- Category: Sports
- Published on Friday, 03 April 2015 14:16
- Written by Jim Bardwell
ATHENS—The Toyota Texas Bass Classic (TTBC) will feature 35 of the world’s best anglers Memorial Day weekend, May 23 – 25, 2015 on Lake Fork.
The 2015 final field is made up of the top anglers in 2014 Angler of the Year points from both the FLW and Bass Elite Series plus four sponsor exemptions and defending champion Keith Combs.
“The TTBC is the tournament I look forward to above all others each year,” said Combs. “As a native Texan, it was a dream come true to win my third TTBC title last year, and I cannot wait to return to the incredible Lake Fork, with the best anglers in the world, to defend my title in May.”
“This is one of the strongest and most talented fields we’ve ever had,” said Lenny Francoeur, tournament director. “We shattered records last year and with yet another star-studded field, we could be looking at rewriting those records this Memorial Day on Lake Fork.”
TTBC in 2014 was one for the record books, helping to show the world how amazing a fishery Lake Fork truly is. The previous record for a three-day, tour-level event was 83 pounds, 5 ounces (15 fish). That record was broken eight times in the final round of the 2014 TTBC.
Keith Combs, the new title holder, reeled in a three-day weight of 110 pounds (15 fish). That broke the existing record by 26 pounds, 11 ounces. Additionally, two of the anglers – Combs and Stetson Blaylock — entered the Century Club (more than 100 pounds). That had never happened at a three -day tour event.
“We were proud to see the record-setting fish catches at the 2014 event,” said TPWD’s Dave Terre. “Those catches were a direct result of our progressive fisheries management practices, including special fishing regulations, fish stocking, and fish-habitat improvements with the Sabine River Authority. This tournament, including its unique catch-weigh-immediate release format, gives us the opportunity to show the world just how good Lake Fork really is. We are thankful for the opportunity to do this again in 2015 and also for all the benefits this event provides to TPWD.”
Over the last eight years, the TTBC has donated more than $2 million to TPWD, an effort that will continue in 2015.
Along with the coveted title of TTBC Champion, the anglers will be battling it out for two additional awards: the Toyota Tundra Big Bass Award and the LEER Heavy Weight Award. The Toyota Tundra Big Bass Award is new to the 2015 event. The angler who catches the single heaviest fish from any of the three days of the competition will win a 2015 Toyota Tundra. The angler with the heaviest total weight of fish from any of the three days of the tournament will win a LEER truck cap.
2015 Toyota Texas Bass Classic final field:
- Matt Arey, Shelby, North Carolina
- Casey Ashley, Donalds, South Carolina
- Jason Christie, Park Hill, Oklahoma
- Keith Combs, Huntington, Texas
- John Crews, Salem, Virginia
- Mark Davis, Mount Ida, Arkansas
- Brent Ehrler, Redlands, California
- Jacob Wheeler, Indianapolis, Indiana
- Todd Faircloth, Jasper, Texas
- Shinichi Fukae, Palestine, Texas
- Greg Hackney, Gonzales, Louisiana
- Matthew Herren, Trussville, Alabama
- Brett Hite, Phoenix, Arizona
- Mike Iaconelli, Runnemede, New Jersey
- Kelly Jordon, Mineola, Texas
- Chris Lane, Guntersville, Alabama
- Jared Lintner, Arroyo Grande, California
- Justin Lucas, Guntersville, Alabama
- Aaron Martens, Leeds, Alabama
- Scott Martin, Clewiston, Florida
- Cody Meyer, Auburn, California
- Andy Morgan, Dayton, Tennessee
- Chad Morgenthaler, Coulterville, Illinois
- Michael Neal, Dayton, Tennessee
- Brandon Palaniuk , Rathdrum, Idaho
- Jacob Powroznik, Port Haywood, Virginia
- Dean Rojas, Lake Havasu, Arizona
- Mark Rose, West Memphis, Arkansas
- Shad Scheneck, Waynetown, Indiana
- Terry Scroggins, Palatka, Florida
- Wesley Strader, Spring City, Tennessee
- Gerald Swindle, Warrior, Alabama
- Randall Tharp, Port Saint Joe, Florida
- Bryan Thrift, Shelby, North Carolina
- Kevin VanDam, Kalamazoo, Michigan
Volunteers are needed to staff multiple areas at the Toyota Texas Bass Classic. Volunteers will receive an official TTBC T-shirt and hat, a lunch volunteer badge (serves as general admission Saturday, Sunday and Monday) and a parking pass. Volunteer committees include:
ADMISSIONS/WILL CALL: Admissions volunteers will be responsible for staffing the admissions gate and assisting security to ensure that all spectators have the proper tickets for entry. Will Call volunteers will be responsible for staffing a ticket booth at the event entrance for ticket buyers to pick up previously purchased tickets.
MEDIA / PR: Assist tournament staff with the general operations of the Media Center and promotion of the Tournament, assist with sponsor requests and angler appearances.
TOURNAMENT OFFICE: Assist tournament staff with answering phones, greeting visitors, receiving and logging deliveries along with other administrative duties as requested by tournament staff.
TPWD OUTDOOR ADVENTURES AREA: Assist the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD) with various activities in the TPWD Outdoor Adventures Area.
VOLUNTEER SERVICES: Responsible for staffing the volunteer headquarters, handling uniform distribution and maintaining a comfortable working environment for the volunteers.
The Toyota Texas Bass Classic is a world-class bass fishing tournament featuring the top 35 bass anglers in the world and a festival that includes exceptional entertainment and a variety of family and industry activities. Proceeds benefit the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
Tickets to the ninth annual TTBC are now available for purchase. Single-day general admission tickets are $8 in advance (online) and $15 at the door, Saturday through Monday of the tournament weekend. Three-day general admission passes are available at Brookshire’s Grocery Stores, Kim’s Convenience Stores and Academy Sports + Outdoors throughout East Texas for $15. Children ages 15 and under will be given free admission when accompanied by a ticketed adult. In honor of Memorial Day weekend, military members and their families will be given free admission all weekend.
New to the tournament this year are two upgraded daily VIP ticketing options, Stage Pit and Lunker Club tickets. Both are only available in limited quantities. Daily Stage Pit tickets are $30 and include general admission, a TTBC concession meal voucher and exclusive access to the pit area in front of the stage during the headline concert. Daily Lunker Club tickets are $75 and include general admission, access to a climate-controlled hospitality tent with a prime view of the stage, catered buffet and a full bar (must be 21 or older to consume alcohol).
Single day, Stage Pit and Lunker Club tickets can be purchased online at ToyotaTexasBassClassic.com or by calling the TTBC tournament office at (866) 907-0143.