PARIS, Tenn. — The very last event, on Havasu, the final Fantasy Fishing story was called You Should Have Chosen Evers.
For BASSfest, the title is the same because, once again, you should have.
Edwin Evers not only won Zippo BASSfest presented by A.R.E. Truck Caps, he also earned a total of four bonuses — three 5-point bonuses for being the daily leader and one 40-point bonus for weighing in the biggest bass.
Here is the perfect team:
Bucket A: Kevin VanDam, 295 points
B: Edwin Evers, 355
C: Timmy Horton, 285
D: Derek Remitz, 312
E: Fred Roumbanis, 280
The total score for a perfect team was 1,527, and — in very unusual fashion — two players achieved it.
Bucket A: VanDam
Kevin VanDam was heavily favored for the Kentucky Lake event, and for good reason. He’s never finished outside of the Top 3 in an Elite Series event on this body of water.
But if you let VanDam’s high ownership (35.4 percent) or the fact that he hasn’t been the top pick in a Fantasy Fishing bucket in a long time scare you off, then you’re probably kicking yourself right now.
The closest you could have gotten to VanDam’s score was picking Aaron Martens. He ended with 251 points, which is solid, but it’s almost 50 points behind VanDam’s score of 295. As it happens, Martens was the second-most picked angler in the bucket with 13.7 percent. And the three next-highest anglers in ownership — Brent Ehrler, Keith Combs and Jason Christie — were also the three next-highest points scorers.
What that means is most people didn’t lose much ground in Bucket A, even if they didn’t pick VanDam. Obviously, VanDam gave his fans a 44-plus-point boost, but there weren’t many 200-plus-point losses in Bucket A.
The only exception is the worst pick of the bucket, which was Mike Iaconelli. At 5.2 percent ownership, he finished last with 91 points. And as you can see, that’s a big drop from the top for his owners.
Bucket B: Evers
Edwin Evers dominated on Kentucky Lake, and likewise, his owners dominated in Fantasy Fishing.
Evers’ 55 bonus points on top of his win gave him a very healthy 355 points. The 25.6 percent of people who picked him are happy they did.
The closest you could have gotten to Evers in B was by choosing Micah Frazier. He earned 276 points, which is very high, and yet it’s still 79 points back of Evers. No matter, though, because only 0.3 percent of people picked him.
The next-closest you could have gotten was Brandon Lester, who delivered 264 points for his 4.6 percent of fans. Behind him was Ott DeFoe, the second-most favorite of the bucket. His 17.3 percent of fans earned 250 points.
Other popular picks in the bucket didn’t fare as well. Bobby Lane and Greg Hackney, both with around 12 percent ownership, were almost 200 points behind Evers at 175 and 157 points, respectively.
The worst pick of the bucket was David Williams at 0.3 percent, who earned 59 points. That is a 300-point swing.
Bucket C: Horton
Timmy Horton was by far the best pick of Bucket C at 285 points. The 11 percent of players who owned him got at least 50 points more than any other player, and they got more than 150 points than most of the other players.
The reason is that most of the high-ownership picks fared poorly. Casey Ashley, Mark Menendez and Todd Faircloth each were owned by around 16 percent of players, and each of them posted only 123, 121 and 97 points, respectively.
The closest you could have gotten to Horton was to pick Brandon Coulter, 235 points, or Ken Iyobe, 221 points, but almost no one did. Coulter was owned by 1 percent, and Iyobe by 0.4 percent.
The worst pick of the bucket was Kevin Short, owned by 1.2 percent of players. He earned only 55 points, and even his re-qualification for the tournament through the Second Chance event didn’t boost his Fantasy points at all because he zeroed on Kentucky Lake on Day 4. (It did, however, benefit his pocketbook because he earned a $10,000 payday.)
Bucket D: Remitz
Derek Remitz didn’t finish highest in his bucket, but his 40-point bonus for biggest bag of the tournament boosted him to the top.
Remitz, who was chosen by 7.6 percent of players, earned 312 points by virtue of his seventh-place finish and his bonus points. The next-closest angler was third-place finisher Brett Hite, who scored 290 points for his 13.5 percent of fans.
The most popular pick was Takahiro Omori with 29.9 percent ownership, but he ended with only 117 points, a 200-point loss in the bucket for his owners versus Remitz’s. The next-most popular was Randall Tharp at 16.7 percent. He posted 227 points for his players.
The worst pick of the bucket was Carl Jocumsen with 63 points. He was owned by 0.9 percent of players.
Bucket E: Roumbanis
Fred Roumbanis was the best pick of Bucket E, but not by far.
Roumbanis, who was owned by 7.2 percent of players, earned 280 points with his fifth-place finish. But just behind him in eighth place were Brandon Card and Andy Montgomery. Card earned 268 points for his 15.5 percent of owners, and Montgomery earned 257 for his 12.3 percent.
If you chose either of those three, you fared well in Bucket E.
The most popular pick in E was Paul Mueller with 19.5 percent of the vote. Even with his Second Chance Top 10 and subsequent reentry into the tournament, he ended with only 75 points. That’s nearly 200 points behind the Big 3 of Bucket E.
The worst pick of the bucket was Charlie Hartley, who didn’t manage to weigh a fish and therefore earned zero points. That’s a tough break for him, of course, and put his 0.4 percent of owners at least 57 points behind everyone (the next-lowest scorer was Stephen Longobardi with 57 points) and more than 200 points behind most.
Rosters for the next tournament, on the St. Lawrence River, are open now, and you’ve got so much time to decide on your roster. It doesn’t take place until July 30, so that’s just shy of two months for you to pick the perfect team.