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Elites give inside scoop on picks for 2007 Classic

2/16/2007

Who will win the Classic from the perspective of the Elite Series?

Who has the inside track on picking the winner of the Bassmaster Classic? It has to be the guys they competed against all season long, right?

It would certainly make sense. But even those guys have a tough time coming up with a consensus.

ESPNOutdoors.com asked a sampling of Elite Series anglers who didn't make the Classic to tell us who will win.

If you're looking for an inside track, this is as good as it gets.

Rick Ash

"Russ Lane. He's a local. He's been on that lake for so long. I think he knows more than anybody. If I had two picks, then it would also be Aaron Martens because he can adapt so quick to the conditions. But I think Russ overall has the knowledge of the lake. That, of course, could work against him. But I think he'll still be strong."

Preston Clark

"I like Russ Lane. He's a local, he's lived on that lake his whole life. But the other two I would not count out at all are Aaron Martens and Steve Kennedy. I'm looking at them to do really well."

Ken Brodeur

"Chris Novak because he's not a hometown favorite and I'm supporting the hometown guys from the Northeast. But if I had to put money on it, I think I'd have to go with Russ Lane."

Jeff Connella

"I'm going with Aaron Martens because the conditions will be tough. He'll be able to put something together."

Ken Cook

"Edwin Evers. It's a gut feeling. He's really hot. He's hungry. He puts off an aura that he's ready to win. He'll win one eventually, why not this one? Plus he's a nice guy."

Greg Gutierrez:

"I have to go with Aaron Martens. He's got the experience, the confidence and he has the ability to fish shutdown, cold-water fish. If the weather comes in and gets cold, he's the man. The guy is Rainman when it comes to water."

James Kennedy

"I'm putting it on Greg Hackney. I think he's due. He's done so much in such a little time. Look at what he's done in the last four or five years, he's superb. He makes things happen in the worst conditions."

Ben Matsubu

"Aaron Martens. Because the weather has gotten cold. I think those big spots will gather up and he's always been good at finding those concentrations of spotted bass. And I think it's going to be a finesse bite. If the weather was going to warm up I might change my mind."

Scott Rook

"Kevin VanDam. I just think it's shaping up to be his kind of tournament. Conditions will be totally opposite than from practice, and he's the fastest at figuring out fish of anybody I know. Or Denny Brauer because he'll go out and swing for the fence and do nothing but throw a jig all day."