Fantasy Fishing: Lester was best overall pick at Grand Lake

GROVE, Okla. — As anticipated, many big bags of largemouth bass were brought to the scales at the 2018 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Elite at Grand Lake. And to see Kevin VanDam win his 25th title was nothing short of special.

The G.O.A.T. he’ll always be. VanDam produced a four-day limit of 83 pounds and 4 ounces.

There were several surprises this week, especially many of the names in the Top 12 during Championship Sunday’s final round of competition.

It’s also worth mentioning that second, fifth and ninth places came out of Bucket E, and VanDam out of Bucket D, rookie Roy Hawk is leading the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year race AND the Rookie of the Year race.

And it was good to see Tommy Biffle in the Hot Seat just before VanDam came in and stole the show — a very exciting tournament indeed.

Brandon Lester was the best overall pick. If you didn’t select him in your Grand Lake Fantasy lineup, you should have. He led on Day 2 and produced the largest sack of the tournament, an impressive 26-3 limit of bass.

The perfect team scored very well, but the perfect team was not selected among Fantasy Fishing players.

Fantasy Grand Winner: “white”

Bucket A:, James Elam, 227 points

B: Aaron Martens, 229

C: Brandon Lester, 321

D: Kevin VanDam, 310

E: Tommy Biffle, 295

Total: 1,382

Fantasy Points Leader: “coltonbaker109”

Bucket A: Roy Hawk, 290 points

B: Aaron Martens, 229

C: Cliff Pirch, 237

D: Kevin VanDam, 310

E: Randall Tharp, 264

Total: 1,330

Grand’s Perfect Team:

Bucket A: Roy Hawk, 290 points

B: Bradley Roy, 285

C: Brandon Lester, 321

D: Kevin VanDam, 310

E: Tommy Biffle, 295

Total: 1,501


Roy Hawk is having a stellar rookie year, as mentioned above. His time at Martin was productive as he finished in second place. He fell back only one place at Grand Lake earning his 0.8-percent ownership 290 points for a fine third-place finish.

Second-best choice: Justin Lucas finished just outside of the final-day cut in 13th place earning his 2.7-percent ownership 251 points.

Worst choice: The worst scoring selection in Bucket E was a surprising Casey Ashley. The South Carolina angler earned his 6.1-percent ownership 75 points for finishing in 100th place.


Bradley Roy has been getting closer and closer to his first Elite Series win, and Grand Lake was no exception. He wasn’t able to edge out VanDam, Biffle or Hawk, but he did a great job. Roy caught some big bags of bass this week and managed to finish in fourth place. He earned his 0.2-percent ownership 285 points.

Second-best choice: Paul Mueller enjoyed a great finish, and earned his 0.1-percent ownership 268 points for finishing in eighth place.

Worst choice: Jason Williamson had a tough tournament, and earned his 0.2-percent ownership 67 points for finishing in 104th.


Brandon Lester was on terrific numbers of big bass for three of the official tournament days. Unfortunately, his pattern dried up on the final day, and he was only able to weigh 12-1. However, he earned his 1.9-percent ownership 321 points for a solid sixth-place finish. Lester scored 276 points for his finish, 40 bonus points for weighing the event’s largest limit, 26-3, and five more bonus points for leading on Day 2.

Second-best choice: Fred Roumbanis did a great job and earned his 1.9-percent ownership 257 points after a strong 11th-place finish.

Worst choice: Cliff Prince was the lowest scoring angler in Bucket C. Prince earned his 0.1-percent ownership 95 points after finishing in 90th place.


Is it really any surprise that VanDam won another tournament? No, of course not. But it never gets old. Showing up in Bucket D, VanDam dominated the ownership as well as the bass at Grand Lake. He earned his 25.9-percent ownership 310 points. The 300 points came from the first-place finish, and 10 bonus points for leading two of the competition days, five points per day.

Second-best choice: Greg Vinson enjoyed a great tournament and earned his 0.2-percent ownership 272 points for a solid seventh-place finish.

Worst choice: Darrell Ocamica was the lowest scoring angler in this bucket. He earned his 0.1-percent ownership only 61 points for finishing in 107th place.


Legendary angler, Tommy Biffle had a great showing after not making a Top 12 since the 2016 Mille Lacs AOY Championship. He showed up and earned his faithful 8-percent ownership 295 points for a second-place finish.

Second-best choice: Seth Feider showed up and surprised even himself. But he enjoyed a tremendous showing and earned his 7.4-percent ownership 280 points for finishing in fifth place.

Worst choice: The worst pick in Bucket E was a very surprising Rick Clunn who earned his 0.8-percent ownership only 59 points for finishing in 108th place.

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