Fantasy Fishing: You should have picked Mullins at Lanier

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — Despite difficult weather conditions, Lake Lanier showed out in style for Bassmaster fans with numbers of fat spotted bass. Knowing this event was to be exciting, the Bassmaster Elite Series was anticipating tight weights and a very competitive tournament.

As is typical during a winter event on a lake like Lanier, the anglers who did the best are proficient at catching suspended fish with vertical presentations, all while watching each catch take place with their electronics.

It’s no surprise that Paul Mueller came away with the victory, as he is one of the very best at taking full advantage of his electronics. Plus, he’s been way overdue for a victory.

Bassmaster Fantasy Fishing players who picked Mueller for this event reaped the rewards, but the highest scoring angler at Lanier was Tennessee angler David Mullins. If you didn’t pick Mullins, you should have. He earned his supporters some strong points, and an opportunity to really climb the leaderboard.

While the season is early yet, those interested in winning the coveted Bass Pro Shops gift cards and the season-ending bass boat combination, Fantasy players need to stay on their game. There’s not much room for a poor-scoring event. If St. Johns or Lanier tripped you up, there is still time to redirect the season. But not much.

Here’s how Lake Lanier shaped up:

Lake Lanier Fantasy Winner: “greg1” with 1,422 total points

Bucket A: Cliff Pirch, 219 points

B: David Mullins, 330

C: Chris Zaldain, 300

D: Stetson Blaylock, 268

E: Paul Mueller, 305

Total: 1,422

Fantasy Fishing Points Leader: “Phelps2019” with a total of 2,666 points

Lake Lanier’s Perfect Team:

Bucket A: Chris Johnston, 260 points

B: David Mullins, 330

C: Chris Zaldain, 300

D: Todd Auten, 280

E: Paul Mueller, 305

Total: 1,475

BUCKET A: CHRIS JOHNSTON

One of three Canadian anglers on the Elite Series in 2019, Chris Johnston is proving his prowess on the highest level of professional bass fishing. With a second Top 10 in a row, the young pro is also leading the race for the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year title. Johnston earned his 10.7-percent ownership 260 points after finishing his second Elite Series event in 10th place.

Second-best choice: Scott Canterbury is also a newcomer on tour this year, but far from a rookie. Canterbury was the second-highest scoring angler in this bucket having earned his 6.3-percent ownership 257 points after a solid 11th-place finish.

Worst choice: The lowest scoring angler in this bucket was Mark Menendez, which is very surprising after finishing in third at St. Johns River. Never fear, Menendez will bounce back with vigor.

BUCKET B: MULLINS

David Mullins was in the hunt for his first Elite title at Lanier, but fell a little short on the final day of the event. With a surprisingly low level of ownership, any Fantasy player who picked Mullins did some serious climbing in the standings. Mullins earned his 1.8-percent ownership 330 points. He earned 285 points for fourth place, 5 bonus points for leading after Day 2 and 40 points for weighing the heaviest bag of the event, which was 19 pounds, 6 ounces on Day 2.

Second-best choice: Brandon Card was the second-best choice in this bucket. Card, also a Tennessee native, finished in seventh place and earned his 3.5-percent ownership 272 points.

Worst choice: Cliff Prince was the lowest scoring angler in this bucket having earned his 4.9-percent ownership 131 points after a difficult 72nd-place finish.

BUCKET C: ZALDAIN

Chris Zaldain was likely the favorite at this tournament, he dominated Bucket C — and all other buckets for that matter — with a strong 31.7-percent ownership. After a solid second-place finish, Zaldain produced 300 points for his faithful supporters. He scored 295 points for second place, and 5 bonus points for leading after Day 3.

Second-best choice: Clent Davis finished in ninth place and earned his 10.5-percent ownership 264 points, making him the second-best selection in Bucket C.

Worst choice: Dale Hightower endured a difficult tournament at Lanier. He finished in 75th place having earned his 0.6-percent ownership only 125 points.

BUCKET D: AUTEN

While Todd Auten may be largely unknown to the modern era of Bassmaster Fantasy Fishing players, he’s no rookie. In fact, Auten is a veteran who has fished over 130 Bassmaster events, including three Classics. Look out for Auten this year, he’s out for blood this year. He garnered 6.9 percent of the ownership in Bucket D, and earned his supporters 280 points for a solid fifth-place finish.

Second-best choice: Bill Weidler enjoyed a fantastic showing at Lanier and he was the second-highest scoring angler in Bucket D. He earned his 1.6-percent ownership 276 points for a solid sixth-place finish.

Worst choice: Koby Kreiger was the lowest scoring angler in this bucket having earned his 4.8-percent ownership only 129 points after a difficult 73rd-place finish.

BUCKET E: MUELLER

Paul Mueller took home his first Bassmaster Elite title at Lake Lanier. With his growing prowess to manage schools of suspended bass via his Garmin electronics was quite evident at this event. He produced 305 points for his strong 10.8-percent ownership for first place. Three hundred points for the finish, and 5 bonus points for leading on the final day.

Second-best choice: Keith Combs was the second-best choice in this bucket having earned his bucket-dominating support — 26.2-percent — a strong 290 points for finishing in third place.

Worst choice: David Fritts was the lowest-scoring angler in this bucket. He earned his 6.6-percent ownership only 139 points after a tough 68th-place finish.

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