Fantasy Fishing: Thrive or survive

The Bassmaster Elite Series has visited the Sabine River four times since 2013 and it has become apparent there are two predominant mindsets for anglers approaching this event on the schedule. Are you going to fill your rosters with anglers just trying to get by or anglers that aim high?

Many anglers are intimidated by the vastness and lack of big bass on the Sabine, but you want anglers that have the confidence to take calculated risks and put themselves in positions to flourish at this shallow water fishery.

Expect shallow, postspawn fishing techniques to dominate, but also a fair amount of downsizing to maximize stingy bites and confined areas.


Tyler Rivet is having an excellent year and the Sabine is close to home. In 2021, Rivet had a top 20 on the Sabine and he will be working hard to try to cut into Cobb’s AOY lead before the tour heads north for the final three events. The Sabine is right in Rivet’s backyard and wheel house.

Feels like home

It’s hard to think about the Sabine without the memorable photos of Ike’s boat up on the bank, and he has two very good events on the Sabine. However, Kyle Welcher is an angler that spends much of his free time fishing small rivers back in Alabama and his only other visit to Sabine was a solid 8th.


In Bucket B we have the two most recent Sabine winners. Pick your horse and ride it to success. Hackney or Christie?  I am going with the Greg Hackney to get me some Championship Sunday points.

Dobbing Bob

Bob Downey does not have a long history on the Sabine, but has a pretty solid track record on grinder river events. I expect Bob to do Bob things and have a very solid event at the Sabine.


Brock Mosley driving his boat through the Gulf of Mexico to Houston to catch solid bags at the Sabine is a tradition that I have learned to love and I need that on my Fantasy squad. It feels like this long standing tradition is just too good to pass up in Bucket C.

Crews Control

John Crews has had four very solid events on the Sabine including a pair of sixth-place finishes, he is an epic value in Bucket C for this event.  


Matt Herren has a solid track record on the Sabine, making a top 50 check in all four previous visits. Herren was very strong for me last event at Lay Lake and I am going to try to harness that energy for the last southern stop. The Sabine is a flipper’s paradise!

Stranger Things

In Taku Ito’s rookie season, he threw some really weird looking baits around key docks to capture a Top 10 at the Sabine. Taku also says that big bass are too strong for him, so no threat of Taku getting out muscled by jumbo largemouth at the Sabine river.


Caleb Sumrall is having a subpar season thus far, but last time in Orange, Texas., Sumrall lost a key fish that would have had him right in the mix for the win on the final day. The fishing fits his style and strengths, so this should be a solid bounce back event for Sumrall. Also, he should have plenty of friends and family there to root him on.

Mad at them

After a decent start, Bradley Hallman has hit a mid season rut. To my knowledge, he has never seen the Sabine, but if he locks a BFE in his hands and covers water, he should get you some solid Fantasy points on the Sabine.

Mercury Bassmaster Drain the Lake Challenge

Now onto the seventh event and final southern stop of the Mercury Bassmaster Drain the Lake Challenge. This additional Fantasy Fishing game not only offers a fresh way to play the game, but a completely separate prize pool. Drain the Lake is an elimination or survivor style game where you can only use an angler once all season. 

As we hit the meat of the schedule, you will start to feel the pressure as you have probably used up many of your favorite anglers.

Here is my Bassmaster Drain the Lake roster:

• Logan Latuso
• Jake Whitaker
• Brock Mosley
• John Crews
• Bill Lowen
• Kyoya Fujita
• Tyler Rivet
• Skylar Hamilton