1. They call Livingston pro Andy Morgan “The GOAT” for a reason. This is the last guy I ever want to fish against, and the first guy’s house I’m going to in a zombie apocalypse. Photo by Joel Shangle.
2. YUM pro Jason Christie is also my starting shooting guard in any game of pickup 3-on-3. Photo by Joel Shangle.
3. Does it seem like BPS pro Ott Defoe has been around forever?!? Well, he hasn’t. He’s just been so damned good in the six years he’s fished the Elite Series that it just seems like it: Top 20 50% of his tournaments! Photo by Joel Shangle.
4. Talk to Fitzgerald Rods pro Bryan Thrift before a tournament and you’ll swear he won’t catch a single fish. And then he’ll beat you 99 days out of 100. Photo by Joel Shangle.
5. I can tell that the rest of the Elite Series field is nervous that Rigid pro Brandon Palaniuk has matured into a consistent Top 10 guy. He’s always had the ability to win tournaments, but now you throw in AOY-level consistency? Yeah, no thanks, I don’t want any part of a head-to-head with BP. Photo by Joel Shangle.
6. Is Enigma pro Aaron Martens having a down year? Well, yes, especially by his standards. But out of this list of nine, I’ll wager that Aaron is the guy THEY would least like to have to beat head-to-head. Photo by Joel Shangle.
7. Nicest guy you’ll ever meet, ol’ Ark Rods pro Randall Tharp … and then mention the word “compete” or “contest” or “game” and the Honey Badger comes out. The only way I’m ever facing off against Tharp is if it’s a drop-shot-only contest on Lake Washington, and Tharp is blindfolded. Photo by Joel Shangle.
8. You know when somebody just HAS it?!? You can’t even identify it, but you can tell that whatever IT is, they have it, and you don’t. Carhartt pro Jordan Lee owns “IT”. This guy is going to be a terror for the Elite Field for years to come. Photo by Joel Shangle.
9. Unless you’ve been on a boat with Quantum pro Kevin Vandam, you can’t begin to understand just what a machine he is. Not in a robotic way, but in an “I’m going to beat the daylights out of you” way. Photo by Joel Shangle.
SEATTLE – The latest Bassfan.com World Rankings are out, and it’s no stretch that Jacob Wheeler is the new No. 1. He rankles a fair number of his competitors with his scouting/practice habits, but when it’s “go time”, Wheeler flat gets the job done.
Which started me to thinking: Angler of Year rankings and mathematical formulas aside, which current Elite Series/FLW Tour pros would I LEAST like to face off against in a one-day, one-on-one fish off?
No scales, no observers, just a good old-fashioned heads-up bet where you shake hands at the end of the day, and the loser has to wear an “I Heart Miley Cyrus” t-shirt all day.
Here are the Nomad 9: the guys who we will never, ever (and I mean EVER!) take a sucker’s bet against.