Fantasy Fishing: Loyalty and politics at Potomac

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James Overstreet

Are American politics making you tired? They’re making me tired; I could take a three-day nap after being tired of politics and wake up still tired of politics. So, to alleviate myself of the unneeded stress of worrying about the scary future of our country’s prospective leadership, I’ve decided to let the politics of the upcoming Bassmaster Elite at Potomac River presented by Econo Lodge become my point of focus instead.

I may just write in Gerald Swindle on Nov. 8; I’m confident that he could square things away at home and abroad in about two weeks. Uncle Ted Nugent would make a fine running mate — problem solved, I assure you.

It’s entirely possible that you’ll see photos on Bassmaster.com of Elite Series pros fishing in locations that have very familiar national monuments in the background. It’s doubtful, however, that the event will be won in such an urban setting, but you never know.

This will be a very exciting event for several reasons. Partly, it’s a pivotal point in the season to those vying for the coveted Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year title. But the next race that’s heating up, besides the exhausting Trump vs. Clinton battle, is the cut for the AOY Championship on Mille Lacs and 2017 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by GoPro.

With only one regular season tournament remaining on the schedule following this one, you can expect to see the leaders become more defined, and it’s shaping up to be a tight one.

Considering all of that, I’ve made my selections this time around based on who needs it and who has paid out for me in recent events. Their performance thus far might represent that level of “need,” but one thing is for sure, all politics aside: It’s about to get real y’all.

BUCKET A: SWINDLE

Bucket A is full of hammers that could easily swoop in and win this thing. And, Gerald Swindle of Warrior, Ala., is certainly as capable as any of them. But, I’m a G-Man fan and I want him to keep his momentum rolling. I want it for him. He has been the best angler on the tour this year, and another solid finish — even a win — will solidify his AOY bid and 2016 season. I’ve been rewarded for picking him a few times this year, and I’m going to do so again. Plus, having Swindle on the 2016 presidential ticket would make my life. Swindle for the Prez. and the W.

Dark Horse: It’s hard to not pick Jacob Powroznik here. If he doesn’t win the Potomac River, he’ll make a solid run for it. You can count on that.

BUCKET B: LEFEBRE

Dave Lefebre of Erie, Pa., has fished several FLW events on this river system, and he’s having a pretty good year during his first season as a Bassmaster Elite Series pro. After narrowly missing a title on Alabama’s Wheeler Lake, he’s hungry to validate himself. I think he’s already seasoned and belongs fishing at the top level, but as is the case with most pros, nothing will prove that other than a first-place trophy. Look for Lefebre to catch plenty of fish on the Potomac River.

Dark Horse: Todd Faircloth turned his 2015 season around at Chesapeake Bay. He’s already inside the Classic and AOY cut, but he has a knack for doing well on traditionally challenging fisheries. With the Potomac being tidal and late summer bass being stubborn, I bet Faircloth shows up at this one.

BUCKET C: FEIDER

I’ll be straight with you here, I’m a former Minnesotan, and the great Northland is hardly adequately represented in the Elite Series. There are a few solid anglers such as Elite Series sophomore Seth Feider, but I doubt there are any anglers who want an invite to the AOY Championship more than Feider does. He may be the most dangerous stick on Minnesota’s famed Mille Lacs — so dangerous in fact, he is beyond capable of weighing the heaviest limits of smallmouth bass at that event — if he can get in. He’s currently 11 spots out of the Top 50, which is the cut for the AOY tournament.

Feider needs to do well at Potomac and La Crosse if he hopes to challenge the best in the world on his home lake. He knows this and will be fishing to prove he belongs there. After his inner beast tasted success at Cayuga, he’ll show up at Potomac with a chip on his shoulder.

Dark Horse: Brandon Card has enjoyed a pretty solid year, but he’s not comfortably inside the AOY cut, not to mention he’s currently just outside of the Classic cut. He needs to have a good performance at Potomac. Like Feider, he knows it and will be all business until the final whistle blows.

BUCKET D: MYERS

Despite fishing his way to his first Elite Series title on Winyah Bay, S.C., earlier this year, Britt Myers of Wylie, S.C., is in 76th place. A Top 12 or a better at Potomac and a solid finish at La Crosse could put him back in contention for a 2017 AOY Championship. I’m picking him because it could happen. The Potomac will fish similarly to how the Cooper River did during the Winyah Bay event, and that plays to Myers’ skill set. He needs a good finish here, and I’m banking on that as a motivator!

Dark Horse: Brandon Lester started out strong, but a couple of tough finishes have him uncharacteristically positioned in Bucket D. He’s a better angler than that, and knowing he’s a very accomplished flipping and pitching bass fisherman, I bet he does well at the Potomac.

BUCKET E: CLAUSEN

Luke Clausen has won a major tournament on the Potomac River before, and he’s been battling a string of bad luck this year. He knows how to catch bass on that system, and he also knows that if there’s any hope at resurrecting his season, it needs to start at this event. I am expecting to see a big turn around for the former Bassmaster Classic Champion.

Dark Horse: Terry Scroggins has been enduring a slump lately, one that doesn’t accurately depict his talent from the front of a bass boat. Making the 2017 Classic is unlikely at this point, but restructuring for next year begins now.