Fantasy Fishing: Skeet Reese was the best pick at Bull Shoals/Norfork

MOUNTAIN HOME, Ark. — The format of this tournament really threw a lot of the 108 Bassmaster Elite Series anglers, and Bassmaster Fantasy Fishing players for a loop. Some didn’t like it all, while others enjoyed the unique aspect of the four-day event. In short, Days 1 and 4 — April 21 and 24 — were held on Norfork Lake, while Days 2 and 3 — April 22 and 23 — took place on nearby, and renowned Bull Shoals.

With lots of history on Bull Shoals, but little to review regarding Norfork, this event was once again difficult to forecast. Since both lakes are reservoirs on the White River, both should fish similarly, right? For some it did, while others simply struggled to survive.

Skeet Reese of Auburn, Calif., was the best selection at this event, but his success was a surprise to the bulk of Fantasy players, even though Bull Shoals and Norfork fish much like Reese’s home lakes.

Bull Shoals/Norfork’s Perfect Team:

Bucket A: Randall Tharp, 310 points

B: Bill Lowen, 285

C: Skeet Reese, 335

D: Koby Kreiger, 254

E: Casey Ashley, 231

Total: 1,415

“fishing11” picked the best roster, at the Bull Shoals/Norfork event, and is currently ranked 43rd overall with 3,507 points on the season.

“fishing11’s” picks:

Bucket A: Randall Tharp, 310 points

B: Jacob Powroznik, 276

C: Matt Herren, 330

D: Alton Jones, 239

E: Russ Lane, 225

Total: 1,380

The current overall points leader is “dubbld” with a total of 3,639 points on the season so far. His choices for Bull Shoals/Norfork:

Bucket A: Justin Lucas, 245 points

B: Mike McClelland, 264

C: Matt Herren, 330

D: Ott Defoe, 211

E: Russ Lane, 225

Total: 1,275

BUCKET A: THARP

It never hurts to select the winner. Florida angler Randall Tharp certainly wasn’t the favorite coming into this event owning only 2 percent of the bucket, but he was certainly the best choice earning 310 points for his loyal fans.

Greg Hackney of Gonzales, La., and Edwin Evers of Talala, Okla., were the Top-2 selections bringing in 34.2 percent and 23.5 percent respectively. Hackney didn’t disappoint by finishing in 13th and place earning his ownership 251 points. Evers however, struggled in this event and finished in 85th place earning only 105 points.

The second-best choice was Chris Zaldain of San Jose, Calif., who earned his 0.8-percent ownership 295 points.

The worst pick of the bucket was Terry Scroggins who finished in 104th earning his 0.4-percent ownership only 67 points.

BUCKET B: LOWEN

It’s really no surprise that Bill Lowen of Brookville, Ind., was the top-producing selection in Bucket B, but he only garnered 5.2-percent ownership. He earned his loyal Fantasy players 285 points.

Todd Faircloth of Jasper, Texas, had the highest percentage of bucket ownership with 33.9 percent, and he earned 248 points with a 14th-place finish — he was a solid choice in Arkansas.

The second best selection was Virginian Jacob Powroznik with a sixth-place finish earning his 5.8-percent ownership 276 points.

The worst pick of the bucket was Japan’s Ken Iyobe who finished in 100th place with only 75 points.

BUCKET C: REESE

Reese claimed only 5.2-percent ownership in this bucket, but proved to be the most valuable angler of Bucket C and the entire event. The California anger earned 335 points for his second-place finish.

The strongest ownership shouldn’t come as a surprise, Oklahoma’s Jason Christie had the most support with 34.4 percent and he finished in 45th, and Brandon Palaniuk of Rathdrum, Idaho, owned 20.2 percent, but finished in a strong 11th place. Each angler is a former champion on Bull Shoals, and were obvious choices.

The second best choice was Alabama’s Matt Herren who finished 4th earning his 1.4-percent ownership 330 points.

The worst pick of the bucket, and the entire tournament, was John Hunter of Georgetown, Ky., who just came off of a Top-12 finish at Winyah Bay. It was the polar opposite in Arkansas. He finished in last place, 108th, earning only 59 points for his 0.6 percent ownership.

BUCKET D: KREIGER

Koby Kreiger of Osceola, Ind., was one of the biggest surprises of the tournament for Fantasy players. Kreiger owned only 0.2 percent of bucket ownership, but with his 12th-place finish he earned those few players 254 points.

The top-level of ownership went to Mark Davis of Mt. Ida, Ark., who brought in 25.1-percent support, while Alabama’s Chris Lane owned 21.3 percent of the bucket. Davis finished 26th while Lane dropped to 74th palce.

The second best choice in this bucket was Alton Jones of Lorena, Texas, who finished 18th earning his ownership 239 points.

The worst pick of the bucket was Jay Brainard of Enid, Okla., finished in 107th place with 61 points.

BUCKET E: ASHLEY

Ironically, Casey Ashley of Donalds, S.C., was the worst selection of the entire Winyah Bay event, but this time around he out-produced all of the anglers in Bucket E. He earned his 11.5-percent ownership 231 points.

Top ownership went to Jeff Kriet of Ardmore, Okla., who owned 16.9 percent of the bucket.

The second best selection was Oklahoma’s Tommy Biffle who finished in 23rd place earning 229 points.

The worst pick of the bucket was Paul Elias who finished in 106th place earning only 63 points.

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