Listen to AOY winner and Mille Lacs weight leader this week on Bassmaster Radio.
Tommy Sanders and Davy Hite recap the eventful Toyota Angler of the Year Championship on Mille Lacs Lake where Brandon Palaniuk won the AOY title, Dustin Connell took the Rookie of the Year title and Keith Combs won the weight battle.
Tommy Sanders and Davy Hite preview the GEICO Bassmaster Classic Bracket at Pokegama Lake in Minnesota where one angler will win at the end of the event and punch his ticket to the big dance.
One tournament produces three winners. Brandon Palaniuk (above) wins the 2017 Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year title while Dustin Connell wins Rookie of the Year and Keith Combs was the weight leader at the Mille Lacs event.
Hartman is still stuck on two bass weighing a total of 4 pounds, according to BASSTrakk, which has him in 46th place. If he stays there and Rookie of the Year rival Dustin Connell finishes anywhere near his 15th-place standing now, Connell will have overcome a 23-point deficit this week to snatch the ROY title from Hartman.
It appears he's off the bubble now. Bertrand caught a 5 1/2-pounder at 2:20 that gave him an estimated 23-0 today, which has him in 14th place. His place in the 2018 Classic should be secure now - finally.
Jacob Wheeler is fishing his third Championship Sunday of the season. His lure lineup features a wacky rigged drop shot, swimbait and crankbait.
Wheeler makes the drop shot with a 4-inch green pumpkin worm, rigged to a No. 6 VMC Ike Approved Neko Hook. A 3/8-ounce VMC Ike Tungsten Drop Shot Cylinder Weight completes the rig. He also uses a swim bait rigged to a 3/8-ounce ball head jig. For cranking the choice is a Rapala DT 14.
As it stands right now these are the potential first round matches for the Bassmaster Classic Bracket coming up later this week.
Steve Kennedy vs. Adrian Avena
Michael Iaconelli vs. Jacob Powroznik
Dave Lefebre vs. Kelley Jaye
Jonathon VanDam vs. Ish Monroe
Obviously, Hartman is searching for other difference-makers now.
Christie just pulled up stakes and ran to the north end of Garrison. This is where he caught his best fish on Thursday.
He knows he has to have those big fish and he suspects Brandon has caught a decent sack, simply from the crowd noise when they were sharing Brown's Point.
In this area there are no other anglers within sight. And it's a little more bumpy than where we came.