BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Justin Lucas, fresh off his first Elite Series win a few weeks ago on the Sacramento River, is looking forward to fishing Kentucky Lake as part of Zippo BASSfest presented by A.R.E. Truck Caps.
"It's gonna be good," he said. "I think we're looking at 22, maybe 22 1/2, pounds a day up there."
His guess for the winning weight on Kentucky Lake is 90 pounds, 4 ounces.
Unlike Aaron Martens, who tended to pick the favorites in each bucket for Bassmaster Fantasy Fishing, Lucas went with underdogs. Here are his choices for BASSfest.
Bucket A: Christie
Jason Christie is only at 3.4 percent ownership at the time of this writing, and Lucas says he thinks he should be much higher than that.
"He's done really well there in the past," said Lucas. "He's a really good ledge fisherman, and he almost won just last week out deep on Lake Fork."
Brent Ehrler, currently at 4.1 percent, won the same event on Lake Fork, and Lucas says he should be a top pick for Kentucky Lake, too.
"He's just one of the best with graphs," said Lucas. "He's probably got all Top 20s or Top 15s on Kentucky Lake in the last several years."
But will Lucas pick himself in Bucket A?
"I like Kentucky Lake, but I don't want to pick myself and jinx myself."
Bucket B: J. Lee
Jordan Lee is a total underdog in this bucket, said Lucas.
"He's grown up a Tennessee River boy," he said. "He'll know a lot of spots."
Kelly Jordon is also under-picked, said Lucas.
"He's really good at deep cranking and ledge fishing."
Bucket C: Elam
James Elam is the angler you should choose, said Lucas.
"He's been fishing good this year," he said. "Point one percent is not enough for him," referring to his ownership percentage.
Brian Snowden is another good pick, especially at only 1.6 percent ownership.
"I'm looking for dark horses, and Snowden is super consistent," said Lucas. "He always gets a check and you don't realize it. He does it quietly."
Bucket D: M. Lee
"I'm choosing Matt Lee for the same reason I chose Jordan in Bucket B," said Lucas. "He's got lots of time on the Tennessee River."
Want someone different? Go with Brett Hite.
"He is super solid on Kentucky Lake," said Lucas. "He's not afraid to pull out a spinning rod. He can always bust 'em shallow, too."
Bucket E: Roumbanis
Fred Roumbanis is a definite for Lucas.
"He's a really good fisherman to be in that last bucket," said Lucas. "He likes a 10XD, and he's gonna do well cranking."
Matt Reed is another good option.
"I've always known him as a Carolina rigger and wormer," said Lucas. "That gets overlooked on Kentucky Lake a lot."