How to play Fantasy Fishing

Maybe you’re on the fence about whether or not you want to play Rapala Bassmaster Fantasy fishing for the upcoming 2024 Bassmaster Elite Series season, or maybe you just don’t know how to play. I’m going to do my best to take you step by step on how to get set up to play as well as some potential strategies you may want to use.

How do I get started?

Step 1: Go to Bassmaster Fantasy Fishing to create an account.

Step 2: Fill out the needed information and finish registering your account.

Step 3: Once you are logged into your account, click the “Set Your Buckets” icon in the top left part of the screen.

Step 4: For each individual bucket (A-E) select the angler in which you think will have the best finish by clicking the green + icon by the angler’s name.

Step 5: Be sure to set your Tie-Breaker. Guess how much weight for the full tournament, in pounds and ounces, the winner will catch. Once you complete this, your roster is officially set! You can go back any time before the lock time of the event and adjust your lineup if you would like. The lock time is always 6 a.m. ET of the first day of the tournament. 

Step 6: Click the “Groups” tab at the top of the homepage and join as many groups as you’d like, or you can create a group and play with your friends.

Step 7: On the Fantasy home page, you can track how well you are doing compared to the rest of the Fantasy Fishing participants. This tab will also show you how long you have until the next tournament lock time.

What strategy should I use?

Choosing your lineup for each tournament can be challenging at times. The Bassmaster Elite Series is often extremely hard to predict considering you have 101 of the best bass fishermen on Earth that are all capable of having a good event at any time. With that being said, there are a few things to keep in mind that may give you a potential advantage.


If you’re having difficult time deciding who you should pick, you can resort to picking a local to the lake where the event is being held. For example, the Bassmaster Elite Series held on Lake Murray presents several anglers with a “home field advantage.” Anglers such as Patrick Walters, Brandon Cobb, Jason Williamson or Bryan New would be solid choices for that event based on their close proximity to Lake Murray and their history of fishing the lake. Although choosing locals is a good strategy at times, it can also burn you.


An angler’s history on a particular body of water can be a determining factor when selecting your team. This doesn’t necessarily mean that an angler lives near a particular lake, it just means that they have done well or not so well on a body of water in the past. Sticking with the Lake Murray example, there are several anglers that have a great track record on Murray but aren’t necessarily from South Carolina or even close by. Anglers such as Drew Benton, Kyoya Fujita, John Cox and Hunter Shryock have all done well at Lake Murray despite not being a local. Researching this information is easy using the Elite Series anglers tab or the research tab on the Fantasy Fishing site.

Fishing style

Often times the Elite Series will visit bodies of water where most of the anglers have no history. When this happens, one strategy that works well is selecting anglers based on their fishing styles or strengths. For example, when the Elite Series visits bodies of water where fishing deep for smallmouth will play, there are anglers that tend to do very well because it fits their style. Anglers such as Chris Johnston, Cory Johnston, Brandon Palaniuk, Jeff Gustafson and Seth Feider come to mind as dominant smallmouth fisherman. This is a great strategy if you can get a feel for the anglers’ fishing styles.

Ultimately there is no exact science to selecting the perfect Fantasy Fishing team. There are plenty of different strategies that can lead to success, but these are a few that could get you started in the right direction.

The first Bassmaster Elite Series event on the St. Johns River is right around the corner, so be sure to get your first team selected!