Gary Yamamoto and Davy Hite, two of bass fishing's biggest names, recently joined a growing list of top anglers who tow with a Toyota and took time to register for the Toyota Bonus Bucks program.
Yamamoto, winner of thousands of tournament dollars and inventor of legendary lures that bear his name, knows a quality product when he sees one. Hence, he opted to purchase a Toyota 4Runner and then, after a friendly business tip from fellow pro Shin Fukae's wife, he signed up for Toyota's Bonus Bucks program. "I bought a 4Runner to tow my boat with, and then Shin Fukae's wife told me that I'd be foolish not to sign up for Bonus Bucks after she read about the program's benefits on one of the bass fishing Web sites," said Yamamoto.
Yamamoto conjured up a comical historical account of his loyalty to Toyota. "In 1969, I bought a Toyota Crown station wagon, pulled a camping trailer behind it, strapped a fishing boat on the roof of it, and fished tournaments all over the western U.S. with that rig," recalled Yamamoto. Things really haven't changed much for Yamamoto. He still chooses a camper over a hotel room, and he still tows his boat with a Toyota.
"I'll tell you, if more anglers understood how much power that 4Runner has, I think they would give it more consideration as a tow vehicle. I love mine." said Yamamoto, who has successfully operated his lure company for 30 years. Yamamoto's lure company sponsors two-time Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year and 1999 Bassmaster Classic champ Davy Hite, who also recently purchased a Toyota for his tow vehicle.
Hite opted to purchase a Toyota Tundra largely because of Toyota's support of bass fishing. "I was already convinced Toyota made a quality truck. I once bought a Tacoma with 269,000 miles on it. That may sound crazy, but I was convinced it would run years into the future regardless of the odometer. I was right. I drove that Tacoma until it had 340,000 miles on it, sold it to a buddy, and he's still driving it," added Hite. "
The fact that Toyota is such a strong supporter of our sport, even in these economic times, means a lot to me, and it had a lot to do with my decision to buy a Tundra," said Hite. "Like most bass fisherman, I feel a loyalty to the companies who support the sport I'm passionate about. I left a lot of money on the table last year by not towing with a Tundra and not being eligible for Bonus Bucks. Gary Yamamoto is not only my sponsor, but he's a great man and a smart businessman. I'd like to think that I followed in his footsteps and made a brilliant decision when I bought my Toyota," concluded Hite. Bonus Bucks is simple.
Drive a 2007 or newer Tundra, Sequoia, 4Runner or Tacoma, send in your registration form like Yamamoto and Hite did, become the highest finishing eligible participant in your BASS-affiliated tournament, and you win the Bonus Bucks. To find out more, and to make sure you're signed up, visit www.toyotafishing.com or call Kendell at 918-742-6424.