BRANSON, Mo. — For those of you who spent time obsessing over who would be the perfect picks for Bassmaster Fantasy Fishing on Table Rock, this list below is who you should have chosen:
Bucket A: Aaron Martens (330 points)
Bucket B: Mike McClelland (310)
Bucket C: Kevin VanDam (280)
Bucket D: Brandon Palaniuk (268)
Bucket E: Edwin Evers (276)
Fans who chose this “Golden Bucket” were awarded the top points, 1,464. Unlike at St. Johns where no one had perfect picks, 27 players earned the top points for Table Rock.
Here are the leaders and letdowns in each bucket.
Are you surprised that second-place finisher Mark Davis is not the strongest in this bucket? Don’t be. It has to do with Aaron Martens’ 8-pounder on the first day.
Martens’ lunker earned him Carhartt Big Bass honors and earned his Bassmaster Fantasy Fishing owners 40 points. Martens also earned his owners an additional 5 points by leading Day 1. So, while his fourth-place finish gave him 285 Fantasy Fishing points, he added 45 additional points for those who chose him. Learn more about how choosing anglers who catch the biggest bass can pay dividends for Fantasy Fishing players here.
Davis ended with 300 points (295 for finishing second and 5 for leading on Day 2).
Both Martens and Davis were heavily owned in Bucket A, 15.6 percent and 18.4 percent respectively. So both anglers made a lot of players happy.
Who didn’t pay off?
Todd Faircloth, who was chosen by 16.8 percent of players, only scored 189 points. Ott DeFoe, who was selected by 10 percent of players, only delivered 177 points.
If you didn’t choose Martens or Davis, you did well if you picked Greg Hackney with 290 points, but only 4 percent of players did. And Jared Lintner scored 254 points, but only 0.34 percent of players reaped that benefit.
Mike McClelland delivered the goods to the 9.8 percent of Bassmaster Fantasy Fishing players who believed in him. He scored 310 points for winning and for leading for two days.
Jason Christie, however, was the big favorite, with 35 percent of players opting for him. He posted only 229 points for his fans.
Hank Cherry was the second favorite in this bucket, with 13 percent picking him. He busted his fans’ teams with a score of only 155 points.
If you didn’t choose McClelland, you should have picked Cliff Prince, who scored a whopping 304 points, courtesy of his big bag on Day 2. When he brought 19 pounds, 10 ounces to the scales, he earned the Berkley Heavyweight Award, and he scored an additional 40 points for fans who picked him. Who benefited? Practically no one, because only 0.21 percent of players chose him.
Kevin VanDam was by far the best pick in Bucket C, with a total score of 280 points. And 29.4 percent of players got to take advantage of VanDam’s fifth-place finish.
The next-best pick in that bucket was Jeff Kriet, who scored 272 points. He had a much smaller percentage of team owners, only 2 percent.
Other favorites in this bucket didn’t deliver. Randy Howell, picked by 15.7 percent, earned 215 points. Brian Snowden, with 11.8 percent, earned only 205. And Brent Chapman, 10.1 percent, scored 219.
Bassmaster Fantasy Fishing players who thought this might be one of Brandon Palaniuk’s “down” tournaments on his roller coaster ride are kicking themselves for not keeping the faith. Palaniuk was chosen by 39.2 percent of players and scored a whopping 268 points.
Players who branched out and chose Mike Iaconelli (14 percent), Rick Clunn (11.5 percent) and Ish Monroe (9.3 percent) were left high and dry with 209 points, 185 points and 149 points, respectively.
If you didn’t choose Palaniuk, your next-best bet would have been Morizo Shimizu with 245 points. He had a 5.3 percent ownership.
Most fans guessed right with Edwin Evers. With his two bad tournaments in a row, Bassmaster Fantasy Fishing players seemed to feel that Evers was due for greatness at Table Rock, and 61.3 percent of fans chose him. He scored 276 points.
The next-best pick was Kevin Hawk with 257 points. Less than 1 percent of fans (0.7 percent) picked him.
Other decent picks were Britt Myers, 237 points, 6.2 percent, and Kelley Jaye, 227, 0.3 percent.
Letdowns were Jonathon VanDam at 9.8 percent with 173 points and Boyd Duckett at 6.6 percent with 79.
Did your picks do well? If not, get started picking your team for Toledo Bend. You’ve got four weeks to get it right. So pull out your crystal ball — or get started researching who’s done well on the Louisiana fishery — and try to pick the Golden Bucket next time!