- Trey Reid
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If you didn't get in on the West Coast action last week, it's not too late. The Elite Series stays on the left coast this week, moving from one bass factory, the California Delta, to another renowned Golden State fishery, Clear Lake.
Top-level tour events in the West have been a rarity, but when BASS has gone West, Western pros have figured prominently on the leaderboards.
Last week's stop at the Delta was no different.
And don't expect this week's action at Clear Lake to be an exception, either.
A handful of Western anglers showed last week that these California bass waters are their comfort zone, with Aaron Martens, possibly the best Western fisherman in the game, leading the way.
I'll be clear: Put Western pros in your fantasy lineup this week.
Anglers like Martens, Skeet Reese and Jared Lintner are good anywhere. But they're damn good on these California fisheries.
You don't have to give up your consistent moneymakers (by all means, keep Kevin VanDam on your roster) just to make room for a Western pro, but players with a West Coast zip code or those who once had one should have a strong presence in this week's fantasy rosters.
A few thoughts on Western moves for this week's action:
These guys are expensive, but
Skeet Reese (15.7 points) should be on your roster this week. He's even hotter than KVD right now, and he's probably a stronger play this week than KVD. This Golden Boy from the Golden State showed up at the Delta last week (fourth place), and I expect him to be right there again on Clear Lake.
Aaron Martens (14.3 points) is another logical choice. He comes in hot off last week's win at the Delta, and he has won on Clear Lake in the past. And I repeat: He is possibly the best Western fisherman in the sport even if he actually lives in Alabama these days.
More bang for the buck
Jared Lintner (8.4) may be the best play this week, considering value, recent performance and past success at Clear Lake. He is, without a doubt, underrated. Watch his value soar after this week's event. "The Milkman" delivers.
Mark Tyler (7.4) led after the first day last week but dropped to 13th and narrowly missed the cut for the final day. Still, his value and the points he earned last week make him a solid play for Clear Lake, too. And like Martens, he has won here in the past.
Greg Gutierrez (7.3) This firefighter turned bass pro didn't live up to expectations last week, but he gets a second chance in his home state this week. I believe he'll make the most of it.
They can't all be worth double-digit points
Fred Roumbanis (4.8) placed 21st and 19th in the first two events this season and he knows Clear Lake. He's arguably the most solid choice among anglers who can be acquired for less than five points.
You might be tempted to pick up
Byron Velvick (3.4), but don't. Velvick holds the BASS record for total weight from a three-day tournament with a five-fish limit, and he set the record at Clear Lake seven years ago. So why not put him on your roster this week?
As a friend and former ESPN2 colleague of the fisherman formerly known as "The Bachelor," I'd love to see Velvick pound the bass this week. But every time I've gone out on a limb to put him on my fantasy team (Amistad 2006, California Delta 2007), I've walked away almost as disappointed as Velvick himself.
He's not Western, but he's on my team
Derek Remitz (5.2) has earned a spot on fantasy fishing rosters. His debut on the Elite Series has been auspicious and then some, and he currently leads the fantasy-points standings. Some might argue that he still has something to prove. Maybe or maybe not. Regardless, his performance begs recognition. What other 5.2-value player looks better right now?
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