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Pundit picks for Duel in the Delta

3/21/2007
James Overstreet

Will it be the home-state anglers, the flippers or somebody else?

To help with your fantasy picks, ESPNOutdoors.com has put together a knowledgeable lineup to handicap the Bassmaster Elite Series Duel in the Delta out of Stockton, Calif., event on the California Delta.

Our pundits include Tommy Sanders and Mark Zona, co-hosts of The Bassmasters on ESPN2; James Hall, editor of Bassmaster magazine; Andy Canulette, outdoor writer for the New Orleans Times Picayune and a contributor to ESPNOutdoors.com; and Trey Reid, a veteran bass fishing reporter and ESPNOutdoors.com contributor. Also, this week's guest pundit is Robert Lee, who won four BASS events on the California Delta from 1998 to 2003.

Tommy Sanders, Bassmaster TV host

Kevin Van Dam "You might as well just put this guy on your list and park him. Unless the other anglers chip in and buy a kilo of Kryptonite, he will be contending in every event this year. And not just contending for a high finish."

Steve Kennedy "Short of a win, I don't think this guy has much more to prove with the Bassmasters. If he's never fished here before, that doesn't bother me. He's going to do his homework and execute as well as anyone."

Ish Monroe "This guy got two good pops of 100k win money last year, and I'm sure it tasted sweet. He grew up just down the road and is all pro when it comes to fishing this kind of stuff."

Skeet Reese "Another guy who's strong wherever they hold the rodeo. Fifth place last time on the Delta and overdue for the next win.

Todd Faircloth "Always touted as a guy with a lot of talent, he's obviously broken through to an even higher level in the past year."

Mark Zona, Bassmaster TV host

Skeet Reese "Momentum is a big factor in fishing, and he has it right now. It doesn't hurt that it's in his backyard. This is a lay-up."

Todd Faircloth "He's going to have a flipping stick in his hand from beginning to end, and that's the one reason besides my gut."

Mark Tyler "Going off the history of the Delta, you've got to have him on your team."

Greg Hackney "This pick has bit me in the tail twice this year, but when you're on a river, especially during the pre-spawn and spawn, you have to go with Hackney."

Dean Rojas "This could turn into a big sightfishing event."

James Hall, editor of Bassmaster magazine

Skeet Reese "This California kid should be on everyone's list. He knows the water; he is on a roll after doing well at both the Classic and Amistad; and he has great hair, evidently an important consideration when fishing in the Golden State."

Dean Rojas "Another West Coast guy that knows this fishery, Rojas should be in his element. If the fish are prespawn like everyone assumes, Kermit may win this event for Rojas. If the fish are on the beds, he can still get it done (remember the Toho event in 2001?)."

Mark Tyler "Another easy pick, Tyler caught the all-time tourney big bass (14-9) here in 1999."

Kevin VanDam "If you are ever NOT going to pick KVD, this is the event to leave him out. However, I'm not that stupid."

Kelly Jordon "My darkhorse, Jordon should be quite focused after not cutting a check at Amistad. Once you make this Texan mad, he takes out his frustrations on the fish. Plus, you put him near grass, he can out-flip most of the guys in the Elite field."

Andy Canulette, outdoor writer for the New Orleans Times Picayune

Greg Hackney "He's one of the best at flipping and one of the best on tour. If he needs to make adjustments, he can do it."

Dean Rojas "That's his area, and if it turns into a sightfishing thing or if it's even close, he'll be on them."

Ishama Monroe "He's coming off a strong showing at Amistad, and he knows that area as well as anybody."

Fred Roumbanis "You hate to keep picking the locals, but he'll be strong on this fishery."

Skeet Reese "He was second at the Classic and he's on a roll. If he doesn't win this one, I feel strongly he's going to win one at some point this year."

Trey Reid, ESPNOutdoors.com contributor

Greg Hackney "Forget that he's one of the best on tour; he's a river rat and one hell of a flipper."

Kevin VanDam "Do I need to justify or explain this one?"

Mark Tyler "He holds the record for the largest bass caught in BASS competition. Guess where he caught it! And his price is a bargain.

Skeet Reese "He's on a roll and he's fishing at home for the first time in an Elite Series event."

Jared Lintner "He told me at Sam Rayburn last year that he couldn't wait to fish an Elite event out West. Pair that with a solid rookie effort last season — and an impressive start this year — and you have an easy choice.

Robert Lee, winner of four BASS events on the California Delta

Skeet Reese "He knows the Delta very well."

Mark Tyler "He has more experience on the Delta than anybody. He could win easily."

Ish Monroe "I know I'm picking Western guys, but experience counts."

Greg Hackney "He can catch 'em there. He knows how to flip and throw the Senko, so it's tailor-made for him."

Denny Brauer "He's a flipper and that's all he does and that's good here."