PLATTSBURG, N.Y. — After a very impressive output, and a record-breaking come-from-behind victory, Aaron Martens put together a 23-pound, 5-ounce limit of bass on the final day to claim his ninth title. This is the Alabama angler’s first victory since his incredibly dominating season in 2015 when he was crowned Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year.
Before this tournament, the 2017 Bassmaster Classic champion Jordan Lee posted the largest comeback in Bassmaster history, 11th to win at the 2017 Classic. Martens started out Day 3 in 19th place, and managed to surprise everyone with the new biggest comeback in Bassmaster history.
Day 1 was cancelled due to high winds, thus the Top 51 finished the event on Championship Sunday.
The event set up well for Martens, and his 11.7-percent ownership reflected that. Coming into this event, he was on the cusp of not making the 2018 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods. Now, the 3-time AOY looks to be safely inside the AOY/Classic cut.
For Bassmaster Fantasy Fishing players, there are two remaining events where points can be earned. The final regular season event on Lake St. Clair out of Detroit late August is the fist shot, then the annual Angler of the Year Championship on Minnesota’s Mille Lacs in September.
When looking for selections moving forward, momentum and what’s on the line should be considered.
Here are the results for Lake Champlain:
“rdmairet” was the Fantasy Fishing champion at Lake Champlain posting a top score of 1,374 points.
“rdmairet’s” Champlain selections:
Bucket A: Brandon Palaniuk, 290 points
B: Aaron Martens, 345
C: Matt Lee, 254
D: Justin Lucas, 225
E: Chris Lane, 260
Following the Champlain event, “melmaire” took over the lead on the season with a total of 10,118 points.
“melmaire’s” team for Champlain:
Bucket A: Jason Christie, 237 points
B: Seth Feider, 335
C: Stephen Kennedy, 241
D: Andy Montgomery, 131
E: Chris Zaldain, 221
Champlain’s perfect team:
Bucket A: Brandon Palaniuk, 290 or Jacob Wheeler, 290
B: Aaron Martens, 345
C: Kelly Jaye, 280
D: Drew Benton, 235
E: Chris Lane, 260
BUCKET A: PALANIUK & WHEELER
Both Brandon Palaniuk and Jacob Wheeler earned Fantasy Fishing players 290 points for their performance at Lake Champlain. Palaniuk posted 290 points for his third-place finish, and Jacob Wheeler earned 285 points for his fourth-place finish plus 5 bonus points for leading on Day 2. Both anglers produced the same amount of points, and earned the same amount for Fantasy players who picked either
The second-best selection in Bucket A was Ott DeFoe who earned his 2.1-percent ownership 272 points after finishing in seventh place.
The worst pick in this bucket was a very surprising James Elam who earned his 0.6-percent ownership only 69 points after a dismal 103rd-place finish.
BUCKET B: MARTENS
Because the Top 51 were able to fish on Championship Sunday following the weather cancellation on Day 1, they all had a shot at winning. Aaron Martens managed the biggest bag of the tournament, which earned him 40 bonus points, which ultimately led to his victory. He earned his 11.7-percent ownership 300 points for the win, 40 bonus points for his hefty limit and 5 bonus points for leading the final day for a total of 345 points.
The second-best selection was Minnesota angler Seth Feider who earned his 12.8-percent ownership 335 points for his second-place finish. He earned 295 points for second and 40 bonus points for weighing the Phoenix Boats Big Bass, a giant 6-pound, 4-ounce largemouth.
The worst selection in Bucket B was David Mullins who earned his 0.4-percent ownership only 61 points.
BUCKET C: JAYE
Interestingly, no Fantasy Fishing players picked Kelley Jaye, which is too bad because he posted 280 points for his strong fifth-place finish.
The second-best selection in Bucket C was Brandon Lester who earned his 0.6-percent ownership 276 points after a solid sixth-place finish.
The worst selection in Bucket C was Cliff Prince who earned his 0.1-percent ownership only 63 points.
BUCKET D: BENTON
The 2016 Bassmaster Rookie of the Year Drew Benton enjoyed a productive tournament and earned his 2.1-percent ownership 235 points after finishing in 20th place.
The second-best selection was Justin Lucas who earned his dominating 26.1-percent ownership 225 points for a 25th-place finish. After a very difficult start to his year, Lucas has been slowly climbing out of the hole he was in and continues to be a solid Fantasy Fishing selection.
The worst pick in Bucket D was Jared Lintner who earned his 5.2-percent ownership only 67 points following a 104th-place finish.
BUCKET E: C. LANE
While he may not make the 2018 Classic, Chris Lane is doing his best to salvage his worst season ever. He enjoyed a very productive season and finished in 10th place having earned his 15.7-percent ownership 260 points.
The second-best selection was Chris Zaldain who earned his 14.6-percent ownership 221 points after a strong 27th-place finish.
The worst selection in the final bucket was Darrell Ocamica who earned his 2.2-percent ownership only 59 points after finishing in 108th place.