The Australian, making his first appearance of the year, finished up with 14.27 points to win his fourth-round encounter with compatriots Ryan Callinan, Wade Carmichael and Nathan Webster.
Fanning produced a typically dynamic performance as he advanced into the fifth round at the scenic Burleigh Heads on the Gold Coast.
"This is a good warm-up for the season ahead," Fanning said. "Burleigh is a fun wave and it’s breaking well this week so it suits my preparation.
"I’m feeling good right now and ready for a big season ahead, my body and boards are good and I had a great time on-tour last year.
"I’m looking to improve on last year’s ranking for sure – by two places," Fanning, who finished a close third on the Tour last season, said.
Fanning will next face promising Australian surfer Matt Banting on Friday, with his opponent having posted an impressive two-wave heat tally of 16.86.
Owen Wright of Australia, the current ASP world number 11 and second seed at this event, was also impressive, posting the day’s third highest heat score of 16.90 to win through.
Round four results
Heat 1: Kieren Perrow (Aus) 14.40, John Cummings (Aus) 13.87, Luel Felipe (Bra) 9.94, Nick Squiers (Aus) 9.10
Heat 2: Jay Thompson (Aus) 13.83, Marco Fernandez (Bra) 11.46, Peterson Crisanto (Bra) 11, Jose Ferrera (Prt) 6.64
Heat 3: Lincoln Taylor (Aus) 16.13, Jack Duggan (Aus) 14.50, Jerome Forrest (Aus) 13.67, Blake Thornton (Aus) 11.26
Heat 4: Ricardo Christie (NZ) 14.46, Bede Durbidge (Aus) 14.43, Ty Watson (Aus) 13.50, David Van Zyl (Aus) 13.50
Heat 5: Maxime Huscenot (Fra) 14.23, Adam Melling (Aus) 13.33, Dean Bowen (Aus) 12.77), Paul Cesar (Fra) 7.87
Heat 6: Santiago Muniz (Arg) 16.84, Caio Ibelli (Bra) 16.80, Heitor Alves (Bra) 16.10, Shane Holmes (Aus) 10.33
Heat 7: Matt Banting (Aus) 16.86, Mitch Crews (Aus) 14.60, Matt Lewis-Hewitt (NZ) 13.16, Tim Macdonald (Aus) 8.20
Heat 8: Mick Fanning (Aus) 14.27, Ryan Callinan (Aus) 13.47, Wade Carmichael (Aus) 10.30, Nathan Webster (Aus) 10.07
Heat 9: Owen Wright (Aus) 16.90, Nick Vasicek (Aus) 11.60, Rafael Teixeira (Bra), Kelly Norris (Aus) 8.24
Heat 10: Billy Stairmand (Nz) 15.66, Frederico Morais (PRT) 15.47, Arashi Kato (Jpn) 12.23, Mark Occhilupo (Aus) 9.47
Heat 11: Daniel Ross (Aus) 1750, Davey Cathels (Aus) 13.67, Glenn Hall (Irl) 13.26, Kaito Ohashi (Jpn) 10
Heat 12: Brent Dorrington (Aus) 16.37, Joan Duru (Fra) 16.17, Heath Joske (Aus) 11,Hiroto Ohhara (Jpn) 6.23
Heat 13: Matt Wilkinson (Aus) 15.43, Corey Ziems (Aus) 14.63, Vasco Ribeiro (Prt), Shane Campbell (Aus) 11.34
Heat 14: Thomas Woods (Aus) 15.04, Chris Friend (Aus) 13.73, Cahill Bell-Warren (Aus) 13.26, Jack Freestone (Aus) 13.20
Heat 15: Dion Atkinson (Aus) 16.14, Stu Kennedy (Aus) 13.73, Dale Lovelock (Aus) 11.56, Kenta Hayashi (Jpn) 10
Heat 16: Alejo Muniz (Bra) 17.00, Cooper Chapman (Aus) 13.20, Hairil Anwar (Ind) 7.70, James Wood (Aus) 7.20