Fantasy Fishing: Shimizu was tops at Cayuga

UNION SPRINGS, N.Y. — The first stop on the annual Northern Swing of the Bassmaster Elite Series was at the Busch Beer Bassmaster Elite at Cayuga Lake. The Top 12 was split between anglers who found heavy largemouth bass located in the dense weedbeds at the north end of the lake, and the chunky smallmouth bass found across the rest of the lake.

The 2016 season has been one that has surprised Bassmaster Fantasy Fishing contenders across the board. It’s been a tough one to predict, but it’s been exciting — no one would deny that.

Believe it or not, this is the first time that Kevin VanDam has won two events in the same season. Just when you thought he’s accomplished everything, add the two-titles-in-one-season to the list.

While it’s no real surprise that KVD took home his record-breaking 22nd title — he’s breaking his own records at this point — the biggest surprise is Morizo Shimizo showing up and taking home a ninth-place finish from Bucket E. Those who chose Shimizo from the bottom bucket were pleasantly surprised with a strong showing and a solid finish. He was the best selection at Cayuga.

Nobody had a perfect roster, but the best one for this event was set by “jbradley” who earned 1,399 points, ranking him 146th and in the 99.5 percentile.

“jbradley’s” picks:

Bucket A: Jacob Powroznik, 285 points

B: Brett Hite, 290

C: Todd Faircloth, 248

D: Paul Mueller, 227

E: Morizo Shimizu, 349

Total: 1,399

The current No. 1 ranked Bassmaster Fantasy Fishing player following the Cayuga event is “VOLS5” with a total of 7,997 points.

“VOLS5’s” picks for Cayuga Lake:

Bucket A: Kevin VanDam, 305 points

B: Adrian Avena, 161

C: Skeet Reese, 213

D: Paul Mueller, 227

E: Jonathon VanDam, 243

Total 1,149

Cayuga’s perfect team:

Bucket A: Kevin VanDam, 305 points

B: Jordan Lee, 305

C: Todd Faircloth, 248

D: Koby Kreiger, 280

E: Morizo Shimizo , 285

Total: 1,423


To think that KVD has accomplished just about everything in the world of Bassmaster, this is the first time that he’s won two events in the same season. He certainly wasn’t the top choice in Bucket A — that goes to Greg Hacknety — rather, KVD earned his 3.2-percent ownership 305 points.

Second-best choice: Jacob Powroznik finished in fourth place earning his 4.8-pecent ownership 285 points.

Worst choice: Greg Hackney was the top choice in Bucket A claiming 60.4-percent ownership. But due to an unfortunate and uncharacteristic disqualification of his Day 1 weight, Hackney finished in 107th place earning his ownership only 61 points. Visit for all the details.


Second-year Elite Series pro Jordan Lee produced a very strong finish at Cayuga Lake earning a second-place finish to a legend that is twice his age. Lee earned his 6.7-percent ownership 305 points. It’s only a matter of time before the young pro claims his first victory. It’ll be sooner than later.

Second-best choice: Brett Hite was one lost fish away from taking home the trophy. He endured a tough final day to claim a third-place finish that earned his 6.9-percent ownership 290 points.

Worst choice: Rick Clunn finished an uncharacteristic 105th place earning his 4.3-percent ownership only 65 points.


Todd Faircloth has had a tough season, but not that tough. He’s still in contention for a 2017 Classic berth, but he’s not made a lot of noise thus far in the season. He came into the event as the strong Bucket C choice with 71.5-pecent ownership. He earned his dedicated followers 248 points with a solid 14th-place finish.

Second-best choice: Cliff Pace finished in 18th-place earning his 0.2-percent ownership 239 points.

Worst choice: Marty Robinson finished in 92nd place, which is not typical of the South Carolina angler. But, Bucket C was probably the biggest surprise at this tournament, as all but Robinson earned their ownership over 100 points.


Koby Kreiger had a solid tournament and finished in fifth place earning his 0.4-percent ownership 280 points. His strong finish earned him a spot among the Top 8 who will compete at the Niagara River Bracket Challenge in mid July.

Second-best choice: Seth Feider surprised his 1.8-percent ownership with 241 points after a 17th-place finish.

Worst choice: Casey Scanlon was the least productive choice in Bucket D after earning his 0.6-percent ownership only 75 points with a 100th-place finish.


Japan’s Morizo Shimizu had a tremendous showing despite a tough season thus far. He won on Kentucky Lake in 2006, marking his last victory. But, Shimizu surprised his 2.4-percent ownership with 349 points making him the best overall pick of Cayuga Lake.

Second-best choice: Jonathon VanDam was the second-best choice at Cayuga after a 16th place finish earning his 16.6-percent ownership 243 points.

Worst choice: John Hunter was the worst pick in this bucket after finishing in 106th place and earning his 3.1-percent ownership only 63 points.

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