Legendary Lake Guntersville marks the final southern stop of the 2021 season before heading north. The end of May has the potential to be really exciting on the Big G. While it is really hard to predict what the winning pattern will be, this time of year has the potential of fresh new schools popping up every day.
Those schools could show up on deep ledges, shallow current breaks or even in emerging grass beds. Anglers should be able to find hungry postspawn bass ready to eat in several different patterns and areas.
I am not sure Guntersville will offer up any Century Club belts this week, but it would not be out of the question. Regardless, I expect the winner will need to hover around 20 pounds per day to hoist the blue trophy.
BUCKET A: FEIDER
At this point, I don’t think anything is going to derail Seth Feider’s quest for a Bassmaster Angler of the Year title in 2021. Feider has been a Top 10 machine this year — and on Guntersville over the last handful of years. I think there is a pretty strong chance you will see Feider headlining my Bucket A picks through the end of the season.
Backup plan: The next hottest angler outside of the Llama is probably Brock Mosely. He has a pair of Top 25s in recent events on Guntersville to boot. Not to mention, he has to keep fishing for Top 10s if he hopes to cut into Feider's AOY lead.
BUCKET B: LESTER
Brandon Lester has been a little bit up and down this season, but I expect him to have a solid event before the break and the Northern Swing. Outside of a subpar fall event on Guntersville in 2020, Lester has been super consistent on Guntersville and Pickwick.
Backup plan: I got a sneaky feeling that Taku Ito may figure out a sneaky bite much like he did on Lake Fork, and I think he will make some noise at Guntersville. Maybe there will be some "big mama" sightings from Ito’s boat.
BUCKET C: PIPKENS
While former Guntersville winner Jamie Hartman is headlining this group, I think Chad Pipkens is the sleeper value pick of this bucket. Pipkens has really become a force to be reckoned with when offshore bites are available, and his TVA track record has been very strong including Chickamauga, Pickwick and Guntersville.
Backup plan: There is not a lot of tournament history data to support this pick, but usually when you combine river systems and grass fisheries, that means green lights to pick Bryan Schmitt. So, if you are looking for a value pick with a ton of upside, think about Schmitt, but I would save him for Champlain when it comes to Mercury Bassmaster Drain the Lake Challenge.
BUCKET D: DAVIS
There are several much flashy names in Bucket D grabbing a bunch of ownership, but at less than 10% owned, Clent Davis has been money on Guntersville over the years. Honestly, if things line up, I would not be shocked to see DAvis getting his first blue trophy this week at the Big G.
Chalk pick: It’s really hard to pick which headliner is the chalkiest for Guntersville. Hard to decide if Scott Canterbury or Justin Atkins is more due for a slump busting event. I am going to give the slide nod to Atkins. He has been fishing Pickwick a fair amount and that should help him to predict what the fish upstream should be doing as well.
BUCKET E: LATUSO
I am going to pretend I have done hours and hours of research on Bucket E for Guntersville. Robbie Latuso is the top point getter after six events; thus, he is the best of the worst. Latuso has had moderate success non-fall Guntersville tournaments, so I expect he will scrape himself together some decent bags to get me the solid fantasy points I needed so badly from Weidler on Neely Henry.
Nostalgia pick: This past event, my nostalgia pick of Rick Clunn panned out. He got his first $10,000 check of 2021 and outperformed my actual pick by quite a bit. So, for those that are long-time fans of Bassmaster, I am going to suggest David Fritts this week at Guntersville. He has hovered right around the Top 50 in his last two trips to Guntersville, so this is probably your best shot of the season if you are a big time Fritts fan.