People are Playing ‘Fantasy Fishing’ Because Real Life Is Apparently Not Good Enough

by Matthew Wilson

Move over fantasy football and even fantasy baseball. Because there’s a new sports escapism option in town, and that’s fantasy fishing.

No, we didn’t make a typo and misspell fly fishing. (Although we do that from time to time as some of you like to point out). Fantasy fishing is sweeping the, well, a small group of people. But its numbers are steadily rising. Why go outside and enjoy the great outdoors, when you can imagine them instead? Besides, there are no mosquitos inside your mind. And if there are, you might want to get that checked out.

There’s still time to create your perfect Rapala Bassmaster Fantasy Fishing team. The next tournament locks in 13 days, so the window is closing. The Bassmaster Fantasy works similar to other sports fantasy tournaments. Just replace either NFL or MLB players with your favorite professional anglers.

Fantasy Fishing Has a Grand Prize

And like those other fantasy sports, the reward is definitely real if you win the season. Just ask Joshua Phillips, who took home the 2020 Championship. The Knoxville, Tenn., native won a $15,000 Bass Pro Shops gift card, $5,000 cash, one autographed Rapala and a Bassmaster co-branded 3-foot giant lure and a Rapala prize package. That’s quite a bit of swag for never having to leave one’s house.

Speaking with Bassmaster, Phillips shared his advice on how to have a winning fantasy fishing team. His biggest advice is don’t be afraid to just wing it.

“Go with your gut,” he told the website. “If you’ve got a feeling that Seth Feider, Chris Zaldain, Kyle Welcher or Buddy Gross is going to do well then pick them and don’t go back and change your mind. Also, I’ll say this too, I’m coming back to play in 2021 so you guys better watch out.”

As for rooting for a local fisherman versus a known quantity, Phillips said he usually goes with the local team. But his hometown loyalty has cost him before.

“This year I went with the locals pretty often and it worked out. But I also did that last year and it came back to bite me,” he said. “I pick local anglers, but you have to be careful with that because it can definitely come back to bite you.”

Phillips plans to buy a Nitro bass boat with his winnings. So if you also want to win, this fantasy league will see you out on the water. Well figuratively, anyway.