Fantasy Fishing: Pace was tops at Texas Fest

JONESTOWN, Texas — Lake Travis showed out for the pros, Bassmaster fans and Bassmaster Fantasy Fishing players as well. Not only were there large numbers of a young year class caught, indicating future lake health, but the number of big bass brought to the scales was also noteworthy.

There were several fish over 8 pounds caught, one over 9 caught by James Elam and Cliff Pace topped the big-fish department with a hefty 10-pound, 5-ounce giant he caught right away during Thursday’s opening round of competition.

This event was unique in that each fish was caught, weighed, recorded and immediately released. Each pro could keep one bass over 18 inches to place on the official Bassmaster scales at the launch site.

Cliff Pace was the top scoring angler at last week’s event earning his loyal supporters 330 points. His big bass also earned him a brand new Toyota Tundra.

Once again, nobody picked the perfect team. Here’s how the event shook out for Fantasy Fishing players.

Fantasy Texas Fest Winner: “dogman11”

Bucket A: Cliff Pace, 330 points

B: Jacob Wheeler, 300

C: Hank Cherry, 235

D: Ray Hanselman, 309

E: Drew Benton, 310

Total: 1,484

Fantasy Points Leader: “coltonbaker109”

Bucket A: Josh Bertrand, 223 points

B: Brent Ehrler, 217

C: Cliff Pirch, 254

D: Shin Fukae, 254

E: John Murray, 199

Total: 1,080

Texas Fest’s Perfect Team:

Bucket A: Cliff Pace, 330 points

B: Jacob Wheeler, 300

C: Bobby Lane, 272

D: Keith Combs, 285

E: Drew Benton, 310

Total: 1,497

BUCKET A: PACE

Cliff Pace ran away with this one by finishing in third place and landing the tournament’s big bass. The 10-5 giant earned Pace 40 bonus points, which put his tournament total up to 330 points for his 1.1-percent ownership.

Second-best choice: It’s good to see Brent Chapman back in the mix. The Kansas pro finished in fifth place, which earned his 1-percent ownership 280 points.

Worst choice: Boyd Duckett has to endure holding down the last spot on the Elite Series — as someone always must. He earned his 0.2-percent ownership only 59 points for finishing in 108th place.

BUCKET B: WHEELER

It shouldn't be any surprise to see Jacob Wheeler almost win this event. The vertical presentation in gin-clear water is right in his wheelhouse, and he proved it again. He earned his 7.7-percent ownership 300 points for his second-place finish.

Second-best choice: Kevin VanDam barely missed the Top 12 cut, but was the second highest scoring angler in this bucket. He earned his 11.3-percent ownership 251 points after a strong 13th-place finish.

Worst choice: Fletcher Shryock struggled at Texas Fest having earned his 0.3-percent only 65 points after a tough 105th-place finish.

BUCKET C: B. LANE

Bobby Lane had a great showing on Lake Travis, a lake that doesn’t necessarily fit his obvious skill set. However, he did very well and earned his 9.2-percent ownership 272 points thanks to a stellar seventh-place finish.

Second-best choice: Second-year pro Jamie Hartman enjoyed an excellent showing and earned his 1.3-percent ownership 268 points after finishing in eighth place.

Worst choice: Bassmaster rookie Caleb Sumrall was the lowest scoring angler in Bucket C. He earned his 0.5-percent ownership 85 points after a tough 95th-place finish.

BUCKET D: COMBS

It’s not surprising the three-time Texas Fest winner and native Texan Keith Combs would do well at this event. He dominated ownership in this bucket at 36 percent, for whom he earned 285 points after a solid fourth-place finish.

Second-best choice: Gerald Spohrer from Gonzales, La., earned his 0.2-percent ownership 276 points after a strong sixth-place finish.

Worst choice: Surprisingly, Shaw Grigsby was the lowest scoring angler in Bucket D. He earned his 1.4-percent ownership only 61 points for finishing in 107th place.

BUCKET E: BENTON

Drew Benton enjoyed a fantastic tournament, which garnered his first Elite Series trophy as a third-year pro haililng from Panama City, Fla. Benton managed to produce 310 points for his 4.9-percent ownership. The 300 points were for the win, and five bonus points for each day holding the lead, which was Saturday and Sunday.

Second-best choice: Gary Klein had a great showing having earned his 10.3-percent ownership 243 points after a 16th-place finish.

Worst choice: Rick Morris was the lowest scoring angler in Bucket E. He produced only 63 points for his 0.8-percent ownership after a tough 106th-place finish.