Saturday, February 21, 2015
5 Who Should Win
With one day remaining in the 2015 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by GoPro, the top five anglers in the standings are separated by less than 2 pounds. Making things even more interesting, every angler in the top 5 is someone who you could say "should win" and make an excellent case for that assertion.
Leader Takahiro Omori is a past Classic champion, and his 2004 Classic victory came in the Carolinas (Lake Wylie, which straddles the NC/SC border). He likes to crank shallow, so the warmer temps and rain in tomorrow's forecast seem like they should play into his hand.
Dean Rojas, only 2 ounces back, hasn't won a Classic, but he has four B.A.S.S. wins and has proven repeatedly that he can get it done. He brought in a huge bag on day one and backed it with a limit today, but failed to get the same quality. Interestingly, his best previous Classic was fourth place in 2004 at Lake Wylie.
Mike Iaconelli has eight B.AS.S. wins, including victory in the 2003 Bassmaster Classic on the Louisiana Delta, and when he's on something, he is tough to stop. He's brought in two good bags, with toady's a little larger than yesterday's.
Randy Howell is the reigning Bassmaster Classic champion, so the sweet taste of victory is fresh, and of the three former Classic champs in the top five, he's the only one who won a February event. And apparently some live footage of him fishing shows that he's spending at least part of the time cranking bridges, which was how he won last year at Lake Guntersville.
Rounding out the Top 5 is Casey Ashley of Donalds, South Carolina, which is only about 1/2 hour from Lake Hartwell. Ashley was virtually everyone's pick going into the event, so it would be hard to discount him when he's less then two pounds out going into the final day.
Making things even more exciting, the super close weights don't end with the fifth spot. Bret Hite is only 7 ounces behind Ashley, and Coby Carden is only 7 ounces behind Hite. In fact, Skeet Reece, who is in 10th place, is only 4 1/2 pounds off the lead.
So what does all that say? You'd better be watching tomorrow when they bring the fish to the scales because pretty much anything could happen!