Benton, KY – Known for its outstanding fishing and history in the sport, legendary Lake Toho will play host to the inaugural PAA Tour Team Challenge in January to begin the 2012 Bass Pro Shops PAA Tournament Series season.

The PAA Tour Team Challenge is Jan. 23-28 at Lakefront Park in Kissimmee, Fla. Tournament days are Jan. 26-28, with weigh-ins at the park the first two days and final weigh-in at Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World on International Drive in Orlando. Tour Team Challenge teams must include one PAA Tour member, with the second team member being at least an Advantage or Tour member.

The 2012 Bass Pro Shops PAA Tournament Series is in the final stages of completion, with one site remaining to be finalized. From Toho and after a short break to not overlap with other league schedules, the Tournament Series heads to Old Hickory Lake in Gallatin, Tenn., for a May 10-12 late spring clash. It will be the first time the Tournament Series has competed at Old Hickory. The season’s second tournament, July 23-28, will be announced soon pending final contract approval. The season wraps up Sept. 13-15 on the Arkansas River in Muskogee, Okla., which will also play host to the PAA for the first time. Tournament Series entry fees will be $2,000 per event. The full schedule, more details and payout will be released soon.

“We’re thrilled to start the PAA Tournament Series season in Kissimmee on Lake Toho where it all began for the PAA in 2009,” said PAA President Dave Mansue. “The Tour Team Challenge will be the unique team event that PAA anglers have been asking for. This will be a fun, relaxed but very exciting and competitive tournament that showcases not only the pros’ skills but also one of the nation’s most legendary fisheries.“Anglers will be forced to work as a team to formulate strategies and patterns to succeed. Will the best anglers make the best team? It will befun to watch the interaction, competition and results, for sure!”

Another unique aspect of the PAA Tour Team Challenge is that each participating Tour level member will receive points, based upon their order of finish, toward the PAA Angler of the Year race. The 2012 PAA Angler of the Year will be determined by the top three points finishes of the season’s four PAA Tournament Series events.

“The Board of Directors recognizes we are all affected by the economic situation that confronts our country today,” Mansue said. “In response to financial constraints for many of our anglers, the Board decided to allow an angler to apply his best three of four event finishes toward the AOY standings. This will provide more opportunities for Angler of the Year and give anglers the ability make good, personal financial decisions on which tournaments to fish without affecting the AOY standings, which mean so much to our Tour level members. We hope everyone will see that although the Tour TeamChallenge will be fun and relaxed, there are some very good reasons why every Tour level member should fish the event.”

Entry fees for the Tour Team Challenge are $5,000 per team, with an attractive prize package at stake. Complete details on payout will be announced soon. With several other tournaments being held in Florida in January, the PAA Tour Team Challenge offers a great chance for participation on the Kissimmee Chain.

“We’re sure some of the anglers will love teaming up with their fellow pros to compete,” Mansue said. “But the great thing is the Advantage member can be a family member, friend or sponsor, too. It’s a great opportunity for our Tour members to provide the thrill of competition, the rush of catching big fish, the crowd and the weigh in to someone who doesn’t normally experience an event of this size and magnitude.It’ll be a fun week in an area with great fishing and great family attractions.“Kissimmee and Osceola County have been great supporters of fishing and the outdoors for decades, and the PAA is excited to begin the new year in Florida,” he added.

Lake Toho is revered as one of the nation’s most famous bass fisheries dating decades into Central Florida’s history. Toho covers more than 22,700 acres and has several types of vegetation including hydrilla and maidencane. Along with the outstanding fishing expected in January, the Kissimmee area offers numerous opportunities for families to visit some great attractions.

Lake Toho hosted the PAA Tournament Series season-opener in 2009, won by Bass Pro Shops pro Brian Snowden of Missouri. The tournament was held the week prior to when the PAA Tour Team Challenge is scheduled.“The 2009 tournament was a very good tournament,” Mansue said. “It wasn’t a sight-fishing tournament and was won offshore. I’m sure we’ll see some of both during the Tour Team Challenge. That means the teams will be working harder in practice and during tournament days devising strategies of where to fish.”

Tournament Registration

Registration is underway now for the PAA Tour Team Challenge on Lake Toho. Entry fee is $5,000 per team. A deposit of $750 is due upon registration, with balance due by 5 p.m. (Central time) on Jan. 9, 2012.

If the field is not full, balances will be accepted until Jan. 20 at 5 p.m. (Central time), which is the last business day prior to the first day of official practice. Any payment received after Jan. 9 will be assessed a $100 late penalty. A full field is 50 boats. PAA reserves the right to increase the field size.

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