Best picks at Pickwick

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Bill Lowen captures his first Bassmaster Elite Series win at Pickwick Lake.

FLORENCE, Ala. — The Bassmaster Elites were faced with constantly changing conditions at Pickwick Lake, yet were still able to put on a show for four days of competition. Anglers had high hopes for consistent weather leading into the event, but instead were granted a massive weather system that came right through the Florence, Alabama the day before the event was originally scheduled to start. After two days of postponement, the Elites put their boats into a Pickwick Lake that had 6 to 8 feet more water than it did during practice and a lot stronger current.

The weights overall were lower than expected, but the big bass stilled showed up. Big bags of smallmouth and largemouth both were weighed in each day of the event.

Per usual, there were plenty of surprises in Rapala Bassmaster Fantasy Fishing. Several anglers who had high playing percentages, such as Greg Hackney and Justin Atkins, struggled and failed to make the cut. On the other end of the spectrum, anglers such as Tyler Rivet and Cory Johnston were selected by 1% or less of Fantasy Fishing players, yet ended up being the best picks in their buckets.

Haven’t created a Fantasy Fishing account yet? No problem! Sign up and play for free at BassmasterFantasy.com. Players win prizes at each specific event and there are prizes for overall winners at the end of the season as well. You can still play the remainder of the season even if you missed out on the first two events.

The overall winner at Pickwick Lake was “Griff45” who only had two of the five picks that would have made up a perfect team. Overall Rank: No. 1, Total Points 1384.

Bucket A: Brandon Palaniuk

Bucket B: Hank Cherry

Bucket C: Bill Lowen 

Bucket D: Chad Pipkens

Bucket E: Chris Zaldian

The perfect Fantasy Fishing team at Pickwick Lake would have been:

Bucket A: Cory Johnston 

Bucket B: Steve Kennedy

Bucket C: Bill Lowen

Bucket D: Tyler Rivet

Bucket E: Chris Zaldain

Total: 1,414

BUCKET A: JOHNSTON

It’s hard to believe that Cory Johnston was only selected by 1% of Fantasy Fishing players at Pickwick Lake. The Canadian scored 290 points in Fantasy Fishing after his third-place finish. Johnston has made the Top 50 cut in all three Elite Series events so far this season.

Second best selection: Brandon Palaniuk made the final day cut at Pickwick, finishing seventh place overall. The five-time Elite Series champion scored 272 points and was selected by 10.9% of Fantasy players.

Lowest scoring angler: After making back-to-back cuts to start the season, Bernie Schultz struggled at Pickwick. The Elite Series veteran only scored 83 points for the 0.1% of Fantasy Fishing players who selected him.

BUCKET B: KENNEDY

Steve Kennedy has registered back-to-back top five finishes in the last two Elite Series Events at the Tennessee River and Pickwick Lake. The Elite Series veteran scored 285 points and was selected at relatively high at 17.8%. 

Second best selection: Hank Cherry only finished one place behind Steve Kennedy at Pickwick Lake. The reigning Bassmaster Classic Champion finished the event in 5th place, scoring 280 points for the 5.4% of Fantasy players who selected him.

Lowest scoring angler: Brian Snowden had to leave the event last minute for family reasons and didn’t register any points.

BUCKET C: LOWEN

Bill Lowen finally got his Elite Series win at Pickwick Lake. Not only did he win the tournament, Lowen scored a whopping 350 Fantasy Points. The Indiana pro scored 40 points for catching the big bass of the tournament, 40 points for catching the big bass of the tournament, and an additional 10 points for leading two of the four days. Lowen was selected by 2.4% of Fantasy players.

Second best selection: Koby Kreiger led the event for the first two days of the event, but fell out of the Top 10 on the third day of competition. After receiving 10 bonus points for leading Days one and two, Kreiger scored 307 points for the 0.3% that selected him.

Lowest scoring angler: The Alabama native, Bill Weidler struggled in his home state. Weidler only scored 91 points for the 0.9% that selected him.

BUCKET D: RIVET

Chances are you are a part of the 99.7% that did not select Tyler Rivet in Bucket D. Rivet notched his first Elite Series Top 10 and scored 276 points for the 0.3% of players who selected him.

Second best selection: Chad Pipkens was tied for the lead going into the final day, but fell to ninth place after a tough final day. Pipkens scored 269 points for the 1.6% of Fantasy players who selected him.

Lowest scoring angler: Carl Jocumsen never got it going at Pickwick and only tallied 79 points for the 14.9% of players who selected him.

BUCKET E: ZALDAIN

Chris Zaldain got out of his short slump at Pickwick, finishing the event in 31st place. Zaldain relied on big swimbaits to score 213 points for the 23.7% that selected him.

Second best selection: Florida’s Kyle Monti was the second best choice in Bucket E. Monti scored 193 points for the 1.3% who selected him.

Lowest scoring angler: Shane Lineberger didn’t get Pickwick figured out this go around. The North Carolina native only scored 77 points for the 0.8% of players who selected him.