Fantasy: Can rookies keep up run?


Our pundits take a stab at the second Elite Series event on the Southern Swing and the last event before the first major of the year. The Southern Challenge presented by Purolator is on a familiar BASS venue, Lake Guntersville in northeastern Alabama.

Mike Iaconelli won there last year, edging out Alton Jones with 70 pounds, 13 ounces. Jones finished two ounces back.

Lake Guntersville hosted an Open event the year before and BASS has had pro events there three previous years, so many of the experienced anglers know something about the lake, and our pundits should know something about their history there.

Steve Bowman, Editor of ESPNOutdoors.com, and Tommy Sanders, co-host of The 2007 Bassmaster Trail on ESPN2, think KVD will be back, while Mark Zona of ESPN2 is getting toothy and picking anglers out of fear.

Sam Eifling, Kyle Carter, Craig Lamb, Andy Canulette and Guntersville guide Troy Jens also chime in.

Troy Jens, tournament angler, guide on Lake Guntersville

Timmy Horton
He's familiar with the lake. He always does good here, and it really suits his style of fishing.

Kevin VanDam Things really have lined up for a great spinnerbait bite and he's probably the best there is on the tour. Generally, his fast way of fishing, the lake has lined up for the conditions to be in his favor.

Terry Scroggins
He's also famililar with the lake and he's also a very diverse fisherman. I think he's focued on the kind of power fishing that it's going to take to win this event.

Tommy Sanders, co-host of The 2007 Bassmaster Trail

Kevin Van Dam He misses the cut last week, so he'll be back with a vengeance this week. Of course, he's back with a vengeance every week and that's why I always pick him.

Steve Kennedy Another washout at Clark's Hill. That happened to him a few weeks ago at the Delta and he seemed to improve the week after.

Edwin Evers He's due a big tournament and is always solid at Guntersville.

Mark Zona, co-host of The 2007 Bassmaster Trail

Dean Rojas He's a wonderful sight fisherman. And more than anything, he has the best teeth on the Elite series. He really does. I appreciate a man who is adamant about his hygene. And obviously, Dean Rojan is.

Timmy Horton I truly believe in the field of anglers, I think he knows that lake better than anybody, which could a complete advantage in this tournament or a complete disadvantage.

Russ Lane He's a phenomenal fisherman, but for some reason, he's just scares me in general. He's a physically daunting individual.

Steve Bowman, ESPNOutdoors.com editor
Kevin VanDam He does well on Guntersville and it will be a fast moving, run-and-gun style tournament, which fits his style.
Gerald Swindle He always seems to pull a rabbit out of his bag of tricks on this lake.
Keith Phillips He has trouble on the Elite Series, but he always does well at Guntersville in the Opens. He is my darkhorse.

Andy Canulette, Times-Picayune reporter
Greg Hackney He may be from Arkansas, but I suspect he'll have some of his Louisiana mojo going this week. Translation? He can adapt with the best of them. Hell, Hack would fish well in the smallest pothole of a Wal-Mart parking lot.
Peter Thliveros I'm sticking with the big guy. He finished 23rd here last year and 18th a week ago one state east. I just get the feeling he's going to dial them in before this season is over.
Gerald Swindle He was fifth here last year and had a good showing at Clarks Hill last week. He's done well so far in '07, despite the slip-up at the Classic. Now, he's back in his home state. So why not the G Man?

Sam Eifling, Elite Series reporter
Derek Remitz It's near his current home and he can throw a jig as well as anybody.
Steve Kennedy He had a bad outing in Georgia and he had an extra day to prepare. He's also going back home.
Mike Wurm He is the most versatile angler on tour and this tournament will require a lot of different styles to win.

Craig Lamb, Bassmaster.com editor
Gerald Swindle He's picking up steam and this lake is good for him.
Kevin VanDam He did bad last week and he always comes back from a bad week. When he got disqualified ot Santee Cooper last year, he came back like a lion.
Steve Kennedy He's strong in Alabama, and he'll be comfortable being back in the East.

Kyle Carter, Elite Series reporter
Skeet Reese It may not fit his style well but it doesn't seem to matter much at the moment.
Mike Iaconelli He won on Guntersville last year and I am figuring he will have to break out of this slump at some point. Hopefully he hasn't caught "Steelers Syndrome" and gotten complacent since he won Angler of the Year.
Derek Remitz He will find a way to get into the top 12 using a jig.