Cast in the arcade-spirit of Sega's Bass Fishing, Cabela's Monster Bass is an action-oriented fishing game with fast-paced combos and high score bonuses. After selecting a male or female character, players drive a boat across one of six lakes and decide on the perfect fishing spot. Casting the line is accomplished by swinging the Wii Remote, and less patient players can even attract fish by inputting specific commands. Once a fish starts biting, the battle begins. Players must carefully balance reeling in the fish while keeping an eye on the line's tension so it doesn't break.
Reeling in fish is accomplished by moving the Wii Remote in the same directions as onscreen visual cues. Combos can also be used to weaken the fish's resolve, allowing for an easier catch. Tournament Fishing is the game's primary mode, incorporating six authentic lakes: Lake Wylie, Clear Lake, Lake of the Ozarks, Lake Amistad, Logan Martin Lake, and Lake Okeechobee. As players progress, additional rods, lures, and live bait become available to improve the odds of landing the "big one." Other play options include an Open Fishing mode and a Quick Challenge. The former has players fishing on their choice of lakes, while the latter involves racking up high scores in timed events.