Kentucky native claims top spot in Drain the Lake

The second season of the Mercury Bassmaster Drain the Lake Challenge was dominated by Dylan Pierce (PierceBCB92) who took home the grand prize. Dylan from Maysville, Ky., won a fishing trip with Bassmaster LIVE host Mark Zona in Michigan on Lake St. Clair, which is estimated to be worth $1,550. The trip includes round-trip airfare, hotel accommodations as well as $150 spending money. Pierce was also rewarded with a $500 Bass Pro Shops gift card for being a B.A.S.S. member.

Pierce amassed 19,372 points in the highly competitive game after the season wrapped up at the Guaranteed Rate Bassmaster Elite at the Mississippi River. His highest scoring event was at the 2022 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic where he racked up 2,540 points. We caught up with Pierce to get his thoughts on winning the grand prize and what strategy he used to come out on top in Mercury Drain the Lake.

How long have you played Rapala Bassmaster Fantasy Fishing?

I’ve been playing Fantasy Fishing for seven or eight years now. I have always enjoyed the game.

Which game do you prefer now that you have played both?

When the new Drain the Lake game came out, I really enjoyed it more. Again, I have played Rapala Fantasy Fishing for a long time, but Drain the Lake has a new and different feel to it. I do feel like you have to have so much more strategy with Drain the Lake.

What was your main strategy when selecting your Drain the Lake rosters?

I didn’t really have much strategy for it until after the first tournament this year to be honest. I did fairly well in the first tournament because I picked the winner and got the 300 bonus points, so I sat down for two or three hours and created a sheet of each of my picks for the remaining tournaments. I can remember telling my wife after I set all my lineups, “I think I’m going to win.”

Another strategy I used was mixing in northern guys into southern fisheries and some southern guys into northern fisheries. For example, instead of using the Johnston brothers for the Northern Swing I actually utilized them down south. I did this because it is more typical for the southern guys not to do well on the southern lakes than it is for northern guys not to do well there. In my opinion, southern guys have a better chance not to bomb up north rather than down south.

Did you tend to select anglers based on momentum or history?

I made most of my picks based on history and style of fishing. Obviously, you want to pick guys who are going to be able to fish their strengths effectively at whatever lake or river the tournament is on. I went back and looked at how each angler had done at previous tournaments on the same lake or river or similar places in the past.

What was your highest finish of the year?

I never won an event, but I had two top 100 finishes.

How far in advance do you set your lineups before each event?

I set my lineups for the rest of the year at the beginning of the season after the first Elite event. 

How often did you change your lineup?

I made a few minor tweaks when Chad Morgenthaler retired and had to find a replacement for him at the last Elite. 

Are you looking forward to fishing with Mark Zona?

Absolutely! We’re headed to Lake St. Clair in April, and I am going to be able to bring my wife with me to fish which is super exciting for me and her both. She is an avid fisherman and my tournament team partner as well. 

If you had to give Drain the Lake players one piece of advice to be successful, what would it be? 

I would say make your lineups way in advance at the beginning of the 2023 Elite season and make minor tweaks along the way. If someone is having an uncharacteristically bad year you might move them in with a guy who is having a better year that still suits his style of fishing.