Toyota Angles for Tundra Fans at Texas Bass Classic

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By Peter A. Hubbard

If you live in a small town, you've likely seen the "Gone Fishing" sign posted on the doors of the local barber, butcher shop or repair garage. Well, the folks at Toyota have decided to take the Tundra pickup truck out and do the same.

Given the growing popularity of tournament fishing in recent years — primarily bass fishing — Houston-based Gulf States Toyota, the largest Toyota distributor in the country, decided to stake out its share of the "fun truck" market nine years ago by sponsoring the Toyota Texas Bass Classic, a world-class invitation-only bass fishing tournament.

This year's 10th annual event, held Memorial Day weekend in Fork Lake near Quitman, Texas, offered top-notch musical entertainment and family activities along with fishing-related events and merchandise.

The tournament gives bass fishing enthusiasts a chance to get up close and personal with many of their fishing heroes. Participating this year were the nation's top 35 tournament bass anglers — top fishermen in both the Bassmasters and Fishing League Worldwide tournament series from last year.

The field included three-time Toyota Texas Bass Classic winner Keith Combs and 2015 Bassmaster Classic Champion Casey Ashley, plus the top 15 anglers in 2014 Angler of the Year points from both the Fishing League Worldwide and the Bassmaster Bass Elite Series. Also on hand were 2014 runner-up Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year Aaron Martens, and Andy Morgan, 2013 and 2014 FLW Tour Angler of the Year. These 35 anglers have racked up a combined total of 190 tournament wins including 19 Angler of the Year awards; they've also raked in more than $56 million in total combined career earnings.

In addition to awarding prizes of up to $150,000 for the winner, the Toyota tournament also makes a sizable donation to a Texas Parks & Wildlife Department outreach program that teaches fishing skills to Texas' inner-city youth.

This year's tournament also gave Gulf State Toyota a chance to showcase its new-for-2015 Bass Pro Shops Tundra model. The tournament was the perfect venue for showing off this special-edition pickup, which was unveiled last fall at the 2014 Texas State Fair. It's been on sale since October only in Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Mississippi. The Bass truck has a starting price just less than $45,000 (includes destination) and offers a lifestyle package tailored to fishing, hunting, camping or marine adventurers from Bass Pro Shops valued at approximately $1,000.

The competition kicked off with decent weather for May 23's first session, but the rest of the weekend was a washout (literally) for members of the public, who were offered full refunds. The angling competition continued as planned. This year's winner, with a total weight of 89+ pounds caught over three days, was 11-year pro Brent Ehrler from California, with career winnings of $2.7 million. He was in fifth place Monday until he reeled in a 10-pound 11-ounce bass, earning him the top award, which included a new 2015 Toyota Tundra valued at $35,000.

For more information about current and upcoming events, visit the Toyota Texas Bass Classic. photos by Peter Hubbard


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So the Winner won a truck valued at 35k, but the Toyota Tundra that was promoted at the event is valued at 45k? Is that correct?

Just more jap scrap to be hauled off to the junk yard. Nascar had to lower the HP of their cars this year, so Toyota could keep up with the Chevys and Fords.

Not sure what has more torsional rigidity: the Tundra or the fish

@ Johnny Doe NASCAR did not lower Hp for Toyota, that is completely made up! It's so all teams will get more use from their motors

Nope not made up Toyota couldn't make the HP with out blowing up, so they cried to Nascar to lower the HP.

Man, it don't get any more rednecky than this. I only have one question though, do rednecks on average drive Tundras? I thought they would gravitate more toward the domestics.

Reliability sucks. I'm still going to buy myself a steaming pile of Ford so all the local tow truck drivers by me beers at the bar.

@johnny for Your link says nothing about what you are claiming

Johnny Doe only has a fist grade education, my dog is smarter than him.

@Johnny Doe:

This sounds quite opposite to your statement. Can you clarify?

@Johnny Doe
According to the articles I've seen, NASCAR lowered the HP on Toyota, because they were always winning...

Something fishy going on here.......

Nothing like the usual bigoted racist and xenophobic types that continue to clutter this site and carry on the impression that PUTC is populated by the below average intelligence types. Way to go johnny doe and Toyota LOL. At least you two are staying predictably moronic.

what did the tundra have to do with the fish?

Fox news nut jobs found another thread to pollute.

This is what Toyota said when they entered NASCAR Truck racing:

"Some call it "reverse engineering" or using state-of-the-art technology to build a better dinosaur--one that uses pushrods instead of overhead camshafts, no less."

NASCAR just like NHRA have strict rules about what the engine is like. NHRA forces everyone to use an elephant head/block design and NASCAR forces everyone to use a 360 ci small block. Some say the Cleveland is the best base and of course others will say old MOPAR or SBC designs are better.

@johnny doe

Wrong, NASCAR lowered HP as part of their neverending quest for more "side by side racing". Or, in other words, putting an end to the absolute stranglehold that Hendrick Chevy engines have on the series.

Toyota might benefit from it, but so does Ford.

If any manufacturer complained, it was Ford. And the idea that NASCAR would do anything to benefit Toyota alone at the detriment of Chevy and/or Ford is so ridiculous you must be wearing a tin-foil hat.

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