I know this is looking a bit forward to next May. We’re not even to hunting season yet, but the 2015 Toyota Texas Bass Classic has been set for Memorial Day weekend, May 23-25, 2015 on Lake Fork. The classic is set to draw 38 of the world’s best professional anglers that will include the top 15 in 2014 Angler of the Year Point from both the FLW Tour and Bassmaster Elite Series, 7 exemptions and defending 3-time chamion Keith Combs.
“After a world-record setting event in 2014 we are very excited to return to Lake Fork in 2015,” said Lenny Francoeur, tournament director. “The Quitman community has been so welcoming and the bass fishing at Lake Fork is world-class. We can’t wait to get back there next spring.”
All 38 anglers will compete on Lake Fork for the first two days, with the field being reduced to the top 10 for the final round on May 25. The tournament will remain a non-entry fee event with all anglers receiving guaranteed prize money. Through a continued partnership with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the classic will continue to focus on conservation and adhere to a strict catch, weigh and immediate release format. Over the last eight years, the TTBC has donated more than $2 million to TPWD, an effort that will continue in 2015.
Anglers qualifying for the classic join a prestigious rank of past competitors. By drawing from the two major tours, the TTBC field consistently boasts the very best anglers in the world every year.
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 set in 2000 at the Bassmaster California Western Invitational on Clear Lake by Byron Velvick with 83 pounds, 5 ounces (15 fish). That record was broken eight times on 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. But Lake Fork is not your average bass fishery, and Combs’ is not your average champion.
“It’s a major career achievement just to qualify to fish the TTBC, but to be a three-time champion against the best anglers in the world, and to set the world record last year, it’s just amazing,” said Combs. “I am so proud to represent my home state of Texas, , but I am especially proud of the great things the TTBC does to raise awareness and funding for Texas Parks and Wildlife.”
In addition to three days of world championship competition, TTBC organizers plan a full line up of premier country music acts, vendor expo showcases, outdoor family activities and more for next year’s Memorial Day weekend event. Ticket and concert information will be available in early 2015. For more information and event news, visit www.toyotatexasbassclassic.com.