What is the best Drain the Lake strategy?

The Guaranteed Rate Bassmater Elite at Lake Fork will be the first event of the season in which Bassmaster Fantasy players can participate in the additional Fantasy format. Make sure to have your rosters set by April 22, 6 a.m. ET.

The all-new Mercury Bassmaster Drain the Lake Challenge is officially live! The Guaranteed Rate Bassmater Elite at Lake Fork will be the first event of the season in which Bassmaster Fantasy players can participate in the additional Fantasy format. Make sure to have your rosters set by April 22, 6 a.m. ET.

Sign up to play Mercury Bassmaster Drain the Lake here

Drain the Lake is what is considered an elimination pool game. For the first event, you will select any eight anglers in the entire Bassmaster Elite Series field that you think will succeed in that particular event. The catch is that after you select an angler for an event, you will no longer be able to select him again for the rest of the season.

The Drain the Lake format will require an entirely new strategy. As you select your team for each event, you’ll have to think ahead to the upcoming events and make sure that the anglers on your team are not better suited to be picked for upcoming events. The most commonly used example to explain this mindset has been the idea that you don’t want to use all of your best northern smallmouth fisherman early on in the season. For example, if I were to select the Johnston brothers in the Lake Fork event then I wouldn’t have the option to select them for the Northern Swing, where they are typically favorites. 

An angler’s points will be based off of their performance in the event on the same scale as Rapala Bassmaster Fantasy Fishing with the exception of the bonus points you receive for traditional Fantasy Fishing. The only bonus points that are up for grabs in Drain the Lake is the double points the winner of the event receives and triple points the winner of the Bassmaster Classic will receive. The double or triple points alone should play into your strategy. If an angler stands out as a favorite or someone you think has a great chance to win the event, you better have him on your team. Double or triple points will go a long way in terms of Drain the Lake success.

My personal strategy has been to go through the list of Elites and each time my gut tells me to select someone, I stop and make sure I believe this event is their best chance to win all season.

I would suggest keeping a copy of the remaining events (including the Classic) handy while selecting your Drain the Lake roster. Each time you select an angler, make sure you wouldn’t rather select him for any of the remaining events.

With this new Fantasy game, plenty of different strategies could work for you. If you’re not a fan of my personal strategy, maybe some of the other Fantasy pundits have a strategy you prefer.


With any fantasy sports mode there is a certain level of strategy needed in order to gain an advantage over the competition. Fishing has numerous variables that are hard to account for when choosing your team. For Mercury Drain the Lake my strategy will differ from Rapala Bassmaster Fantasy Fishing.

The key to selecting your Drain the Lake team is to consider the rest of the year before you consider the next event. Making a mental or physical note of who could factor in an event at the end of the season will help you stagger picks in order to have a stout lineup throughout the season.

I will indeed choose more of the home field favorites with this game mode, but having knowledge of all 100 Elite Series pros will be key in 2022 when the full season is in play. My eight-angler lineup will be four to five anglers I expect to be favored, one or two dark horses and one or two wildcards. I’ll leave out some surprising favorites because they should factor elsewhere too. The key is no weak links, don’t go eight favorites off the bat because a few events later you’ll wish you saved a dominant angler.


Personally, I think it will be important to blend your rosters based on who is hot now and also keeping an eye on the end game and events coming up. The first thing I did was layout all six remaining events and started to pencil in anglers that I believe will excel in certain events. Obviously top-tier anglers have a high chance to do really well on multiple venues, so I’m really trying to hedge my bets where their skills and experience align for each event. In summary, I have a tentative eight-angler roster for all events and will look to update and tweak as each event approaches.


My strategy with Drain the Lake has been to boil it down to the simplest element possible. For the time being, I ask myself the question, “Who is going to have the best shot at doing well on each venue?” And when you have those inevitable overlaps, bring in those secondary deciding factors like momentum, time of year, baits that will likely play and ownership. For example, Lee Livesay loves Lake Guntersville. Smart money might say to save him for that event. However, in my opinion he is more likely to finish with a Top 10 on Lake Fork than he is on Guntersville where his results are strong, but not very deep. Also, there are anglers with more experience there than he has so you can still fill out a strong roster. No matter how you end up deciding, it’s best to not fly by the seat of your pants in this format. Take a few minutes to lay out the schedule and put your bracket together. You can always switch it up, but that way it ensures you won’t overlook someone obvious on Gunterville and be forced to pick them on a lake that doesn’t suit them as well. 

Dont forget to set your Mercury Bassmaster Drain the Lake Challenge rosters!