terry Scroggins, 272 (0.8 percent) and Russ Lane, 268 (1.4 percent).
Two other highly owned anglers, Tim Horton (8.6 percent) and Brandon Palaniuk (10.5 percent), delivered points similar to DeFoe (180 and 187, respectively).
If you were part of the VanDam/Herren/Hite/Scroggins/Lane crowd (29.8 percent), you beat more than half the players (55.6 percent with DeFoe/Horton/Palaniuk) by an average of 100 points.
Hank Cherry’s huge fish, a 10-11 on Day 2, gave Cherry’s owners a welcome 40-point boost. Added to Cherry’s 12th-place finish, he earned 300 points for his fans. The next-closest angler, Nate Wellman, had 133 points.
The fans who were hurt the most in this bucket were Edwin Evers’ 38.6 percent holdings. He delivered only 209 points, putting more than one-third of the players nearly 100 points back from Cherry’s owners.
Other highly favored anglers in this bucket were the locals, Brandon Lester and David Mullins. Lester’s 6.3 percent of fans earned only 125 points. Mullins’ 10.8 percent were unhappy with his 100-something-place on Day 2 but relieved when he made the Top 10 in the Second Chance tournament, moving him up more than 50 places. He ultimately posted 170 points for his fans.
At first, it looked like Mike Iaconelli was the breakout in Bucket D. His 24.5 percent of fans rejoiced on Day 1 when he took the lead, but he ended up finishing in 42nd place. He posted 206 points for his fans.
The next-highest pick in the bucket was Jonathon VanDam at 19.5 percent. His fans earned almost the lowest score in the bucket, 79. Ouch.
Jason Williamson, who had 2 percent ownership, was the best pick with 264. Right behind him was Fred Roumbanis, 5 percent, with 257 points.
The Bucket E picks are generally the hardest. Usually, one angler breaks out of his season slump and does something amazing in each tournament, but figuring out who that might be and placing your bet on the right guy is really tough.
Fans keep betting on powerhouse Ish Monroe, but he has not delivered the points very often this season. The same thing happened again at BASSfest. More than a quarter of the players (26.2 percent) added him to their team, and he ended with 161 points.
That score put Monroe pickers more than 80 points behind the 1.6 percent of people who chose Tracy Adams (245 points) and nearly 80 points behind the 9.1 percent of Boyd Duckett’s faithful fans (237 points).
The only other high picks in this bucket were Kevin Hawk, 9.8 percent, 174 points; Greg Vinson, 12.2 percent, 135; and Jeremy Starks, 11.8 percent, 184.
It’s nearly two months before the next Bassmaster Elite Series event, the Delaware River, Aug. 7-10, but you can go ahead and set your team. This break gives the anglers a little bit of R&R and gives Bassmaster Fantasy Fishing players plenty of time to figure out who they should add to their roster. Good luck!