Elite Fishing Tournament Heading to Austin in 2018
AUSTIN – Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest (TBTF) benefiting the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) is coming to Austin May 17-20, 2018. The $1 million fishing tournament will feature some the best anglers in the world competing on Lake Travis – one of central Texas’ hottest bass fishing lakes – for the chance to win $100,000 and an automatic entry to the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods.
“We are proud that for the first time in 50 years B.A.S.S will be holding a professional fishing tournament on Lake Travis,” said Dave Terre, TPWD Chief of Inland Fisheries Management and Research. “This is an exciting opportunity to showcase this excellent fishery and we are thankful for all the benefits this event provides to TPWD.”
“With 110 of the best bass anglers on the planet converging on Lake Travis, the millions of fishing fans who watch our live coverage of the event or read about it later will appreciate why this lake is considered the ‘crown jewel’ of the Colorado,” said Bruce Akin, B.A.S.S. CEO.
Proceeds benefit the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s youth fishing and urban outreach programs, which have received $2.75 million from TBTF and the previous version of the popular tournament, the Toyota Texas Bass Classic, since 2007. These programs include the Neighborhood Fishin’ Program, which brings fishing to families at 18 community park lakes in 11 urban areas, and the Texas Division of the Wildlife Forever State-Fish Art Contest, which seeks to interest youth in grades K-12 in fishing.
“The Neighborhood Fishin’ program supports about 100,000 anglers per year, and about 50 percent of those are youth or other people new to fishing,” Terre said. “That’s very significant. If you think about this event and what it supports, it’s really creating 50,000 new anglers per year and bringing the great outdoors to young people in major urban areas, including Austin.”
TBTF also features the conservation-minded catch-weigh- and immediate release format, which maximizes the survival of tournament-caught fish. The format uses on-boat judges for weighing all fish in the boat, but it allows for one large fish over a designated size per angler to be brought in each day for public viewing and subsequent return to the lake.
“This exciting format allows spectators to see the giant bass that Texas’ is famous for, but also places an extra measure of care for our bass because most are released right after they are caught,” Terre said. “Leaders of the tournament are announced at the end of each day as they cross the stage with some of their biggest fish. It’s exciting to hear them tell their stories after their day of fishing and maybe get to meet them in person.”
Only Bassmaster Elite Series anglers will be able to compete in Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest, which is one of the qualifying events for the GEICO Bassmaster Classic. The angler catching the heaviest bass of the event wins a new Toyota Tundra while the winner of the event receives a $100,000 first-place prize and an automatic berth in the Classic.
While anglers go head to head on the lake, families and fans will be able to enjoy outdoor activities, seminars, and shopping at the TPWD Outdoor Adventures Area and the Bassmaster Elite Series Outdoors Expo. All these activities, including a daily weigh-in and opportunities to interact with professional anglers, will occur at Jones Brothers Park in Jonestown.
TBTF will be covered in real time in Bassmaster LIVE programming on Bassmaster.com and WatchESPN and in a special episode of The Bassmasters television program to be aired on ESPN2 and ESPN3.
For more information, visit Bassmaster online.
Gulf States Toyota sponsors Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest. Other sponsors of the event include:
2017 Bassmaster Elite Series Platinum Sponsor: Toyota
2017 Bassmaster Elite Series Premier Sponsors: Yamaha, Berkley, Huk, Humminbird, Nitro Boats, Mercury, Minn Kota, Power-Pole, Shell Rotella, Skeeter Boats, Triton Boats
2017 Bassmaster Elite Series Supporting Sponsors: Lowrance, Phoenix Boats, T-H Marine, Shimano, Advance Auto Parts, Livingston Lures, Academy Sports + Outdoors, Carhartt, Dick Cepek Tires & Wheels