Fantasy Fishing: You should have picked Stetson Blaylock at Hartwell

ANDERSON, S.C. — Once again, Anderson, South Carolina, didn’t disappoint bass-fishing fanatics. The 2019 Bassmaster Elite at Lake Hartwell lived up to it’s legacy and attracted big numbers of fans, both on and off the water.

Timing was great and big bass were plentiful as the annual spawn is just about to bust loose. Anglers who were able to target prespawn bass combined with fish already on beds fared the best, and managed the heaviest weights over the 74-angler field.

While local stick Brandon Cobb took home top honors and $100,000, he wasn’t the best overall Bassmaster Fantasy Fishing selection. Arkansas pro Stetson Blaylock paid out the highest amount of points for those who selected him, with Drew Cook a close second with Cobb as the third-best choice.

It was Fantasy Fishing contender “Jasper1200” who won the Fantasy contest and claimed the $2,500 Bass Pro Shops gift card.

Lake Hartwell was the third Bassmaster Elite Series event of the 2019 season, and the first derby in a month after Lake Lanier in February. Hartwell is the fist leg in a back-to-back that wraps up at Winyah Bay, located along South Carolina’s eastern coastline.

Momentum is a huge factor in this sport, especially during a grueling double header. Getting a good start at Hartwell was critical to the long April trip, and to adding points in the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year race.

Let’s see who did what:

Lake Hartwell Fantasy Winner: “Jasper1200” with 1,450 total points.

Rank: No. 1,442

Bucket A: Brandon Cobb, 320 points

B: Stetson Blaylock, 335

C: Mark Menendez, 276

D: Jeff Gustafson, 251

E: Jamie Hartman, 268

Total: 1,450

Bassmaster Fantasy Fishing’s current points leader: “daveyboy” with a total of 5,273 points

Hartwell’s Perfect Team:

Bucket A: Drew Cook, 325 points

B: Stetson Blaylock, 335

C: Mark Menendez, 276

D: Chad Pipkens, 264

E: Jamie Hartman, 268

Total: 1,468


Elite Series rookie Drew Cook has a lot going on after this event. Sure, Cobb won, but it was Cook who produced the most points in Bucket A. The Florida angler is currently leading AOY and the DICK’S Sporting Goods Rookie of the Year race. He earned his 0.3-percent ownership 325 total points for an impressive fourth-place finish. He earned 285 points for fourth place, and 40 bonus points for producing the event’s heaviest bag of bass, which tipped the scales at 20-6 during Thursday’s second round of competition.

Second-best choice: Local stick Brandon Cobb won the derby with an impressive four-day total of 72-4, and was the second highest scoring angler in this bucket. Cobb produced 320 points for his 17.1-percent ownership. Three hundred points for the “W” and five bonus points per day of leadership (4).

Worst choice: Shane Lineberger was the lowest scoring angler in this bucket having earned his 0.8-percent ownership only 147 points after a difficult 64th-place finish.


Stetson Blaylock had a tremendous showing at Lake Hartwell, and managed a solid second-place finish. Blaylock was largely overlooked in this bucket, but he was the highest scoring angler in the event, period. He earned his faithful 3.1-percent ownership 335 points — 295 for the second place, and 40 bonus points for catching the Phoenix Boats Big Bass at 5-15.

Second-best choice: Shane Lehew was the second-highest scoring angler in Bucket B having earned his 2.5-percent ownership 280 points following a solid fifth-place finish.

Worst choice: A very surprising Rick Clunn was the lowest-scoring angler in this bucket having earned his loyal 7.7-percent ownership 133 points after a tough 71st place.


When big bass are on beds and flipping is the most productive technique, you can’t count out Elite Series veteran Mark Menendez. Menedez enjoyed his second Top 10 of the season and earned his 9.9-percent ownership 276 points after an impressive sixth-place finish.

Second-best choice: Bill Lowen was a close second in this bucket having earned his 12.4-percent ownership 272 points after a seventh-place finish.

Worst choice: Ed Loughran was the lowest scoring angler in this bucket having produced only 153 points for his 0.3-percent ownership after a difficult 61st-place finish.


Michigan native Chad Pipkens was fishing with a healing broken collarbone, and he still made the Top 10. After an impressive display of toughness, Pipkens earned his 1.8-percent ownership 264 points after a ninth-place finish.

Second-best choice: Elite Series newcomer Jeff Gustafson enjoyed a solid performance and was the second-best selection in Bucket D having earned his 18-percent ownership 251 points after a 13th-place finish.

Worst choice: Randy Sullivan struggled at Hartwell and was this bucket’s lowest-scoring angler. He earned his 1.3-percent ownership 137 points after a 69th-place finish.


Arkansas pro Jamie Hartman is back in the mix after a solid showing at Hartwell. He earned his supportive 17.9-percent ownership 268 points after an impressive eighth-place finish.

Second-best choice: Second-year pro Chris Groh bounced back after a tough Day 1 and finished out his derby with a stout 15th-place finish. He earned his loyal 1.1-percent 245 points for his work at Lake Hartwell.

Worst choice: Carl Jocumsen pushed through a difficult tournament at Lake Hartwell having earned his 9.9-percent ownership only 127 points after a tough 74-place finish.