AOY Championship a two-man race

Though the picture isn’t in full focus, but the 2017 Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year championship race is pretty clear after the Advance Auto Parts Bassmaster Elite at St. Clair. Now, two general statements can be made: 1) It’s going to be a two-man race between Brandon Palaniuk and Jason Christie; and 2) Jacob Wheeler is the only other angler with a shot to win. Wheeler is a long shot as he will start at Mille Lacs 33 points behind Palaniuk in a 50-man field. Wheeler would have to finish 34 places higher than Palaniuk and 18 places higher than Christie to win.

Here’s a look at how the top five in the AOY standings looked coming into St. Clair and how they’ll be heading into the AOY Championship at Minnesota’s Lake Mille Lacs on Sept. 14:

After Lake ChamplainAfter St. Clair
1. Brandon Palaniuk     7291. Brandon Palaniuk      811      –––
2. Jacob Wheeler          6892. Jason Christie            796      – 15 pts.*
3. Casey Ashley            6893. Jacob Wheeler          778      – 33 pts.
4. Jason Christie           6864. Casey Ashley            747      – 64 pts.
5. Greg Hackney           658  5. Ott DeFoe                  733      – 78 pts.