Fantasy Fishing: Evers was the best overall choice


James Overstreet

TULSA, Okla. — People who played Bassmaster Fantasy Fishing in 2015 remember the title that began sounding like a broken record: “You should have chosen Evers.”

And guess what? For the opening event of the 2016 game, “you should have chosen Evers.”

Of course, you say. He won the event. Yes, but even more than that, he caught the biggest bag of the tournament. And those bonus points gave his Fantasy Fishing owners many more points than anyone else in the field.

Here’s the perfect team for the 2016 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by GoPro:

Bucket A: Edwin Evers, 345 points

B: Jason Christie, 305

C: Randy Howell, 280

D: Marty Robinson, 269

E: James Watson, 245

Total: 1,444

Two players achieved a perfect score.

Bucket A: Evers

Edwin Evers was not only the best pick of Bucket A; he also was the most popular pick. More than a third of the players selected him, at 37.4 percent. He earned a 5-point bonus for leading one day (the last day — you know, the one that counted) and a 40-point bonus for catching the biggest bag of the tournament.

Evers rang in at 345 points, 55 points ahead of his closest competitor, Aaron Martens.

Martens, who scored 290 points, was the second-most popular pick at 16.5 percent. The third-most popular was Brandon Palaniuk, 14.9 percent, 254 points.

The worst pick of the bucket was Justin Lucas, who was owned by 3.4 percent of players and ended with 178 points.

Bucket B: Christie

Jason Christie was by far the most popular pick of Bucket B, owned by 59.6 percent of players. He delivered, with a second-place finish and two days of 5-point leader bonuses. He finished with 305 points.

Right behind him in points was Bill Lowen, who scored 285. He was owned by only 2.8 percent of players.

The second-most popular pick in Bucket B was Skeet Reese at 10 percent. He earned 237 points for his fans.

The worst pick of the bucket was Cliff Pirch, who was owned by 0.9 percent of players. He ended with 203 points.

Bucket C: Howell

Randy Howell was the highest points earner in Bucket C, with 280 points. He was owned by 8.5 percent of players.

Right behind him was Todd Faircloth, 15 percent, 276 points.

Kevin VanDam was the most popular choice in C, owned by 45.1 percent of players. However, he finished nearly 100 points behind Howell.

The worst pick of the bucket was Chad Pipkens. He delivered 175 points to his 0.7 percent of owners.

Bucket D: Robinson

Marty Robinson came out dancing on Day 1, and for good reason: He had caught what would turn out to be the biggest bass of the tournament, a 7-pounder. That translated to 40 bonus points and a Fantasy Fishing score of 269. He was the best pick of the bucket, but also one of the least picked. Only 1.9 percent of players reaped the rewards of choosing him.

Behind Robinson was Boyd Duckett with 241 points. He was owned by 3.4 percent.

The most popular pick of Bucket D was Mike Iaconelli, with 48.5 percent of players choosing him. But he had a rough tournament, and his owners earned only 195 points.

The second-most popular pick was Oklahoman James Elam at 22.9 percent. He finished middle of the pack with 215 points.

The worst pick of the bucket was Chad Morgenthaler, who delivered only 171 points for his 4.8 percent of fans.

Bucket E: Watson

James Watson was the most popular choice of Bucket E, a choice that resulted in the most points available in the bucket for 42.5 percent of players. Watson, who qualified through the Opens, was the only angler in E who qualified to fish on Sunday. He earned 245 points for his fans.

The closest angler to him was Bassmaster Team qualifier Thomas Martens, who earned 223 points for his 8.3 percent of players.

The second-most popular pick in E was Opens qualifier Brandon McMillan at 17 percent. He delivered 187 points.

The worst pick of the bucket was Carhartt Bassmaster College Series qualifier Trevor Lo. The college angler, who was fishing in only his 12th tournament ever, wasn’t able to bring a fish to the scales, which means he couldn’t earn any Fantasy Fishing points. His 4.4 percent of owners received zero points.

If you didn’t do so well on your picks, don’t worry. The Bassmaster Elite Series season starts in a couple of weeks, and that’s when your points begin to count toward the grand prize.