PARIS, Tenn. — The timing was right for Kentucky Lake to really show out potentially pushing four-day limits in the 90-pound range. However, that didn’t happen.
Tennessee pro Wesley Strader put together the winning weight of 80 pounds, 4 ounces to take home his first blue Bassmaster trophy.
The spawn was winding up and the bass were moving back out to deeper water. But a long-standing concern with the large Tennessee River lake is the presence of Asian carp. They dominate the structure and spawning habitat, and eventually wreak havoc on a fishery.
While it’s speculation at this point, many considered this event the last great tournament on Kentucky Lake. While that’s likely an extreme standpoint, there’s no doubt the presence of the invasive species is taking a toll.
Bassmaster Fantasy Fishing players chose based on intuition, facts and who should do well on that lake at this time of year. The perfect team wasn’t selected, but there were some surprises along the way.
Fantasy Kentucky Lake Winner: “lwhittington”
Bucket A: Bradley Roy, 231 points
B: Ott DeFoe, 251
C: Wesley Strader, 310
D: Jason Christie, 285
E: Shaw Grigsby, 297
Fantasy Points Leader: “coltonbaker109”
Bucket A: Aaron Martens, 235 points
B: Kevin VanDam, 167
C: Todd Faircloth, 241
D: Steve Kennedy, 113
E: Keith Combs, 215
Kentucky Lake’s perfect team:
Bucket A: Brent Chapman, 264 points
B: Fred Roumbanis, 280
C: Wesley Strader, 310
D: Jason Christie, 285
E: Kelley Jaye, 290
BUCKET A: CHAPMAN
Typically a pretty quiet, yet consistent angler, Brent Chapman of Lake Quivira, Kansas, won the coveted 2012 Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year title. This past week, he finished in ninth place earning his 0.3-percent ownership 264 points. At the time of this writing, Chapman was holding down the second spot in the AOY race.
Second-best choice: Aaron Martens was the second highest scoring angler in Bucket A. He earned his 15-percent ownership 235 points for a solid 20th place.
Worst choice: Takahiro was surprisingly the lowest scoring angler in Bucket A. He earned his 5.5-percent ownership only 65 points after finishing in 105th place.
BUCKET B: ROUMBANIS
Hailing from Russellville, Ark., Fred Roumbanis was the top choice in Bucket B where he earned his 0.6-percent ownership 280 points for a strong fifth-place finish. This is his second Top 12 in a row, and he’s looking to ride that momentum into the net event while keeping AOY in his sights.
Second-best choice: Josh Bertrand enjoyed a great showing at Kentucky Lake where he earned his 0.4-percent ownership 276 points for a sixth-place finish.
Worst choice: Jonathon VanDam was the lowest scoring angler in Bucket B having earned his 0.2-percent ownership only 63 points after a 106th-place finish.
BUCKET C: STRADER
Wesley Strader took home his first Bassmaster Elite Series title, and the $100,000. He came into this event with 5.9-percent ownership, for which he earned 310 points. He earned 300 for the win, and 10 bonus points for leading on Days 3 and 4, five points per day.
Second-best choice: Skeet Reese enjoyed a great tournament, and was one big fish away from winning the whole thing. He came up a little short, but earned his 1.9-percent ownership 300 points after a stellar second-place finish. He earned 295 points for second place, and five bonus points for leading during Day 2 of the event.
Worst choice: Tommy Biffle had a tough tournament and earned his 1.9-percent ownership only 85 points after finishing in 95th place.
BUCKET D: CHRISTIE
Jason Christie has been enduring an uncharacteristically difficult season. But he managed to bounce back at Kentucky Lake with a solid fourth-place finish that earned his 32.9-percent ownership 285 points.
Second-best choice: This event set up well for Bobby Lane, and he made good on that theory. He finished in seventh place, which earned his 10.8-percent ownership 272 points.
Worst choice: Bassmaster rookie Bill Weidler had a tough tournament and only earned his 0.2-percent ownership 69 points after finishing in 103rd place.
BUCKET E: JAYE
Alabama angler Kelley Jaye stayed tough and finished strong at Kentucky Lake. He finished in third place, which earned his loyal 0.4-percent ownership 290 points.
Second-best choice: Shaw Grigsby was the second-best choice in Bucket E where he earned his 1.7-percent ownership 297 points after a solid 11th-place finish.
Worst choice: Darrell Ocamica was the lowest scoring angler in the tournament having earned his 0.1-percent ownership only 59 points after a tough 108th-place finish.