Fantasy Fishing: KVD was the best pick at Toledo Bend

MANY, La. — Ranked as America’s top bass lake in 2015 by Bassmaster magazine, the ARE Truck Caps Bassmaster Elite at Toledo Bend didn’t disappoint. Between the Bassmaster Classic and the first four Elite Series events of 2016, there have been a total of 38 20-pound bags weighed-in, but at Toledo Bend alone there were 35 limits brought to the scales that exceeded 20 pounds.

It was assumed that the tournament would be a slugfest, and that the anglers who excel with traditional postspawn bass tactics would be solid picks for Bassmaster Fantasy Fishing players.

Be it a surprise or not, legendary Kalamazoo, Mich., angler Kevin VanDam went wire-to-wire for his first victory since the 2011 GEICO Bassmaster Classic. Toledo Bend is a lake renowned for giant bass that love to eat big crankbaits, which really set up perfectly for VanDam — and he capitalized with dominance, and was the best Fantasy choice for this event.

While nobody had a perfect roster, the best one for Toledo Bend was set by “choochoo1159” who earned 1,428 points, ranking the player 7,304th and in the 75.3 percentile.

“choochoo1159’s” picks:

Bucket A: Hank Cherry, 276 points

B: Aaron Martens, 243

C: Kevin VanDam, 360

D: Chris Lane, 295

E: Morizo Shimizu, 254

Total: 1,428

The current No. 1 ranked Bassmaster Fantasy Fishing player following Toledo Bend is “camo21” with a total of 5,962 points.

“camo21’s” picks for Toledo Bend:

Bucket A: Gerald Swindle, 207 points

B: Aaron Martens, 243

C: Kevin VanDam, 360

D: Chris Lane, 295

E: Matt Lee, 179

Total 1,284

Toledo Bend’s perfect team:

Bucket A: Keith Combs, 285 points

B: Ish Monroe, 290

C: Kevin VanDam, 360

D: Chris Lane, 295

E: Paul Mueller, 280

Total: 1,510


Keith Combs held the second most support in this bucket with 8.1-percent ownership, which paid out 285 points due to a solid fourth-place finish. After a strong showing, Combs is now holding down the eighth place in the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year race.

Second-best choice: Hank Cherry had a tremendous tournament that bumped him into fourth place in AOY. He finished in sixth place at Toledo Bend earning his 0.2-percent ownership 276 points

Worst choice: Brent Chapman endured an uncharacteristic finish of 85th place, which was the least productive selection in Bucket A. Despite having won on Toledo Bend in 2012, he only produced 105 points for his 2.3-percent ownership.


Ish Monroe came to Many, La., with only 1.9-percent ownership in Bucket B, but he managed to finish in third place earning his fans 290 points.

Second-best choice: Edwin Evers earned his 5.7-percent ownership 260 points with a 10th-place finish.

Worst choice: Cliff Prince owned 0.3 percent of the bucket, but ended up finishing the tournament in 99th place earning his ownership only 77 points.


Those who have been consistently betting on Kevin VanDam to make a dramatic comeback were finally rewarded with a win and 360 points. The legendary angler captured his 21st victory after several difficult seasons. He had the strongest ownership in Bucket C at 18 percent.

Second-best choice: Brett Hite earned his 4.2-percent ownership 272 points after finishing the event in seventh place.

Worst choice: Carl Jocumsen was the lowest-scoring angler in this bucket after finishing in an uncharacteristic 108th place, earning his 1.6-percent ownership only 59 points.


Chris Lane turned his struggling season around at this event. He came into Toledo Bend dominating Bucket D with 59.9-percent ownership, and after all was said and done he earned his supporters 295 points after a solid second-place finish.

Second-best choice: Tommy Biffle finished in ninth place earning his 4.3-percent ownership 264 points.

Worst choice: Randy Allen finished near the bottom at 107th place earning his 2.5-percent ownership only 61 points.


Mueller surprised his 1.8-percent ownership with a fifth-place finish and 280 points.

Second-best choice: Morizo Shimizu fished well and finished in 12th place granting his 1.3-percent ownership 254 points.

Worst choice: Fabian Rodriguez finished in 106th place granting his 0.1-percent ownership only 63 points.