Twelve elite bass fishermen will compete for a chance to win $100,000, and attending fans can enjoy weigh-ins, food, music and festivities, when Toyota Trucks All-Star Week kicks off this weekend at Lake Jordan near Wetumpka, Ala.
The 6,800-acre Coosa River impoundment will serve as the first-round playing field for a competition like no other in professional bass fishing. From the July 23-24 Ramada All-Star Semi-Final at Lake Jordan, only the top eight anglers will advance to be seeded in a bracket-style head-to-head finale. The Evan Williams Bourbon All-Star Championship is July 29-31 on the Alabama River, Montgomery, Ala. Winner takes all: $100,000.
The public is invited to watch the daily tournament takeoffs and weigh-ins. Anglers will take off each day from Lake Jordan Marina at 7:30 a.m. (CT). Weigh-ins will begin at 5 p.m. (CT) at the Wetumpka Civic Center, 410 S. Main St. All events are free.
Fans are also invited to come early Saturday to the Wetumpka Civic Center to sample food from the “Cookin’ on the Coosa” barbecue competition, cooked by experts showing off their talents to support the Elmore County Community Foundation. On Sunday, the band Sweet Young’Uns will perform at 4:30 p.m. (CT), just before the anglers bring their fish to the scales. Sweet Young’Uns are scheduled to play another set after the weigh-in.
More event information is available at www.bassmaster.com.
Competitors include the top eight anglers (1-8 below) from the 2011 Bassmaster Elite Series regular season, plus four anglers (9-12 below) voted into the competition by fans.
The roster includes:
1. Kevin VanDam, Kalamazoo, Mich.
2. Edwin Evers, Talala, Okla.
3. Gerald Swindle, Warrior, Ala.
4. Ott DeFoe, Knoxville, Tenn.
5. Steve Kennedy, Auburn, Ala.
6. Terry Scroggins, San Mateo, Fla.
7. Casey Ashley, Donalds, S.C.
8. Davy Hite, Ninety Six, S.C.
9. Michael Iaconelli, Pittsgrove, N.J.
10. Aaron Martens, Leeds, Ala.
11. Jeff Kriet, Ardmore, Okla.
12. Skeet Reese, Auburn, Calif.
VanDam is widely argued as the greatest competition angler of all time. He is the reigning Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year, his seventh overall and fourth consecutive title. He also is the reigning champion and four-time winner of the prestigious Bassmaster Classic. He has more than $5.2 million in career earnings, 20 tournament wins and 95 finishes in the Top 10.
However, all 12 are elite competitors with an equal chance to win the Toyota Trucks All-Star Week competition.
Each pro has been “virtually” paired with a fan selected randomly from the pool of Toyota Trucks All-Star voters. When the actual champion is crowned July 31, the fan paired with him will win a Triton 18XS bass boat with a Mercury 150 OptiMax engine, together valued at $30,000. All 12 fan-finalists will win a tackle pack from Berkley and Havoc and a replica fishing jersey of the pro they are paired with.
Coverage of Toyota Trucks All-Star Week will be provided on www.bassmaster.com.
The website also has more information about Toyota Trucks All-Star Week, including the lineup of activities for the July 29-31 final.
2011 Bassmaster Elite Series Official Sponsors: Toyota, Bass Pro Shops, Berkley, Evan Williams Bourbon, Humminbird, Mercury, Minn Kota, Skeeter Boats, Triton Boats, Yamaha
2011 Bassmaster Elite Series Supporting Sponsors: Lowrance, Luck “E” Strike, Nitro Boats, Power-Pole, Ramada
For more than 40 years, B.A.S.S. has served as the authority on bass fishing. The organization advances the sport through advocacy, outreach and an expansive tournament structure while connecting directly with the passionate community of bass anglers through its Bassmaster media vehicles.
The Bassmaster brand and its multimedia platforms are guided by a mission to serve all fishing fans. Through its industry-leading publications — Bassmaster Magazine and B.A.S.S. Times — comprehensive website Bassmaster.com, ESPN2 and Outdoor Channel television programming, Bassmaster provides rich, leading-edge content true to the lifestyle.
The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Open Series, B.A.S.S. Federation Nation events presented by Yamaha and Skeeter Boats and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the Bassmaster Classic.
B.A.S.S. offers an array of services to its more than 500,000 members and remains focused on issues related to conservation and water access. The organization is headquartered in Celebration, Fla.