By BassFan Staff

(Editor's note: This is part 2 of a 3-part series examining the field for the upcoming Bassmaster Classic at Lake Hartwell, with competitors listed alphabetically. To read part 1, click here).

Seth Feider - Bloomington, Minn.
> Qualified through: Elite Series points
> Classics fished: None
> Best Classic finish: N/A
> Tour-level finishes at Hartwell: None
> Current world rank: 32
> Insight: One of the young guns on the Elite Series who marches to his own drumbeat. He's become a consistent check-casher, but is still plagued by a bomb here and there. He's an unknown at Hartwell and while some might not consider him a threat in the Classic, his offshore skills and flat-line demeanor could help him overcome his lack of experience in the Classic.
> View his BassFan Angler Profile here.

Jacob Foutz - Bryan College (Dayton, Tenn.)
> Qualified through: Bassmaster College Series champion
> Classics fished: None
> Best Classic finish: N/A
> Tour-level finishes at Hartwell: None
> Current world rank: N/A
> Insight: If recent history tells us anything, you cannot overlook the college kids in the Classic. Jordan Lee proved that last year when he became the first angler who came through the Bassmaster college ranks to win the Classic. Foutz, who's just 19, may not contend this year, but his is a name to keep in your memory banks.

Micah Frazier - Newnan, Ga.
> Qualified through: Elite Series points
> Classics fished: 1
> Best Classic finish: 14th (Grand Lake - 2016)
> Tour-level finishes at Hartwell: 83rd (2011 FLW Tour), 2nd (2012 FLW Tour), 134th (2014 FLW Tour)
> Current world rank: 67
> Insight: Has acquitted himself well since moving to the Elite Series a few seasons ago. It's tough to figure out which version of Frazier will be at this year's Classic - the one who finished 2nd at Hartwell in a 2012 FLW Tour event or the one who was 83rd in 2011 or 134th in 2014. Either way, he has plenty of up-close experience with the lake this time of year and should be equipped to make whatever adjustments are necessary.
> View his BassFan Angler Profile here.

Marty Giddens - Talladega, Ala.
> Qualified through: B.A.S.S. Nation championship
> Classics fished: None
> Best Classic finish: N/A
> Tour-level finishes at Hartwell: None
> Current world rank: N/A
> Insight: Docks were Giddens' main focus at Hartwell when he took 3rd in the B.A.S.S. Nation championship. They may play a role for him again in the Classic, but he may have to branch out to expand his options. Among the longshots in the field, anything that gets him to day 3 will be icing on the cake.

Luke Gritter - Otsego, Mich.
> Qualified through: B.A.S.S. Nation championship
> Classics fished: None
> Best Classic finish: N/A
> Tour-level finishes at Hartwell: None
> Current world rank: N/A
> Insight: He grew up down the road from another guy in this derby (he goes by KVD), but Gritter isn't expected to garner the attention that his fellow Michigander will. One thing working in Gritter's favor is he got a look at Hartwell last fall during the B.A.S.S. Nation championship and wound up 2nd by targeting largemouth in the river and spotted bass on the lower end of the lake. Making the top-25 cut would be considered a success for Gritter.

Greg Hackney - Gonzales, La.
> Qualified through: Elite Series points
> Classics fished: 14
> Best Classic finish: 5th (Lake Hartwell - 2008)
> Tour-level finishes at Hartwell: 5th (2008 Classic), 58th (2014 FLW Tour), 26th (2015 Classic)
> Current world rank: 10
> Insight: Is this the year Hackney completes the career grand slam and puts a Classic trophy on his mantle next to the Forrest Wood Cup and FLW Tour and Elite Series AOY hardware? It could be, especially with how the forecast is shaping up. Anything that triggers fish to start moving shallow puts them in Hackney's crosshairs. He's been on a wicked tear in recent years with just three missed money cuts since July 2015.
> View his BassFan Angler Profile here.



B.A.S.S./Seigo Saito
Photo: B.A.S.S./Seigo Saito

Jamie Hartman had an outstanding rookie season on the Elite Series in 2017 and now looks to make some noise in his first Classic.

Jamie Hartman - Dardanelle, Ark.
> Qualified through: Elite Series points
> Classics fished: None
> Best Classic finish: N/A
> Tour-level finishes at Hartwell: None
> Current world rank: 48
> Insight: If Hartman's rookie season was any indication of how he'll fare in his first Classic, get ready to hear his name a lot in Greenville. Hartwell seems to set up well for him with clear water and the opportunity to toss a jig around. He narrowly missed the cut at Lake Martin last month so he'll be looking to make a big impact when he gets to Hartwell.
> View his BassFan Angler Profile here.

Randy Howell - Guntersville, Ala.
> Qualified through: Elite Series points
> Classics fished: 15
> Best Classic finish: 1st (Lake Guntersville - 2014)
> Tour-level finishes at Hartwell: 16th (2015 Classic)
> Current world rank: 38
> Insight: This will be Classic No. 16 for Howell, who has two top-5 finishes in the past four years in the big event. He has the versatility and experience to pick up on what's happening and make the right adjustments. He has some momentum coming off a 21st-place effort at Martin and he'll be looking to join the exclusive list of anglers with multiple Classic wins to his credit.
> View his BassFan Angler Profile here.

Mike Iaconelli - Pittsgrove, N.J.
> Qualified through: Elite Series points
> Classics fished: 18
> Best Classic finish: 1st (Louisiana Delta - 2003)
> Tour-level finishes at Hartwell: 6th (2015 Classic), 10th (2008 Classic)
> Current world rank: 33
> Insight: He had a mediocre year in 2017 and back-doored his way into his 17th consecutive Classic (the longest active run on the circuit) when James Elam became a double-qualifier via an Open victory. He acquitted himself pretty well in the two previous Hartwell Classics and thrives under the brightest spotlight he's finished among the top-10 in the event 10 times. He's adept at developing patterns outside the normal fare for a particular derby and could stay in the picture throughout if he finds one that holds up.
> View his BassFan Angler Profile here.

B.A.S.S./Seigo Saito
Photo: B.A.S.S./Seigo Saito

Alton Jones won the first Classic staged at Hartwell in 2008.

Alton Jones Sr. - Lorena, TX
> Qualified through: Elite Series points
> Classics fished: 18
> Best Classic finish: 1st (Lake Hartwell - 2008)
> Tour-level finishes at Hartwell: 1st (2008 Classic)
> Current world rank: 44
> Insight: This is the 10th anniversary of his career-defining triumph in the '08 Classic and the event will be staged a month later on the calendar. The deep-jig pattern he relied on back then might not be in play, but he's certainly capable of finding something just as effective, whether it's in the shallows or away from the bank. His versatility and ability to close the deal when he's on "winning fish" make him one to watch.
> View his BassFan Angler Profile here.

Steve Kennedy - Auburn, AL
> Qualified through: Elite Series points
> Classics fished: 8
> Best Classic finish: 2nd (Lake Conroe - 2017)
> Tour-level finishes at Hartwell: 39th (2008 Classic), 103rd (2014 FLW Tour)
> Current world rank: 31
> Insight: He has a tremendous amount of experience on lakes that fish similarly to Hartwell and the ability to fully maximize a productive pattern across a multiple-day event. He would've won last year's Classic if not for Jordan Lee's final-day charge, and that disappointment stuck with him throughout the season. He did nothing of note in his last Classic appearance at this venue, but this time could be different.
> View his BassFan Angler Profile here.

Bobby Lane - Lakeland, FL
> Qualified through: Elite Series points
> Classics fished: 10
> Best Classic finish: 2nd (Lake Hartwell - 2015)
> Tour-level finishes at Hartwell: 2nd (2015 Classic), 4th (2008 Classic)
> Current world rank: 23
> Insight: Hartwell wouldn't seem to be the type of place for a dyed-in-the-wool Floridian such as Lane to excel, but the statistics show otherwise as he's been right in the mix at both of the Classic's previous visits. He started 2018 with an Open victory in his home state, but then turned in a stinker in the Elite opener at Lake Martin. He's a guy who likes the Classic's big stage and it would be little surprise if he joined brother Chris as a champion of the sport's premier event.
> View his BassFan Angler Profile here.

Russ Lane - Prattville, AL
> Qualified through: Elite Series points
> Classics fished: 6
> Best Classic finish: 4th (Lay Lake - 2010)
> Tour-level finishes at Hartwell: None
> Current world rank: 54
> Insight: He failed to qualify for either of the previous two Classics at Hartwell, so this will be his first crack at the venue in a high-level event. He could find it to his liking, as his acumen with a crankbait could play for fish at any depth. Not a strong favorite at this point, but not a guy to completely disregard, either.
> View his BassFan Angler Profile here.

B.A.S.S./Andy Crawford
Photo: B.A.S.S./Andy Crawford

Defending Classic champion Jordan Lee is looking to overcome a rough start to the 2018 campaign.

Jordan Lee - Grant, AL
> Qualified through: Defending champion
> Classics fished: 3
> Best Classic finish: 1st (Lake Conroe - 2017)
> Tour-level finishes at Hartwell: None
> Current world rank: 4
> Insight: His stellar 2017 campaign is now in the rearview mirror and he started the new year with a stinker (68th at Lake Martin) that was his second-worst Elite Series finish to date. He's a guy who can turn momentum around in a hurry, though, as he proved at last year's Classic. The odds don't favor him joining Rick Clunn and Kevin VanDam as back-to-back Classic winners, but he's bucked the odds before and come out on top of the heap.
> View his BassFan Angler Profile here.

Matt Lee - Guntersville, AL
> Qualified through: Elite Series points
> Classics fished: 1
> Best Classic finish: 46th (Grand Lake - 2013)
> Tour-level finishes at Hartwell: None
> Current world rank: 45
> Insight: After experiencing a much rockier start to his pro career than his more celebrated brother Jordan, he's come into his own over the past year and seems to be capable of working his way into contention on any body of water. He's always eager to accept the challenge of figuring out a venue and won't come across much at Hartwell that he hasn't dealt with before. Seeing him in contention certainly wouldn't be a shocker.
> View his BassFan Angler Profile here.

Brandon Lester - Fayetteville, TN
> Qualified through: Elite Series points
> Classics fished: 2
> Best Classic finish: 19th (Lake Hartwell - 2015)
> Tour-level finishes at Hartwell: 19th (2015 Classic)
> Current world rank: 33
> Insight: Lester has been a consistent money-maker on the Elite circuit for the past couple of years, but single-digit finishes have been a rarity of late. His forte' is shallow water and he'll certainly find fish in his preferred zone at Hartwell. He wasn't a real factor in either of his first two Classics, but this will likely be the most suitable set-up he's encountered. He's not one to write off.
> View his BassFan Angler Profile here.

Aaron Martens - Leeds, AL
> Qualified through: Elite Series points
> Classics fished: 18
> Best Classic finish: 2nd (four times)
> Tour-level finishes at Hartwell: 30th (2015 Classic), 9th (2008 Classic)
> Current world rank: 13
> Insight: A perennial favorite from both a practical standpoint (his all-around game is nearly unrivaled) and from a sentimental perspective (he's come close so many times without winning the sport's biggest tournament). Will this be the year? If so, nobody will be stunned and many followers of the sport will be extremely happy for him.
> View his BassFan Angler Profile here.

End Part 2