Newcomer wins Rapala Bassmaster Fantasy Fishing Grand Prize

In just her second season playing Rapala Bassmaster Fantasy Fishing, Erin White (Thunderstruck12) conquered the competition and took home the Rapala Bassmaster Fantasy Fishing Grand Prize package. Over the course of the 2022 Bassmaster Elite Series season, White tallied up 11,841 points to win the grand prize package that includes a $15,000 Bass Pro Shops Gift Card, $5,000 cash, a Rapala prize package and an expense-paid trip to fish with Davy Hite.

White, a native of Grapevine, Texas, recently found a love for bass fishing when she met her fiancé, who is an avid bass angler and introduced her to Fantasy Fishing. For White, playing Fantasy Fishing began as a fun way to keep up with each event and have a rooting interest in certain anglers. After finishing second with 1,420 points in the first event of the 2022 season, she knew she had a great chance to make a run at the grand prize. It may seem like luck had to be involved when a new Fantasy Fishing player takes home the grand prize, but White’s strategy was well thought out and rock solid all year.

After her fantastic Fantasy Fishing run in 2022, we caught up with White to figure out some of her strategies and her overall experience.

Did you have a go-to angler you selected often during the year? Also, who is your favorite Bassmaster Elite Series angler?

I honestly never really had one angler that I selected frequently. I mixed it up pretty much all year long. My favorite Elite Series angler is Taku Ito. I really enjoy watching him – I think he’s so much fun to watch because he has such a unique style and throws so many crazy baits.

Do you believe in selecting anglers for Fantasy Fishing that have built up momentum in past events?  

Choosing anglers that had momentum was a huge part of my strategy. I would say the majority of the picks that I made were based on anglers who had been doing well in previous events. As long as an angler had some momentum and the next event set up well with their style, I would select them.

Do you tend to pick anglers that are local to the lake, or do you try to pick anglers based on their strengths and what techniques they are known for?

There were certainly a few times that I went with a local to the specific body of water. I found that I typically chose the local when there was something weird or odd going on with that body of water that would give the local a huge advantage. For instance, it was a no brainer to pick Lee Livesay at Lake Fork with the extremely low water.

What was your highest tournament finish this year?

I actually tied for first in the first event of the year at the St. Johns River, but I ended up losing the tie breaker.

How far in advance do you set your lineup before the event starts?

I set my lineup the day before the event starts. I like to have time to look at all the anglers in each Bucket. It gives me time to really think about who I think will do well in each event. If the event is on a body of water that the Elites have visited, I like to look at the past results to find out who has done well there in the past.

How often do you change your lineup after you set it?

I pretty much just picked my first lineup and stuck with it.

How closely do you pay attention to anglers’ social media feeds to see if guys are catching them in practice?

I tried my best to not look into the angler’s social media. I didn’t want it swaying my decision either way.

What are you going to spend the money on?

I’m still trying to decide what to spend the money on, but I’m really thinking about getting a new fishing kayak. I’ve had my eye on the Old Town Pedal Drive.

If you had to give Fantasy Fishing players one last piece of advice to be successful, what would it be?

Don’t get discouraged with a bad tournament. Just because you have a bad event, it doesn’t mean that you’re out of it. Everyone is going to have a bad event or two, so don’t feel like you have to swing for the fences to gain all the points back. With that said, don’t be afraid to select anglers that have a lower player percentage. If you feel like they’re going to do well, just trust your instinct and pick them.

To play Rapala Bassmaster Fantasy Fishing in 2023 click here and choose your lineup. The first Bassmaster Elite Series tournament begins Feb. 16th at Lake Okeechobee.