DAYTON, Tenn. — BASSfest is a multifaceted event with multiple cuts, a unique second-chance tournament and a field made up of Opens pros in addition to Elite Series anglers. Those distinctive features — as well as being on a body of water the Elite Series trail has never visited — could make choosing a Bassmaster Fantasy Fishing team difficult.
We can’t help you decide who will be good on Chickamauga Lake, but we can spell out for you how it will affect Fantasy Fishing.
First of all, no Opens pros are accounted for in Fantasy Fishing. Points will be calculated based on the number of points an Elite Series pro would have earned if no Opens anglers were participating. If an Opens angler wins BASSfest, the next-highest-finishing Elite Series pro will earn winner points.
For example, if the final Top 5 looks like this:
1. Gary Clouse (Opens)
2. Ott DeFoe (Elites)
3. Skylar Hamilton (Opens)
4. David Walker (Elites)
5. Kevin VanDam (Elites)
Then the Fantasy Fishing points awarded will look like this:
1. Ott DeFoe (300 points)
2. David Walker (295)
3. Kevin VanDam (290)
Bonus points that are not awarded to Elite Series pros will not be counted. If Opens pro David Kilgore wins the Carhartt Big Bass of the tournament, then no Fantasy Fishing player will earn the coveted 40-point big bass award. The same goes for the 5-point daily leader award and the 40-point big bag award. But if an Elite Series pro collects either of those honors, his Fantasy Fishing owners will collect the points.
BASSfest contains several cuts and the second-chance tournament. A full field of Elite Series pros and 33 Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Opens pros will compete on Days 1 and 2 on Chickamauga. The Top 50 will advance to Day 4.
Day 3 is reserved for the anglers who did not make the Top 50 cut. All of those anglers — about 90 competitors — will advance to a second-chance tournament on nearby Nickajack Lake. The bags weighed in on Friday only (their previous weight does not count) will either get them into the Top 10 — in which case they advance to Day 4 with the rest of the Top 50 — or the tournament is over for them.
On Day 4, the Top 50 from Day 2 and the Top 10 from Day 3 go back to compete on Chickamauga with their final weight from Day 2. It does not matter on Day 4 how much weight the anglers sack on Day 3; it only matters if they got into the Top 10. For instance, if Alton Jones comes in 51st place on Day 2 and in 10th place on Day 3, and Steve Kennedy comes in 112th place on Day 2 and first place on Day 3, Jones still begins Day 4 in 51st place and Kennedy starts with his 112th-place weight.
So, on Day 4, 60 anglers are competing to get into the Top 12 and compete on Day 5.
The second-chance event on Nickajack does not affect Bassmaster Fantasy Fishing points. No leader points will be awarded, and if the biggest bass or biggest bag is caught on this day, it will not count. The biggest bass and biggest bag must both come from Chickamauga. There will be no update to Fantasy Fishing on Day 3.
Now that you understand how it works, all that’s left is for you to pick your team! You have until the Day 1 launch on Wednesday, June 11, to set your anglers. Good luck!