BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Take the Bassmaster Classic champion, the Rookie of the Year, the Top 8 anglers from the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year rankings and four anglers voted in by the fans and put them on Muskegon Lake in Michigan for three days of competition to crown a single champion.
That’s Toyota All-Star Week, Sept. 27-29.
Now, take the thousands of fans who voted for their favorite anglers and draw 14 of them to be paired with the fishing finalists. As the pros advance, their fan counterparts advance. As they are eliminated, the corresponding fans are eliminated. In the end, there’s one fan champion.
That’s the Toyota All-Star Fan Favorite Angler Sweepstakes.
The winning angler takes home a check for $50,000. The winning fan gets a 2014 Toyota Tundra.
This is the third annual Toyota All-Star Week, and it promises to be the biggest and best ever. The inaugural event in 2011 was won by Ott DeFoe of Tennessee on the Alabama River. Last year, Alabamian Aaron Martens outlasted the field and took home the title on Illinois’ Lake Decatur. Both hope to return to the championship this year.
Mississippi’s Cliff Pace, the 2013 Bassmaster Classic champion, is the only angler who has already clinched a berth in All-Star Week. Hank Cherry of North Carolina leads the Rookie of the Year race with two events left, but he’s just 13 points ahead of Arizona’s Clifford Pirch.
The rest of the 14-angler field will be made up of the Top 8 contenders in the Angler of the Year points race and four competitors who will be voted in by the fans. The AOY race will end on Aug. 25 at the conclusion of the final event of the 2013 Bassmaster Elite Series season on Michigan’s Lake St. Clair.
Voting begins on Thursday, Aug. 1, on Bassmaster.com and runs through Friday, Sept. 6, giving fans five full weeks to vote. Fans can vote for four anglers each day during that time, and each voter will be entered to win a chance to be one of the 14 Toyota Fan finalists.
On Sept. 9, the four anglers receiving the most votes will be revealed and 14 Toyota Fan finalists will be drawn at random from all the votes cast. Each of the selected fans will then be paired with a competing angler, and the fan paired with the angler who wins the Evan Williams Bourbon All-Star Championship will win a 2014 Toyota Tundra.