Fantasy Fishing: Hartman and Feider were worth it, Palaniuk finishes strong at Champlain

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. — Lake Champlain is slowly making its way onto the Mount Rushmore of bass fishing tournament destinations. The New York/Vermont fishery didn’t disappoint as it showed its versatility, and the Bassmaster Elite Series anglers produced across the 107-mile long lake. Wily veterans rose to the top and flexed their smallmouth strength at the famed fishery.

Many speculated whether smallmouth, largemouth or a mix of both would dominate this event. In the end, the ratio favored smallmouth anglers as they dominated once the tournament hit the weekend. Some prominent picks in Rapala Bassmaster Fantasy Fishing were the likes of Seth Feider, Jamie Hartman, Bryan Schmitt and Brandon Palaniuk. There were nine anglers who accumulated at least 20% of fan picks in their respective buckets.

Some surprises made their way into the Top 10 as David Mullins, Jason Williamson and Ed Loughran rewarded the Fantasy Fishing players who chose them (less than 0.5%).

New to Fantasy Fishing? Sign up and play for free at Players win prizes at each specific event and there are prizes for overall winners at the end of the season as well. 

The overall winner at Lake Champlain was claimed by “daveyboy” who picked three of the correct five anglers that made a perfect team.

Overall Rank: No. 1, total points 1,439

Bucket A: Jamie Hartman, 345

Bucket B: Seth Feider, 335

Bucket C: Cory Johnston, 264

Bucket D: Bryan Schmitt, 223

Bucket E: Koby Kreiger, 272

Total: 1,439

No one chose the perfect team, but if they did it would’ve been this five-man group of anglers:

Bucket A: Jamie Hartman, 345

Bucket B: Seth Feider, 335

Bucket C: Jason Williamson, 280

Bucket D: Ed Loughran, 276

Bucket E: Koby Kreiger, 272

Total: 1,508


The New York native was a shoo-in to be a top pick in this Bucket. With 24% of Fantasy Fishing players choosing him, he needed to reward those players with respectable points. Hartman produced with 3rd-place points (290), plus 40 for Big Bag of the event and 15 more for leading three days of the event.

Second best selection: Champion Brandon Palaniuk comes in second in Bucket A after tallying 305 points. The winner came from 5th to 1st on the Final Day, but only received bonus points for leading one day of the event, even though his $100,000 payday says it was the best day to lead.

Lowest point performance: Brad Whatley proved a lot to himself at the St. Lawrence River one week ago, but it didn’t translate for the Texan as he finished 75th and only produced 125 points.


Seth Feider’s track record at Lake Champlain speaks for itself. He may live in Minnesota, but Lake Champlain is seemingly a home lake for Feider. After taking 2nd in 2017, he came into the 2020 season looking for redemption. Feider was in contention all week and eventually finished 2nd to Brandon Palaniuk. Catching a 6-pound, 6-ounce largemouth on Day 2 gave Feider 40 bonus points for Fantasy teams. He ended with a 335 total.

Second best selection: David Mullins didn’t trail Seth Feider by much on the leaderboard, but he did have a solid deficit in Fantasy Fishing. The second-best angler in Bucket B earned 285 points for the 0.3% of players who chose him.

Lowest point performance: Bill Lowen felt the pain of making the run to Ticonderoga for largemouth. The seasoned pro is always a consistent figure above the cutline, but found himself in 84th at Champlain, earning only 107 points for 1.3% of players.


Jason Williamson aka “The Tower of Power” displayed his smallmouth power at Lake Champlain with a 5th-place finish. Williamson was as consistent as they come at Champlain with four days consisting of 18-4, 19-7, 19-9 and 19-7. With 280 points he took the top spot in Bucket C.

Second best selection: Canadian Cory Johnston was a highly selected angler at 18.8%, and it paid off as he finished the event in 9th place. He picked up 264 points in Fantasy Fishing. Johnston was one of four anglers to make both Top 10s on the New York swing (Palaniuk, Mosley, Ito and himself).

Lowest point performance: For the second week in a row, John Crews was the lowest performer in his respective Bucket. The long-time Elite Series pro struggled on the New York swing and 6.3% of Fantasy Fishing players received only 111 points with the pick.


The Virginia native and professional lawyer had a successful two weeks in New York as he went from 65th in the Bassmaster Angler of the Year standings and now sits in 34th. He was the best performer in Bucket D and often times, performing well means you won’t be in lower Buckets for long. Movin’ on up for Loughran!

Second best selection: There was a 20-spot difference between the best and second-best performers in Bucket D. Bryan Schmitt, an odds-on favorite at Champlain, rewarded 23% of Fantasy teams with a 26th-place finish and 223 points.

Lowest point performance: Someone has to finish last each event. This week Robbie Latuso struggled and was the lowest point getter in Bucket D. Latuso earned 105 points for his 85th place finish and will look for better success next event at Lake St. Clair.


A Floridian thriving in New York? That’s the case here as Koby Kreiger rode two different topwater lures to a Top 10 finish at Champlain. Kreiger has spent plenty of time in smallmouth country as he grew up in Indiana. Almost 6% of Fantasy Fishing rosters chose Kreiger, and they earned 272 points as a result.

Second best selection: If 20 places was a big gap in Bucket D, 29 places was even greater in the Final Bucket. Rick Morris has a history of success in the north country and did so at Champlain. He made the cut and finished 36th.

Lowest point performance: It’s a different world in New York compared to Louisiana and Texas, so it shouldn’t come as too much of a shock that three of the five lowest anglers represented the Deep South. Tyler Carriere finished 83rd at Champlain and netted 109 points for 0.3% of Fantasy rosters.