My Classic showing was above average so I call that a win! I really could have used Ehrler pulling off the win and getting that 40-point boost, but I can’t complain about the photo finish Jordan Lee pulled off. What a Classic!
Moving forward, I have to keep my ownership low in order to actually gain any ground. That is definitely going to play in my picks for Toledo Bend. I’m banking on the shallow bite being critical to have high finish, but just like last year, I wouldn’t be surprised if the winner finds a few key bites out deep.
BUCKET A: THARP
Gut Pick: Randall Tharp
Among several solid picks in this bucket, Randall Tharp definitely sticks out. It seems like I am his bad luck charm because he always has mediocre finishes when I pick him. Despite that fact, I’m going to ride the Tharp train at least one more time. He didn’t have a great event last time the Elites were here, but given his momentum, I think it’ll go better for him this time.
Logical Pick: Greg Hackney
I’ll let you all in on a little secret. Greg Hackney is a killer shallow-water angler. I promise he is upset and ready to get some revenge on the water after a tough Classic. There are plenty of giant bass up shallow and you can bet he will be on them. I don’t think I can pick him because of his ownership, but he is definitely a solid pick.
BUCKET B: ROJAS
Gut Pick: Dean Rojas
I’m not sure Dean Rojas on Toledo Bend really qualifies as a “gut pick”, but since he has had a string of tough events and really, a tough last few seasons. He doesn’t have much momentum coming into the tournament. However, something tells me that he will find a way to finish strong at TB since last time the Elites were there, he had a tough event. There is definitely going to be a frog bite. Expect that to play big time.
Logical Pick: KVD
Not much could be more logical than placing your bet on KVD. He had a great showing at the Classic and will look to get back-to-back wins on Elite tournaments on Toledo Bend. With it being post spawn, finding fish shallow and deep might be the key. KVD has a knack for figuring out how to be efficient jumping from shallow to deep. I have to stay away from him because of his 50-percent-plus ownership, but look for him to make some noise.
BUCKET C: LEFEBRE
Gut Pick: Dave Lefebre
Again, like Rojas, there’s not much risk in going with a guy like Lefebre on Toledo Bend. Something tells me he will definitely be in the mix on Sunday. He excels in finding fish no one else is on. Because Toledo Bend is so big, it will let him tuck in and milk an area all the way to the end. He is a bargain in the ownership category too.
Logical Pick: Ish Monroe
Ish has a fantastic track record on lakes like Toledo Bend. He always seems to have high finishes here. That makes him a solid pick going into the weekend. However, his momentum is off right now. Again, like for Rojas, the frog bite will probably be a big part of Ish’s arsenal. This weekend could easily be where he turns it around.
BUCKET D: POWROZNIK
Gut Pick: Jacob Powroznik
In each event, there seems to be one or two guys who come out of nowhere. I promise you will see a few underdogs at the top by the end and I would bet at least one or two of them will come out of this bucket. There will definitely be fish deep and shallow and Powroznik can find them no matter where they are. He will put it together for a strong finish.
Logical Pick: Brandon Palanuik
Palanuik just fished an event where he admittedly swung for the fences. With the regular season and AOY rolling forward, he should slow down and focus on putting 5 good bites in the boat. If he can land on some on a few good transition spots and find a way to make them bite, he might make a deep run. If you’re looking for a pick who is not likely to tank, BP might be a good choice.
BUCKET E: C. LANE
Logical Pick: Chris Lane
For whatever reason, there are several guys who are having tough seasons despite the first few events being in their wheelhouse. C. Lane is definitely one of those. Between Lane, Lucas, Tak, Clunn, Vinson and several others, one of them is bound to have a break-out event. He is one of the highest owned anglers in this bucket and rightly so, but I can’t see him having another tough event. He’s due for a high finish and I want to be there for it. I’m sure he’ll put on that Whopper Plopper and put a few slaunch donkeys in the boat.
Gut Pick: Skeet Reese
Skeet seems like the type of angler who should never be out of Bucket A. He’s due for another good finish. He will likely have a swimbait on looking for the big girls. I’d bank on him fishing on Saturday and maybe Sunday. He’s a true bargain in this bucket.