Fast fishing friends at Toyota Owners Tournament

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Mark Hicks

Martha and Don Goodfellow enjoy a scrumptious complementary dinner after registering for the 2018 Toyota Trucks Bonus Bucks Owners Tournament at Table Rock Lake, Missouri.

A scrumptious complimentary dinner was part of the festivities when over 400 anglers registered on Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018, to fish the seventh annual Toyota Trucks Bonus Bucks Owners Tournament. After Don and Martha Goodfellow of Greenville S.C., filled their plates, they sat at a picnic table with a host of fast friends they had met at previous Toyota Owners Tournaments.

The other couples included Stephen and Tracy Whitehead from Tennessee, Dennis and Diana Uebelhack from Indiana and Wayne and Lyn England from New Hampshire. Anglers come from all across the country to participate.

“This is the fifth Toyota Owners Tournament we’ve been to,” Martha said. “It’s a fun time and a great way to make new friends. Every year we see more couples fishing as a team.”

This year’s Toyota Owners Tournament takes place at scenic Table Rock Lake, Missouri, where it was held last year. The Goodfellows and the other couples they’ve befriended all rented cabins. After practice fishing during the day, they’ve been gathering at the Uebelhacks' cabin in the evening for dinner.

Although Diana and Martha live in different states, they get together when they compete in Lady Bass Angler Association (LBAA) tournaments. This pro-am draw-style circuit hosts events at different states in the South. It consists of three qualifying events and a championship.

“Toyota has a contingency award program for the LBAA and we’ve profited from that,” Martha said. “We truly appreciate Toyota’s support.”

Husband Don also appreciates the quality of his Toyota Tundra. The Goodfellows’ first Tundra, a 2012 model, had 95,000 miles on it when they sold it in 2017 and bought a new Tundra. Don claims that most of the miles he put on the 2012 Tundra were from “driving Martha’s butt to all the tournaments she fishes.”

“Toyota products are truly superior,” Don said. “Our 2012 was flawless when we sold it. Our 2017 Tundra is also a solid, comfortable tow vehicle.”

Martha loves the added lumbar support in the passenger seat of the 2017 Tundra. Don’t feel too sorry for Don. He gets to fish when the couple competes in the South Carolina Division of the American Bass Angler Couple Series, which has six events a year.

The Uebelhacks bought a Toyota Tundra in 2017 and competed in their first Toyota Owners Tournament that same year.

“That’s my truck,” asserted Diana. “Next year we’ll get another Tundra so Dennis can have one.”

The Tundra is the Uebelhacks’ second Toyota. They still own their first Toyota, a 2000 4 Runner that has 245,000 miles and is still going strong.

The four couples at the picnic table share more than fun and meals at the Toyota Owners Tournament. They also exchange fishing information to improve their overall success in the event. Last year the Uebelhacks did the best, finishing in 18th place. Maybe the teamwork among these friends will payoff with an even higher finish this year.