The Toyota Texas Bass Classic (TTBC), the world championship of professional bass fishing, announced its final field of competitors today. The three-day event, to be held on Lake Conroe, combines the top PAA anglers from the FLW Tour, Bassmaster Elite Series and PAA Bass Pro Shops Tournament Series presented by Carrot Stix. The field of 50 anglers will compete for the unified world championship Oct. 1 – 3.
In addition, tournament officials announced that the TTBC will be broadcast nationally on Fox Sports Net. A one-hour special will recap the three-day event and air on Sunday, Nov. 21 at 6:00 p.m. (check local listings).
“The quality of competition in our tournament is unmatched by any other fishing tournament in the world,” said Tournament Director Lenny Francoeur. “We have created an event that will truly determine the world champion of bass fishing. Fans around the nation will be able to watch all the action during a special airing on Fox Sports Net on November 21.”
The TTBC field is comprised of defending champion Dave Lefebre, the top 15 anglers from the 2010 FLW Tour Angler of the Year standings, the top 15 from the 2010 Bassmaster Elite Series Angler of the Year standings, the top 15 from the PAA Bass Pro Shops Tournament Series Angler of the Year standings and four tournament exemptions. Terry Scroggins, Kelly Jordon, Gerald Swindle and Shaw Grigsby have been selected as the four exemptions.
The TTBC qualification criteria ensure that the field is representative of the best anglers in the world. The tournament is the only event in the world of professional bass fishing that brings the best anglers from the major tours together on the same lake to compete for one title.
Headlining the field of competitors is Kevin VanDam. VanDam is the all-time leading money winner in professional fishing with $5 million in earnings. In 2010, he earned his third Bassmaster Classic title and added his sixth Toyota Tundra Angler of the Year award. VanDam finished 35th at the 2009 TTBC.
Also returning to Lake Conroe in 2010 is defending champion Dave Lefebre. Lefebre earned the 2009 title in dramatic fashion, reeling in his final bass with only 15 minutes remaining in the last session. Anglers Andy Montgomery, Todd Auten and Aaron Martens each finished within one pound of Lefebre’s three-day total. Montgomery, Auten and Martens each return in 2010 for another chance at the trophy. Bryan Thrift, the 2010 FLW Tour Angler of the Year, will also bring his talents to Lake Conroe. Thrift finished in the top 10 in four out of six events on the FLW Tour in 2010, including a win on Lake Norman (NC) in March. Thrift finished 51st at the 2009 TTBC.
Keith Combs of Del Rio, TX earned the final qualifying spot in the field with his win on Sunday at Lake Tawakoni in the final event of the PAA Bass Pro Shops Tournament Series.
Tickets to the TTBC are $15 in advance and are available for Saturday and Sunday individually. The daily tickets include grounds access and admission to live concerts held at the event venue each day. Concerts and other ticketed events, including tournament weigh-ins, interactive expo areas, fireworks shows and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Outdoor Adventures Area will take place at the Lone Star Convention & Expo Center’s Festival Grounds in Conroe. Children 17 and under are admitted free with a ticketed adult. All active military, police, fire and EMS personnel are free with valid identification. To purchase tickets, visit customer service at any H-E-B store in the state of Texas or any Houston-area Academy Sports + Outdoors store. Fans can also buy online and print their tickets at home through the event website, www.toyotatexasbassclassic.com.
The Toyota Texas Bass Classic is an independent bass fishing world championship and benefits the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and its youth outdoor recreation programs. 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. Saturday presenting sponsor is Evan Williams Bourbon. Allstate Boat Insurance is presenting “Safety Weekend.” Corporate partners are the City of Conroe, Evinrude, Spaw Maxwell, Waste Management, U.S. Reel, CBS Radio and the San Jacinto River Authority. Corporate partnership opportunities are still available for 2010.
For additional information on the Toyota Texas Bass Classic, visit www.toyotatexasbassclassic.com or call 1-866-907-0143.
2010 Field of Competitors
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