Top Picks To Win Bassmaster Classic

A Classic prediction of three anglers most likely to win bass fishing's top prize.

Mike Bolton | February 18, 2014

On Friday, 56 professional anglers will launch their boats on Lake Guntersville knowing that either them or one of their brethren has a date with destiny. For one of those professional anglers, a win in the Bassmasters Classic on Sunday afternoon will be life changing.

To study the 56 contestants and try to predict a winner borders on absurdity. It’s for that reason I’m going to cheat and pick three. I believe The 2014 Bassmasters Classic will be won by one of these three men.

The odds-on-favorite, of course, is Chris Lane. There’s good reason for that. He’s a former Classic winner (2012), and he lives on Lake Guntersville. I’m throwing Lane out of my picks, however.

My first pick is Aaron Martens. I pick him first for several reasons, the least of which is the fact that he told me the other day that’s he going to win the thing. It’s my belief that Kevin VanDam and Martens are the two best active pro anglers. Martens takes his game up another notch at Classic time. He’s finished second four times in the Classic but he’s never won. He’s hungry.

Of course, I have to include VanDam in my picks for this year’s Classic. He’s already won four Classics, and he’s confident this time around.

“Most Classics I’m scrambling right down to the wire trying to get ready,” VanDam said. “For this one, I feel prepared on all levels.”

VanDam knows Lake Guntersville. He’s fished 13 tournaments on the lake. He won the 2007 Bassmaster Elite Series event on Guntersville. He had a ninth-place Elite Series finish on Guntersville in 2010. He also has a second, three thirds and one fourth-place finish on Guntersville in his career.

If you are looking for a Cinderella story, you might want to take a look at Jordan Lee. No one is even considering him, but maybe they should. The collegiate national champion from Auburn University has some history worth mentioning. He fished his way through thousands upon thousands of the top college anglers to make the collegiate finals two years in a row.

Jordan Lee fishes for Auburn, but he’s from Cullman, Ala. so he has fished on Lake Guntersville much of his life and knows it well. The most important thing going for him, however, is that there is unquestionably some kind of miracle Auburn mojo going on these days. I’ll take that over experience and odds right now in this case.

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