JONESTOWN, Texas — In just two short weeks, thousands of fans will gather in Jonestown, Texas, just outside of Austin, for the first time to watch the world’s best bass anglers weigh in their biggest fish of the day at Jones Brothers Park May 17-20 at the 2018 Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest benefiting Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
The four-day, $1 million, 108-angler tournament will not only feature big bass for the competitors, but it will also provide plenty of fun and excitement for fans of bass fishing. From chances to try out some of the newest and best boats and fishing tackle to contests and prizes for the whole family — all activities are free.
Here are the Top 15 things you don’t want to miss. Fans are encouraged to attend and follow the action LIVE on Bassmaster.com.
- Get A Head Start. Come to Jones Brothers Park at Lake Travis (10301 Lakeside Drive) in Jonestown at 6:15 a.m. CT each competition day and help send off the top anglers in the world as they compete for the $100,000 first-place prize.
- Get Hooked On Fishing. Bring the kids to check out the Bassmaster Get Hooked On Fishing presented by Toyota and Shakespeare area from noon to 2 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. Activities include casting lessons, a kid’s fishing pond and a chance to meet the pros.
- Ride Like The Wind. Want to know what it feels like to ride like the wind? Come to the takeoff site to test out the latest boats and engines from Mercury, Nitro, Skeeter, Triton and Yamaha.
- Learn From A Pro. Come by the park on Saturday, May 19, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for Bassmaster University. Seminars taught by Bassmaster Elite Series pros will cover a variety of topics related to fishing including techniques, gear, electronics and more.
- Win Prizes. Companies such as Toyota and Carhartt will be giving away free prizes. Stop by their booths for the chance to win.
- Go There And Get The T-Shirt To Prove It! Memorializing your trip to TBTF is easy if you swing by the B.A.S.S. apparel booth. HUK Performance Fishing clothing will be selling its newest offerings, including a new women’s clothing line.
- Get Into The Action. Watch the tournament leaders catch bass in real time on the exclusive Bassmaster LIVE program on Bassmaster.com and on the ESPN app. Watch hosts Tommy Sanders, Mark Zona and Davy Hite as they provide insightful commentary and analysis of the competition as well.
- The Latest And Greatest. Visit the Power-Pole Shallow Water Anchors, Berkley and T-H Marine booths to see their new and current products that the pros are using on the Bassmaster Elite Series.
- See The Rising Stars. Elite Series anglers will serve as teammates and “coaches” to the twelve Bassmaster High School All-American anglers presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods in a special tournament held on Saturday. The high school standouts will be honored on the main Texas Fest stage at the weigh-in at Jones Brothers Park.
- Celebrate ShareLunkers. On Saturday, join the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) in recognizing and honoring the six Toyota ShareLunker Legacy Anglers who donated bass weighing 13 or more pounds to the ShareLunker selective breeding program in 2018. Ceremonies to induct the newest members of the Texas Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame will also be held Saturday.
- Fill Up. Stop by popular food trucks to grab a bite to eat and a refreshing drink to recharge.
- Salute The Troops. Sunday is Military and Public Safety Personnel Day — bring your I.D. for an official Bassmaster hat at the B.A.S.S. booth.
- Buy Local. The City of Jonestown and the Lago Vista & Jonestown Area Chamber of Commerce have rallied the community and to bring local flavor to the festival. Businesses from around the area will exhibit clothing, jewelry, wooden sculptures, and artwork.
- Help Conserve Big Bass. Enjoy meet-and-greet activities with Texas fisheries biologists in the “Making Fishing Better” TPWD booth.
- Get Into The Drama Of Daily Weigh-Ins. After a day on the water, watch the Elite Series anglers weigh in onstage with B.A.S.S. emcee Dave Mercer and Tournament Director Trip Weldon. Anglers will be able to bring in their heaviest bass of the day, if it’s longer than a predetermined minimum, to show off to the crowd. Fish weighed in will be returned to the lake and released alive. The heaviest bass of the tournament is worth a new Toyota Tundra pick-up with an estimated value of $50,000. Weigh-ins are scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. CT at the same location as takeoff, Jones Brothers Park.