Fantasy Fishing, real money

So far, four Fantasy Fishing contestants have scored $500 gift cards to Bass Pro Shops, all for picking five pros each tournament week they believe will fare well.

One contestant, Shannon Jones of Kimper, Ky., bested every other Fantasy player during the Alabama Charge on Pickwick Lake. He chose three of the top 5 anglers on his winning squad and has big plans for his $500 gift card.

“Well, I went and checked (the scores) after the tournament and saw that the high score was the same score as mine,” he said. “Then, Emily Hand at B.A.S.S. called me and told me I was the winner. I about lost it.”

Jones, a Kentucky State Police trooper, is taking a trip to Lake Fork with his wife in several months, and will put the cash toward some baits, a new prop for his MinnKota and a rod or two.

“This couldn’t have come at a better time,” Jones said.

Mark Evans is the winner of the Power-Pole Citrus Slam Fantasy tournament. He stuck with locals as well as Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year leader Alton Jones to take the top spot for that event. Evans, of Palm Bay, Fla., is a hardcore angler, and appreciates the gift card. He’s going to put the $500 toward a pair of new Lowrance StructureScan HDS units for his Ranger.

“My sister-in-law’s husband is the one who got me into it, and I’m sure glad he did,” Evans said. “When I got an email saying I won, I thought it was a gimmick at first, but then I saw the email address was ‘,’ and then I was floored. It made for a good Wednesday!”

Ever since he realized that Fantasy Fishing pays real bucks, Evans is no longer a casual Fantasy player.

“Thanks so much to B.A.S.S. for putting it on,” he said. “The layout is great, and it’s easy to do. I can’t wait to play more!”

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