FLW Tour pros present their picks for the Atchafalaya Basin FLW Outdoors Fishing Challenge and tell you why they picked them
One tournament down and it’s the pros who lead the pundits in the Picks. The scoring from FLW Okeechobee:
Koby Kreiger was the overall top scorer with 814 points and Clark Wendlandt was a close second with 812. Congrats to all the pros for a superior performance at the Big O.
Onto Louisiana for round two of the FLW Outdoors Fishing Challenge.
Hot picks: Atchafalaya Basin
Greg Hackney is the top favorite down in the swamp. He made everybody’s list, both pros’ and pundits’ – the first time that has ever happened. David Dudley and Clark Wendlandt are hot picks, both making a number of lists. Randy Blaukat‘s name comes up a couple times, and don’t forget about Kevin VanDam and Rick Clunn despite their sub-par performances in Florida. A solid dark-horse pick is a guy named Jason Kilpatrick. Many have never heard of him, but he’s a stud down on the Gulf Coast tidal waters.
Wal-Mart FLW Tour stop No. 2
Atchafalaya Basin, Morgan City, La.
FLW pro, Osceola, Ind.
Last tournament score (Lake Okeechobee): 814
1) Greg Hackney. He’s experienced on this body of water.
2) David Walker. David always does well in Louisiana.
3) Kevin VanDam. Because he’s the VanDaminator.
4) Craig Powers. Craig struggled on Okeechobee, but I think he’ll bounce back here.
5) Tommy Biffle. I think there will be a lot of fish caught flipping, so Tommy’s “Big Stick” will come in handy.
FLW pro, Cedar Park, Texas
Last tournament score: 812
1) Greg Hackney. Greg is a great fisherman. He works hard and is sure to be on top a lot in the years to come. He seems to do well everywhere, but when there is grass, he especially shines.
2) Clark Wendlandt. I like places that fish big and the Atchafalaya Basin has a lot of water and a lot of bass. I am really looking forward to fishing there.
3) Alton Jones. I am wary (not scared, wary) for the guys fishing BASS because they will not have much time to prepare. Only one angler, Todd Faircloth, fished the BASS event at Okeechobee and still made the top 10 in the FLW. Alton should be an exception this time. He always does well in New Orleans and should also fare well here.
4) David Dudley. I am picking Dudley again here. He finished 21st at Okeechobee and he has had a lot of success on tidal fisheries like the James River and Mobile Delta. He also had a lot of time to prepare. I look for him to be a factor in this tournament.
5) Kevin VanDam. Kevin let me down at Okeechobee, but I don’t see him doing poorly twice in a row. This tournament might be a power fisherman’s dream, and Kevin is the best. Kevin is the one angler fishing BASS who I think will be relatively unaffected by the lack of preparation time throughout the season.
FLW pro, Lamar, Mo.
Last tournament score: 656
1) Jason Kilpatrick. Kilpatrick was the third-place finisher at the 2002 Ranger M1 tournament at the Mobile Delta. A newcomer to the FLW Tour, he really impressed me the first time I met him. He is a consistently high finisher at a lot of the Gulf Coast BFL events, and I think his background on this complex water system will pay off for him. He has that aura of a great angler.
2) Greg Hackney. Hackney is one of my picks simply because of his experience on this basin. The basin is not like a normal tournament site we visit. It take weeks just simply to find your way around, let alone to locate fish. Hackney’s combination of past knowledge and the momentum he has from last season will make him a top contender here.
3) Randy Blaukat. I love this type of water. The basin is a cross between the Mobile Delta and the Pascagoula River Delta, and it totally suits my style of fishing, which is heavy-cover flipping and being able to get away from the crowds. Besides, Clark Wendlant picked himself at Okeechobee and finished in the top 10. Hope it works for me.
4) Rick Clunn. Rick is the only angler I know who has ever fished here before and he nearly won both events. After a poor showing at our events in Florida last month, he will be super-focused at this one. Rick gets this “look” in his eye when he is about to dominate a tournament – I have seen it a lot over the years – and he has it for this one.
5) Takihiro Omori. Takihiro really surprised me at Okeechobee when I picked him and he bombed. He has spent a lot of time pre-practicing for this event, and has done well on Gulf Coast fisheries in the past. Bottom line on this tournament is that there are no clear-cut favorites, and anglers like Takihiro who put in their homework here will likely be raising those big plastic checks over their heads come Saturday.
FLW pro, Warrior, Ala.
Last tournament score: 655
1) Todd Faircloth.
2) Clark Wendlandt.
3) Randy Blaukat.
4) Andy Morgan.
5) Greg Hackney.
Check back tomorrow as the pundits weigh in with their picks for FLW Atchafalaya Basin.