St. Lawrence River's stellar Fantasy picks

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Seigo Saito

Taku Ito takes home the title at the Farmers Insurance Bassmaster Elite at St. Lawrence River.

It would be hard to imagine a better finale to the 2021 Bassmaster Elite Series season. Waddington, N.Y., and the St. Lawrence River showed out in a big way in the final Elite Series event.

Fish were caught from one end of the playing field to the other, but a decent number of the field decided to make the long run to Lake Ontario each day. It paid off for those who did. Roughly half of the Top 10 made the run all the way to the lake or at least to the mouth of it. 

Luckily, the weather was pretty calm which made the runs down to the lake manageable for those who decided to make that gamble.

If you didn’t play Rapala Bassmaster Fantasy Fishing in 2021, make sure to sign up early in 2022 for your chance to win prizes and compete with Bassmaster fans across the world!

The overall winner of at Lake Champlain was “tkdorsett” who selected four of the five picks that would have made up the perfect roster. Overall Rank: No. 1, Total Points 1,456.

BUCKET A: Cory Johnston  
BUCKET B: Taku Ito  
BUCKET C: David Mullins  
BUCKET D: Scott Canterbury  
BUCKET E: Justin Atkins  

The perfect Fantasy Fishing team for the St. Lawrence River would have been:

BUCKET A: Cory Johnston  
BUCKET B: Taku Ito  
BUCKET C: David Mullins  
BUCKET D: Clark Wendlandt  
BUCKET E: Justin Atkins  
Total: 1,492

BUCKET A: JOHNSTON (CORY)

Once again it was a Johnston brother beatdown at the St. Lawrence River. Well, at least in Bucket A it was. It looked like Cory Johnston was on his way to win his first Elite Series event, but he fell short after Taku Ito had a monstrous Day 4. Cory scored 290 points and was selected by 13.2% of Fantasy players.

Second best selection: If you didn’t select Cory Johnston in Bucket A, you’d better have selected Chris Johnston. The first Canadian to win a Bassmaster Elite Series event finished just one place behind his brother Cory. Chris scored 280 points for the 24.5% of players who selected him.

Lowest scoring angler: Drew Benton had a rough event at the St. Lawrence River. The Florida pro only scored 87 points and was selected by 0.3% of players.

BUCKET B: ITO

Second year Elite Series pro Taku Ito had a massive final day to take home his first blue trophy. Ito weighed more than 26 pounds of smallmouth on Day 4 to jump up from seventh place and take the title. After several impressive smallmouth events, Ito was selected relatively high at 16.3%. Ito scored 345 points.

Second best selection: Steve Kennedy was the second-best selection in Bucket B with 245 points. Overall, Bucket B wasn’t the strongest bucket. Only three anglers in Bucket B finished inside the Top 20. Kennedy was selected by 1.8% of players.

Lowest scoring angler: Scott Martin wasn’t able to get it going at the St. Lawrence River. The Florida pro only scored 111 points and was selected by 3.7% of players.

BUCKET C: MULLINS

After a tough event at Lake Champlain, David Mullins bounced back at the St. Lawrence River with a Top 10. Mullins’ seventh place finish was by far his best performance on the St. Lawrence River. The East Tennessee pro has never finished higher than 37th in his previous five trips to the St. Lawrence River. Mullins scored 272 points and was selected by 2.9% of Fantasy players.

Second best selection: Bryan Schmitt backed up his win at Lake Champlain with a Top 20 finish at the St. Lawrence River. The Maryland pro scored 237 points and was the highest selected angler in Bucket C at 22.5%.

Lowest scoring angler: Mark Menendez wasn’t able to dial in the St. Lawrence River this go around. The Elite Series veteran only scored 99 points and was selected by 1.0% of players.

BUCKET D: WENDLANDT

Reigning Bassmaster Angler of the Year Clark Wendlandt notched his second consecutive Top 10 at the St. Lawence River with a third-place finish. The Texas pro scored 290 points and was selected by 5.2% of players.

Second best selection: After a surprisingly tough season, Scott Canterbury finished the season strong with a 12th-place finish at the St. Lawrence River. The 2019 Angler of the Year scored 254 points and was selected by 14% of Fantasy Players.

Lowest scoring angler: Despite being the highest selected angler in the bucket, Paul Mueller was the lowest scoring angler. Mueller had mechanical issues on Day 2 which prevented him from making it back to weigh in. The two-time Elite Series champion only scored 91 points for the 35.7% of players who selected him.

BUCKET E: ATKINS

After a surprisingly bad season, Justin Atkins was just over a pound away from winning the event and automatically qualifying for the 2022 Bassmaster Classic. Nonetheless, the Elite Series newcomer finished the season strong on the St. Lawrence River. Atkins scored 295 points and was selected by 10.1% of Fantasy players.

Second best selection: Bernie Schultz led the event for the first two days of competition but fell off the pace just a bit on Day 3. The Floridian still managed a Top 10 finish and scored 278 points. Schultz was selected by 3.1% of Fantasy Players. It’s also worth noting that Bucket E had three anglers in the Top 10 with Chris Groh also finishing in the Top 10.

Lowest scoring angler: Dale Hightower wasn’t able to get it going on the St. Lawrence River. The Oklahoma pro scored 89 points and was selected by 0.3% of players.