Time is running out to submit fantasy picks for this week's event on Clear Lake in California. And as a courtesy to fantasy players, we've assembled a crew of piscatorial prognosticators to steer you toward victory in your league.
Our gurus include Tommy Sanders and Mark Zona, co-hosts of The Bassmasters on ESPN2; James Hall, editor of Bassmaster magazine; Andy Canulette, staff writer for the New Orleans Time Picayune and a regular contributor to ESPNOutdoors.com; Alan Clemons, outdoors writer for the Huntsville (Ala.) Times and a contributor to ESPNOutdoors.com; and Trey Reid, a veteran bass fishing reporter and ESPNOutdoors.com's fantasy fishing expert.
A West Coast theme runs through this week's selections. Skeet Reese and Jared Lintner are consensus picks for Clear Lake, with Aaron Martens getting the nod from most of our panel as well.
Kevin VanDam is firmly entrenched on most of our panel's teams.
And it appears that rookie phenom Derek Remitz has turned enough heads to earn the respect of many of our pundits, too.
Here's what the experts say about this week's action on Clear Lake:
Mark Zona, co-host of The Bassmasters on ESPN2
Skeet Reese — Take KVD out of the picture and this guy has turned into a naughty little monkey. Granted, we're on his home table, but I would pick him anywhere right now.
Kevin VanDam — I think he's been in the top five for like, 10,000 tournaments in a row. 'Nuff said.
Aaron Martens — Here's some inside junk. He told me NOT to put him on my fantasy team last week at the Delta … so I listened. Then he stated, "You better pick me at Clear." So I listened … again.
Derek Remitz — I have watched him with a jerkbait and it's magical. With temperatures dropping, he should have another delicious tournament.
Jared Lintner — Two words — "sweet moustache." He truly looks like he could star in a 2007 version of "CHiPs."
Tommy Sanders, co-host of The Bassmasters on ESPN2
Kevin Van Dam — KVD is the man who saved me from a fantasy fishing wipeout last week. I'm voting for him out of sheer gratitude.
Ish Monroe — Picked him for the Delta but he seems to have Clear Lake on his mind every time he talks about the west. He was a great mudder at Clear Lake in 2003, and that may be what it takes again this year.
Skeet Reese — He's got the stuff to win at Clear Lake — never any doubt about that. He seemed to be the most comfortable guy in the field when the Tour was there in 2003.
Jared Lintner — One bad day at the Delta cost him a top-four spot. I'm thinking he'll deliver this time.
Greg Hackney — I couldn't pick Van Dam and four West Coast guys. Wouldn't be prudent. The Attack could grab it all.
James Hall, editor of Bassmaster magazine
Derek Remitz — This rookie should do horribly at Clear Lake. He should struggle just like he did at Amistad, and just like he did at the Delta. No way you should put this guy on your fantasy pick list — unless you believe in streaks. And I believe in streaks.
Kevin VanDam — Never, ever, ever leave him off your fantasy pick list. He doesn't even need to be fishing an event to break the top 12.
Jared Lintner — Jared performed quite well at the Delta, and has won on Clear Lake in the past. This guy is a great stick and an obvious pick to do well here.
Skeet Reese — Another West Coast pick, Skeet is fishing very well, and he posted a top-four here in 2003.
Alton Jones — My darkhorse, if you can call a past winner on this fishery a darkhorse pick (he won here in 2003). Jones is fishing well this year and something tells me this may be his best shot all year to win one.
Andy Canulette, New Orleans Times Picayune and ESPNOutdoors.com
Skeet Reese — When I consider the fact that he finished second at the Classic and in the top 12 at both of the first two tournaments on the Elite Series, he has to be on my team. He's en fuego. No, really.
Mike Iaconelli — No one picked him last week even though he's defending angler of the year. Because of the changing conditions, I like Ike. If it's a variable tournament — spawn, prespawn, etc., he'll be there. He can adapt. It's only a matter of time.
Jared Lintner — I believe in Jared Lintner. Fantasy fishing guru Trey Reid was the only guy to pick Lintner to finish in the top 12 last week, and he did it. I believe in Jared Lintner, and I'm not missing the Milkman's delivery this time.
Greg Gutierrez — The fireman could make a difference. I thought about him last week when they were on the Delta, and he didn't make the cut to the final 12. But he knows his stuff and can do it here.
Todd Faircloth — He didn't do nearly as well as he wanted last week on the Delta. But he's very versatile and he's coming on strong of late. I think he can catch the fish.
Alan Clemons, Huntsville (Ala.) Times
Jared Lintner — It's about time for him to break out, and what better time on a lake he knows before heading "back east" for the rest of the Elite season.
Greg Hackney — Last week's top 12 should spur him on to make another and be in the hunt.
Mark Tyler — Should still be in a comfort zone from contending at the Delta.
Mike Iaconelli — Stubbed his toe by missing the cut last week on the Delta, so he should be aching to get back on track.
Kevin VanDam — Mama didn't raise no fool. An outdoor writer, maybe, but not a fool.
Trey Reid, ESPNOutdoors.com
Skeet Reese — Forget that he's hotter right now than two rats making out in a wool sock. Given that he's fishing on a familiar lake and he's riding a streak of three top-five finishes, he is probably the most comfortable angler in the field this week. Remember that you read it here — he will win this one.
Kevin VanDam — He's not going anywhere unless the rest of the field shoots holes in his Nitro boat.
Aaron Martens — OK, I screwed up and didn't include him in last week's picks. I won't let that happen this week. He's arguably the best Western pro in the game right now. It's not possible for him to do better at Clear Lake than he did at the Delta, but I believe he is a better angler on Clear than on the Delta. What's that tell you?
Jared Lintner — If you haven't gotten on the Milkman's bandwagon yet, what the hell are you waiting for? Miss it this week and you'll regret it.
Derek Remitz — I'm still not sure who this guy really is. But you can't argue with success.
Editors Note: ESPNOutdoors.com's new and exclusive pre-game show, Hooked Up, will start at 6 p.m. (EST) on Sunday, April 1. It will be hosted by ESPN2 Bassmaster television hosts Tommy Sanders and Jerry McKinnis, and can be seen in the same location on ESPNOutdoors.com where the live video weigh-in is streamed. Click here for more information