SACRAMENTO Ca. – It’s February…which means the Coors Light Future Pro Tour Classic Championship is just around the corner (March 7th-9th) and is an event poised to be one of the most exciting and spectacular events in the FPT’s 12-year history, as only 79 teams will compete in a 3-day, “FLW format” elimination-style event that will yield for the winners the keys to a new Ranger Z118/Evinrude boat package, as well as the prestigious Coors Light FPT Classic crown.
Some of you may already have it in your mind what team might win this historic event, but we have compiled our own “racing form style” list of contenders that we think could win it all based on their strengths, weaknesses, and past performances in FPT competition.
Remember, this is only OUR list of “top picks”, and many of the teams listed below may not necessarily match with the list of teams you feel could win.
But that’s only half the fun.
If you pick the winning team from our “Top This – Sweet Sixteen” list of teams – or from your own personal list, you have the chance to win a load of great prizes courtesy of Top This Truck Accessories of Grass Valley!
If you pick the winning team from our “Sweet Sixteen” list – or from your own personal list you will win all of these great prizes:
· A Hummibird fish finder ($300 value)
· A Mustang Survival style Inflatable life jacket ($120 value)
· Premium tackle pack! ($100 value)
You can also play and win via the “Three the hard way” – Win, Place, or Show sweepstakes!
Just pick any three teams that you think will Win, Place or Show – in any order, and win a FREE entry into any Angler’s Press event held in 2014 of your choice! That means you will receive a FREE entry into either the Yamamoto Big BASS, Snag Proof, or River2Sea Opens! (up to a $200 value)
You must place your bets (or guesses) of the team(s) you feel will win, on the Westernbass.com website (forums section) no later than midnight March 6th, 2014 to be eligible to win. In the case of any ties, the FPT Competition Committee will place all correct guesses in a raffle bin and randomly draw a winner!
We’re off to the races….so good luck to everyone!
www.futureprotour.net – 916-768-0938
Coors Light FPT Classic – “Sweet Sixteen”
1. Jose Juarez/Austin Wilson
An FPT 2011 Lake Berryessa Champion, Wilson knows how to win, but his best play was adding team partner and Clearlake powerhouse Jose Juarez to the mix. If these two find fish and get on fish, it could be a very long day for the rest of the field.
2. Scott Chappel/Jeremiah Valador
Early spring is when they are at their best, and early March on Clear Lake is just what the doctor ordered for this “local area” team that enjoyed a high finish and the FPT’s March 2013 season opener – which just happens to be the EXACT same weekend of this FPT Classic event.
3. Justin Nelson/Tony Koregolos
2012 Navionics Cup Champions and Anglers of the Year, with wins that spread over both central and northern region events, these are FPT veterans looking for the one thing that has eluded them before they “step up” to higher level competition – and that would be the FPT Classic crown. A dynamic four-way combination of experience, poise, finesse and “power fishing” could be their edge and keys to victory when all is said and done.
4. Jim Markham/Mike Harmon
A multiple FPT event winner as well as a 3-time big fish winner, Harmon has both the confidence and skill to CATCH the fish he locates. Now coupled with Markham, (FPT Angler of the Year – 2011), this team who is always near or in the money, and has shown remarkable consistency all year long. IF they get on them, and not overfish their good areas, it could be “lights out” for the rest of the field.
5. Stacy Gee/Rafael Ortiz
A perfect combination of power and finesse, this team has a genuine and justified feeling that this is “their year” to make history and be the first team to ever capture the FPT’s version of the “triple crown” – which would be the Angler of the Year, NAVIONICS Cup, and the FPT Classic titles.
Prediction: If they get out front by a big margin early, the rest of the field will have a long, quiet drive home.
6. Ryan Accardo/Larry Accardo
Perhaps one of the best father and son teams on the tour. If Ryan (son) gets “in the groove” on one of those “Johnny C” swim bait lures, they could make quick work of a very tough field of anglers.
7. Dale Burkett/Doug Langley
Langley may be a bit new to the game but Burkett (4th place in 2012 FPT Classic, and 2010 NAVIONICS Cup champion), has been consistent all year long in his ability to lead the team, keep focused, and not make critical errors. If he carries this same leadership into the Classic, they will take home the gold.
8. “Suga” Shane Pierson/Travis Ladner
Being “bridesmaids” in the 2013 AOY race still does not still well with these two, and has only served to make this powerhouse team very hungry and more eager than ever to show the amateur bass fishing world that their run for that prestigious title was not just a “fling”.
9. Robert Singleton/Bobby “Big Fish” Tilford
These are two of the most wiley and cagey veterans on the tour, two guys that fish hard and most importantly, know what to do to catch a winning bag of fish. If Tilford gets hot, and Singleton controls his nerves and maintains a steady hand, it could happen.
10. Daniel Kornegay/Aaron Waddington
These Clear Lake locals are odds-on favorites to place high as they both are very familiar with the lake and the areas where big fish lurk. Look for them to win or place high in this competition.
11. Hung Ho/Mui Loung
Perhaps the best husband and wife team since Mike and Eula Harmon, Hung and Mui continue to have the uncanny ability to catch fish when the bite is tough and everyone else is struggling. And don’t be fooled, Mui (wife), is not just another pretty face, but adds serious value to the team and has landed several big fish throughout the 2013 season.
12. Mike Barnard/Robert Riley
Well-fed on back-to-back FPT Angler of the Year titles (2012 and 2013), managing overconfidence will be the key for this team who have the potential to win any event they enter.
13. Paul Cox/Rudy Linn
There is simply no substitution for experience, and these two old’ dogs don’t need to learn any new tricks, as their scars from many a FPT battle – as well as their dominating victory in the 2011 FPT Classic are just a few reasons the “young bucks” in the field need to be concerned.
Methodical and systematic anglers, you can best believe they will be using some Ol’ School techniques to make it to the final day and become the tour’s first 2-time champions.
14. Greg Paminto/Greg Dehaven
A “never-say-die” attitude has brought this team a long way in FPT competition, and could be just the mantra they need to best the field in the same fashion they did when they captured the gold in this year’s FPT Pine Flat event.
15. Scott Shambre/Danny Kelsch
Back in the game after a brief hiatus, Shambre is a seasoned and confident competitor with the all important ability to inspire his team partner, and give them the confidence to fish as a team to win. All we can say is…”watch out” for this “sleeper” team….jus sayin..
16. Jeremy Choffell/Fieber
Fishing from their 10’ aluminum boat or 8’ Zodiac style rubber skiff for the past 3 years has not been the handicap most would expect, as this team – who qualified for the FPT Classic via the FPT’s small boat
division, are now 2 time FPT Anglers of the year (small boat division) AND have even scored high when competing in the big boat division. The reason…their small rigs force them to spend more time fishing and less time “running”. A proven formula: More Fishing = More Catching…and this “dark horse” team may just “shock the world”.