World Championship of Bass Fishing Moves to Lake Fork in Spring 2014 and features double event qualification
Toyota Texas Bass Classic officials announced this year’s dates for the World Championship of Bass Fishing, scheduled for Oct. 4-6, 2013 at Lake Conroe; and after five years at Conroe, the 2014 TTBC will return to Lake Fork, the inaugural host site, May 9-11, 2014.
“The City of Conroe has been an incredible host over the past four years,” Tournament Director Lenny Francoeur said. “We have an amazing partnership and we’re excited to return to Conroe again in October. We are also excited to return to Lake Fork, an historic Texas bass fishery where the community was so welcoming the first time around.”
Dave Terre, Chief of Management & Research for the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department Inland Fisheries Division added, “This year we will celebrate an unprecedented fifth consecutive year at Lake Conroe, an area where we’ve reached many milestones including record attendance, a first-ever overtime fish-off and helped raise over $1.5 million for the TPWD youth and outdoor programs,” Terre said. “Additionally, we’re excited to be able to further increase the awareness of the state’s great bass fisheries with a return to Lake Fork in 2014.”
Currently, anglers qualify for TTBC through the Angler of the Year points race in the Bassmaster Elite Series, Walmart FLW Tour and Bass Pro Shops PAA Tournament Series, four sponsor exemptions and the prior year champion. With the 2014 move, anglers will qualify for both tournaments with the 2013 Angler of the Year races, adding an extra element of competition – missing out on the 2013 TTBC would eliminate an angler from the tournament until 2015.
“With having double event qualification, it makes each and every point available on each respective Tour that much more valuable,” Francoeur said. “Anglers who compete at TTBC are the best of the best and to come here and win is truly something special. Earning the chance to compete in the event twice in one season is something we know will give the anglers extra motivation for this year.”
Anglers that qualify for the Toyota Texas Bass Classic join a prestigious rank of past competitors. By drawing from all three major tours, the Toyota Texas Bass Classic field consistently boasts the best anglers in the world. The 2012 TTBC anglers had a combined 177 total wins, 15 Angler of the Year wins, 15 world championship winners and almost $75 million in prize money.
The 2012 tournament saw an unprecedented 11 anglers compete on the final day, and Bryan Thrift was crowned the Toyota Texas Bass Classic champion. With a dominating Sunday performance, Thrift bested second place angler Brian Snowden with a comeback for the ages, overcoming a final day deficit of 4 pounds, 12 ounces. Thrift won the 2012 TTBC by a staggering 9 pounds, 4 ounces for a total weight of 53 pounds, 4 ounces.
After a successful and delicious first year, TTBC officials are also pleased to announce the return of the TTBC BBQ Cook-Off. For the third year in a row, tickets to TTBC will be free and available at www.toyotatexasbassclassic.com later this year. The BBQ Cook-Off, daily tournament weigh-ins, outdoor expo and concerts will take place at the Lone Star Convention and Expo Center, making the Toyota Texas Bass Classic a destination for families, fishing enthusiasts and country music fans to enjoy. The 2013 concert lineup will be released later in the year, and last year’s musical acts included country superstars Dierks Bentley, Gary Allan and Jake Owen.
Anglers will compete on Lake Conroe over three days, October 4-6, 2013, with the field being reduced to the top-10 for the final round on Sunday, October 6. The tournament will remain a non-entry fee event and all 50 competing anglers will receive guaranteed prize money. Through a continued partnership with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD), TTBC will continue to its focus on conservation efforts and adhere to a strict catch, weigh and immediate release format. Over the last six years, the Toyota Texas Bass Classic has donated over $1.5 million to the TPWD, an effort that will continue again this year.
The Lone Star Convention & Expo Center is a state-of-the-art facility conveniently located minutes from Lake Conroe and The Woodlands and only 40 minutes north of Houston. The location offers easy access to event activities, local shops and restaurants. For more information visit www.thelonestar.org.
The Toyota Texas Bass Classic tournament functions are operated by the Professional Anglers Association with technical assistance and support from Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Inland Fisheries Division. Title sponsor for the event is Toyota. For additional information, visit toyotatexasbassclassic.com or call 1-866-907-0143.