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A Newbie’s Guide to Fantasy Fishing


Get in the game with fantasy fishing and never look at tournament season the same again.

I have to choose my lineup carefully. Kevin VanDam? Always a solid pick. But what about when fishing a southern reservoir? Should I go with someone from the region?

Welcome to the decisions required in fantasy fishing. If you’re any kind of sports fan, you’re likely familiar with fantasy sports. Fantasy football being arguably the most popular but baseball leagues are popular as well. Sites like FanDuel have brought fantasy sports to the forefront.

But have you ever tried fantasy fishing? If not, you should. It’s a lot of fun and you can win some cool stuff as well. Here’s a guide to help you get started.

Where to play

Both major bass fishing circuits have fantasy outlets. You can play for free at BASS or FLW. FLW members get some added benefits in the form of “insider” information.

How it works

BASS and FLW offer leagues, but there are some differences.

The BASS series offers anglers in “pools” and you must select one angler from each. FLW is based on a “cap” system. You can pick any 10 anglers you want so long as you stay under the $200 cap each week. Top anglers cost more.

For both series, you set your angler lineup prior to the start of a tournament. The higher your chosen angler finishes, the most points you earn. The team with the highest points wins.

How to win

I’m not an expert at fantasy fishing, my record proves that. But I do know this: You aren’t going to win by picking the most well-known anglers. Yes, you should stock your lineup with proven performers. But it’s the lesser-known/unexpected finishers that turn the tide.

Research the fishery and the anglers. The BASSMaster Classic is a great example. Most filled their team with Oklahoma natives. And that certainly helped given that Jason Christie and Edwin Evers (both Okies) did well with Evers winning the title.

But it was the other anglers in the top 10 that racked up the points for top-placing teams.

What to win

There are some great prizes each week included cash.

FLW awards $5,000 each week to the winning team owner. The overall winner at the end of the season earns $10,000.

BASS gives out a $2,500 Bass Pro Shops gift card to its weekly winner and the overall season winner earns a Triton bass boat worth nearly $38,000.



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A Newbie’s Guide to Fantasy Fishing