2012 Elite Series Ramada Championship Oneida Lake - Syracuse, NY, Aug 23 - 26, 2012

Underdog strategy for Fantasy Fishing

About the author

David Bell

David Bell

David Bell has been fishing since he was knee high to a grasshopper. The central Arkansas angler plays Fantasy Fishing and writes a fishing blog.

The Green Bay Challenge ended up being the second event I had under the median Fantasy Fishing score for the event. I wasn't just under the median; I was well under it. I thought I had a great team to catch smallmouth heading into the event, but it turns out I had a less-than-mediocre team. Somehow I still managed to stay in the top 9 percent of Fantasy players. I am hoping that in this last event of the season, I can jump back into the top 5 percent.

The Elite Series is going back to Oneida Lake in Syracuse, N.Y., this week for the first time since 2009. Chad Griffin won the event the last time the Elite Series pros visited this lake. Oneida is a place that offers excellent largemouth and smallmouth bass fishing. Every angler should be able to find a pattern that best fits his style of fishing.

This season, I have tried to stay away from the top picks in each bucket of Fantasy Fishing. I expected them to do well in the event, but the goal was pick other anglers who may do better in hopes of gaining more points in that specific bucket. This plan has worked pretty well. Some of the choices did not work out, but the majority have worked out better than expected or a push in the group. I am trying to continue that strategy for this last event along with using the last four Elite Series events and the 2011 Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Northern Open event at Oneida to make my choices.

Bucket A: Dean Rojas

Rojas finished 38th in 2006, fourth in 2007, first in 2008, and third in 2009 on Oneida in the Elite Series. That works out to an average finish of 11.5. Only one finish outside the Top 4 is an astonishing feat. Still, the finish in 2006 had Rojas in the money.

Rojas is also having a good season, sitting in 10th of the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year (AOY) standings heading into this final event. Rojas will be throwing Kermit around in search of some giant largemouth. Currently only 8.3% of Fantasy players are picking Dean Rojas right now. I expect that to go up a little before the event starts. This is still a low enough percentage to beat most Fantasy players if Rojas wins.

I expect Rojas to have a great event and move into the Top 8 in the standings. Only the Top 8 — plus four anglers who are voted in by fans — get to take part in Toyota Trucks All-Star Week. This event is a separate bracket-style tournament. Ott Defoe took home the trophy and the $100,000 check last year in the event.