Those of us fortunate enough to fish the Bassmaster Elite Series are getting ready for the 2019 Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest benefiting Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, and I guarantee you there isn’t an angler that’s not excited about it.
The best way I know to describe this tournament is that it’s like a mini Bassmaster Classic. There will be booths set up everywhere, live country music and plenty of good food. Mixed in with all of that will be hundreds, if not thousands, of avid bass anglers who love to talk fishing with anyone and everyone — and this event also includes the chance to talk with the Elite pros.
The credit for all of this gets spread around between Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, Toyota and B.A.S.S.
We’ll start by talking a little bit about Texas. I moved to Fort Worth a couple of years ago. The biggest reason for that is the way Texas handles their bass fishing opportunities. They put a ton of money into their programs and manage them with a scientific approach.
Mark Menendez — he’s a fisheries biologist — has a column up right now about what they do and how they do it. It’s titled Brace yourself for Lake Fork. I encourage you to read it and think about what it means for the future of our sport.
That said, I’ll tell you a personal story: Before it went off limits I fished the lake. Three days in a row I would have had limits that weighed more than 30 pounds. Granted, I was fishing at the perfect time but still …
Toyota as a sponsor is a big deal, too. They pull out all the stops to make this tournament a premiere event. I’ve already mentioned some of the things they do at their event so I won’t repeat them, but I do want to mention one other thing. The big bass prize for the event is a new Toyota Tundra truck that’s built right here in Texas.
Back in 2016 I was fortunate enough to win that prize. I can tell you without any hesitation that their trucks are first class. They are definitely the real deal, and whoever wins it this year — hopefully me — will be a lucky angler.
Having Toyota as a sponsor is no small thing. It makes a real difference on several levels — Elite Series anglers, Texas, B.A.S.S. and bass fishing everywhere. We owe them a big thank you!
Last, but by no means least, is B.A.S.S. None of what I’ve talked about so far would mean much without B.A.S.S. stepping up and putting everything together. We often forget about that. It’s fine to talk about management and the big decisions. But what about all the planning that goes into something like the Toyota Bassmaster Fest and all the men and women who work on the ground to make things happen? That’s a big part of everything, too. They deserve a big thank you as well.
If there’s anyway you can make a trip to this one happen, I encourage you to get it done. I guarantee you that you won’t be sorry.