Big bass, big cash, great concerts at TTBC

Terry Scroggins, Gerald Swindle and Kelly Jordon
Alan McGuckin
Bassmaster Elite Series pros Terry Scroggins, Gerald Swindle and Kelly Jordon (left to right) take on the 2012 Toyota Texas Bass Classic.

The Toyota Texas Bass Classic began this morning on Lake Conroe, 40 minutes north of Houston. In its short six-year history, it has quickly become considered one of the greatest events in all of professional bass fishing by top pros like Kelly Jordon, Gerald Swindle, and Terry Scroggins.

The three-day tournament invites the top 15 anglers from the Bassmaster Elite Series, FLW, and PAA trails to compete against one another for a top prize of $100,000 cash, plus a new boat.

Held each autumn, it’s actually far more than a tournament. It’s an outdoor event that includes several vendor booths in a fair-like venue, plus, each day’s weigh-in is followed by a concert from a top country artist. This year’s concert line-up includes Dierks Bentley, Gary Allan and Jake Owen. A final punctuation to its quality is that proceeds benefit the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) and its youth outdoor programs.

The event was born through Gulf States Toyota’s desire to host an event that would raise conservation funds to assure the continued reputation of great bass fishing that Texas is famous for. That’s when top Texas pro Kelly Jordon loaned a proud hand and his wisdom to help Gulf States Toyota plan the first TTBC held on Lake Fork in 2007.

Today, Jordon takes great pride in how the TTBC has gained the respect of his pro angling peers, and the fun it provides to fishing fans that love country music. “The midway with all the vendor booths is outstanding, plus everybody loves the concerts,” said Jordon, who packs more songs in his smartphone than most radio stations. “If fans manage to take in the midway, the weigh-in and the concert all in one day, I’d say they’ve really accomplished something,” grinned the 42-year-old, who has caught more daily big bass than anyone else in Bassmaster Elite Series history.