Pee Dee River? Winyah Bay? These are not the standard Lake Guntersville or Lake Erie type fisheries that we typically make Bassmaster Fantasy Fishing picks for. Whether the tournament is to be a grind or a slugfest, the Huk Performance Fishing Bassmaster Elite at Winyah Bay is sure to be interesting.
Between choosing local anglers and those who excel on rivers and tidal waters, one must also consider the types who like to get off the beaten path to find their fish — there is no question that this is a tough event to pick.
BUCKET A: MONTGOMERY
Greg Hackney and Edwin Evers have “Big MO” on their side — MOmentum. But with South Carolinians like Andy Montgomery, Davy Hite and Marty Robinson also as in Bucket A, there are plenty of solid options.
Andy Montgomery is a safe pick. Knowing his history, he will be right at home in any of the backwater cypress swamps he’ll likely find at Winyah Bay. I have a hunch that he’ll do well there.
In order, I’d choose: Montgomery, Hackney, D. Hite, Evers and Robinson.
BUCKET B: LOWEN
Bucket B has some real hammers in it, such as Mike Iaconelli, KVD, Brent Ehrler and Todd Faircloth, just to name a few. Faircloth owns half the bucket, and as you know I am a Faircloth guy through and through. But …
I have watched Bill Lowen dissect rivers and he clearly understands current, including how and where fish will be positioned throughout the year. He also has some solid momentum on his side coming into this event; I promise you that he’s a good bet.
In order, I’d choose: Lowen, Ehrler, Faircloth, KVD and Ike.
BUCKET C: MARTENS
South Carolina’s Britt Myers has the moxie to do well here. However, Aaron Martens is eating up 40-plus percent of the votes, and he is almost always a safe bet. Can he find a magical marina again?
The Furious Hog Snatcher is due for another Top 10 finish.
In order, I’d choose: Martens, DeFoe, Myers, Kennedy and Pipkens.
BUCKET D: ASHLEY
It’s tough to not pick Casey Ashley in Bucket D. He’s the local flavor and an easy choice — so I won’t over analyze this one. Otherwise, Jacob Powroznik, David Williams, Adrian Avena and the Lane brothers would also be quality selections.
In order, I’d choose: Ashley, Powroznik, D. Williams, Avena and C. Lane.
BUCKET E: M. DAVIS
I believe that Buckets D and E are where championships are won. It is pretty early in the season so Bucket E is comprised of anglers who didn’t do very well on the St. Johns River in Palatka, Fla., and they shouldn’t be overlooked. My gut says Mark Davis, because he has a knack for finding fish others either overlook or simply cannot find on a difficult fishery. He is a crankbait master, and he knows how to use the presentation in a river situation.
In order, I’d choose: Davis, Coulter, Card, Jocumsen, and Biffle.
Family standings: First place goes to Dad, second to Sam “Big Hoss” and third belongs to Maggie. I honestly expect them to do about as well as me with limited research on this one — even if they are choosing blindly.
For Winyah Bay, here are their choices:
B-Wait for it … wait for it … Morizu “Big Mama” Shimizu