The TTBC Media day brought in six top anglers along with JC Fassino, president of the Texas Bass Classic Foundation, and Dave Terre, Chief of Management and Research, Texas Parks and Wildlife, to kick off the weekend’s festivities. Shedding light on the true cause behind the Toyota Texas Bass Classic, Fassino presented TPWD with a $250,000 donation bringing the total donation from the Bass Classic Foundation to $1.75 million over the past seven years.
With Kevin VanDam, Terry Scroggins, Kelly Jordon, Bryan Thrift, Randall Tharp, and Shinichi Fukae all in attendance, the anglers were able to discuss lake conditions, field competition, and fishing Lake Conroe.
When asked about Lake Conroe, Kevin VanDam commented, “Probably the toughest thing about this event is the lake itself. Conroe this time of year is a challenge with the way the fish move around during the summer-to-fall transition where you’ve got to make better decisions, you’ve really got to figure out what’s going on quick and adapt to every single day. That’s what makes all these guys good; they’re at the top of their game to do that.”
Honoring 2012 champion Bryan Thrift, the TTBC also presented the champion’s ring today at Media Day. In 2012, Thrift turned in an impressive come-from-behind victory. With a total weight of 53 pounds, 4 ounces, he outdistanced 2nd place finisher, Brian Snowden, by 9 pounds 4 ounces.
Rounding out the outstanding field, Edwin Evers, Kelly Jordan, Mike McClelland, and Mark Rose have all fished the TTBC every year since its inception and are sure to make a splash on the leaderboard.
TTBC PRO AM KICKS OFF ON LAKE CONROE
Today’s Pro-Am let anglers and sponsors enjoy a one of a kind opportunity to connect, and also provided anglers an edge on finalizing their attack plans for the start of the competition tomorrow.
Florida’s Terry Scroggins, a perennial TTBC contender, looks forward to Pro-Am each year. He mentioned using this day as a chance to have some fun with sponsors and as a last chance homework session before actual competition starts.
“I’m not planning on beating up the areas where I plan to fish tomorrow, but I also want to make sure we have a good time and catch some fish,’ Scroggins said. “It’s probably good luck if you end up winning the Pro-Am because it means that you found something that you may be able to take advantage of during the tournament.”
Today’s luck went to Merrill Zubizarreta and Michael Nesbit, fishing with pro Adrian Avena, weighing in at 20lbs 12 oz. beating last year’s Pro-Am winners Ronnie Wagner and his amateurs David Syndey and Blake Kellum and their catch of 17 pounds, 8 ounces. Now we’ll wait and see if Scroggins Pro-Am omen about finding a honey-hole will come true for TTBC anglers this year on Lake Conroe.
TTBC LAKE CONDITIONS
With the seventh annual Toyota Texas Bass Classic poised to start tomorrow, everything about Lake Conroe is looking good for this world championship event, according to Craig Bonds, the Texas Parks & Wildlife Inland fisheries Region 3 Director.
The water level is currently down about three and a half feet below full pool and the does affect the anglers in terms of what habitat is available to actually fish. Especially if they are targeting anything shallow. Bonds stated that the water is similar in level to last year, and that its still better than 2011, when Lake Conroe was ten feet low.
The fish in Conroe are normally in transition this time of the year. They’re vacating their summer spots and gravitating toward their fall locations in shallower water and into creeks where they start feeding heavily on shad. Bonds mentioned that transition is hard to pin-point but when you get cold nights, the surface temperature of the lake starts to cool, and once that happens shad species will move to shallower water and predator fish like bass will follow.
It looks like Saturday afternoon, a cold font will be pushing through the area. “This typically causes the fish to be more aggressive before a front pushes through Friday and Saturday I would expect maybe some heavier weights and the fish to be really moving and feeding whereas after the front passes Saturday night, Sunday might get a little tough out there,” Bonds reasoned. The ten pros who will be fishing on the water Sunday will be thrown a curveball with the new challenge of the weather.
For more tournament information visit www.toyotatexasbassclassic.com