Fantasy: Zaldain was the points winner at Sacramento

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Justin Lucas may have won the Sacramento Bassmaster Elite at the Sacramento River, but Chris Zaldain won the Bassmaster Fantasy Fishing points battle this weekend.

Here’s the perfect team:

Bucket A: Chris Zaldain, 365 points

B: Clifford Pirch, 272

C: Timmy Horton, 268

D: Bobby Lane, 276

E: Randy Allen, 248

Total: 1,429

No one came close to a score that high. The highest tally of points was more than 100 points behind at 1,292.

A: Zaldain

If you were among the 5.5 percent of people who chose Chris Zaldain for your team, you benefited from his big bag and big bass on Day 1, along with his leader points from that day. That makes a total of 85 bonus points. (Don’t you wish you’d picked him?)

Bucket A was so stacked. You probably picked a very strong competitor in this bucket because the majority of players chose Zaldain, Justin Lucas, Aaron Martens, Dean Rojas, Ish Monroe and Skeet Reese, all of whom posted 245-plus points.

The players who stacked up on Michael Iaconelli (11.3 percent of you) were disappointed with 139 points — more than 220 points behind Zaldain. But the rest of the heavily favored picks in A put up good points.

Still, anyone looking for a Bass Pro Shops gift card or a boat at the end of the year really wishes they’d had Zaldain.

B: Pirch

It looks like everyone was saving Clifford Pirch for this week’s tournament on Lake Havasu, where he will be a huge favorite. Only 2.7 percent of players picked Pirch, yet he delivered the best performance with 272 points.

Still, you did well if you went with Jason Christie, which 5.4 percent of you did, as he posted 264 points. And Chris Lane pickers, 10.7 percent, earned a stout 254 points. Kevin VanDam believers, 8.6 percent, got 251 points.

The favorites in the bucket, Greg Hackney (17.6 percent) and Brent Ehrler (38.7 percent) did well but were still far behind Pirch with 227 points and 219 points respectively.

Every angler below Ehrler (which was more than half the bucket) had ownership rates of 2 percent or below, so their lack of points didn’t hurt many Fantasy Fishing players.

C: Horton

Timmy Horton had a tiny following — only 0.9 percent! — but those who believed in him earned 268 points. Ken Iyobe was right behind him with 257 points, but only 0.2 percent chose him.

The sheeple picks were Edwin Evers at 18 percent, who only got 165 points, Brett Hite, 44.6 percent and 153 points, and Byron Velvick, 12.4 percent and 67 points.

D: Lane

Bobby Lane may be a Florida boy, but he can rock it in California, too. He was the favorite in the bucket at 23.7 percent, and he posted 276 points for his followers.

He had a nearly 40-point lead over the next-closest angler, Billy McCaghren, who finished with 239 points and only 0.1 percent owners.

The other popular picks were Ott DeFoe, 14.1 percent, 201 points, and Randall Tharp, 17.6 percent and a disappointing 79 points.

E: Allen

The 0.3 percent of people who chose Randy Allen got a points payday with his strong performance at the Sacramento River. He earned 248 points for his owners — more than 30 points above his closest competitor, Cliff Prince, 1.0 percent, 215 points.

All the sheeple flocked to Jared Lintner. Nearly half the players picked him — 44 percent — but he earned a paltry 135 points.

The other popular picks were Brandon Palaniuk, 17.1 percent with 191 points; Casey Ashley, 12.6 percent with 91; and Fred Roumbanis, 8.8 percent with 85 points.


Good luck this week with Havasu! You can set your teams now.