18-Year-Old Wins Toyota Owners Bass Tourney

They were greeted at Ingalls Harbor for the official registration meeting by KVD – who cordially verified they had a valid Alabama fishing license. Toledo Bend’s Darold Gleason gets checked-in by Bonus Bucks program coordinator Kendell Callaway Mooney. Hundreds of anglers gathered this weekend at Lake Wheeler, Ala. for the Toyota Bonus Bucks Owners Tournament. ...

They were greeted at Ingalls Harbor for the official registration meeting by KVD – who cordially verified they had a valid Alabama fishing license.

Toledo Bend’s Darold Gleason gets checked-in by Bonus Bucks program coordinator Kendell Callaway Mooney. Toledo Bend’s Darold Gleason gets checked-in by Bonus Bucks program coordinator Kendell Callaway Mooney.

Hundreds of anglers gathered this weekend at Lake Wheeler, Ala. for the Toyota Bonus Bucks Owners Tournament. Hundreds of anglers gathered this weekend at Lake Wheeler, Ala. for the Toyota Bonus Bucks Owners Tournament.

All participants received free lures, shirts, hats, sunscreen, and more, courtesy of Toyota, Carhartt, Berkley and PRADCO – and Gerald Swindle hurried as fast as he could to help hand out the ‘freebies.’ All participants received free lures, shirts, hats, sunscreen, and more, courtesy of Toyota, Carhartt, Berkley and PRADCO – and Gerald Swindle hurried as fast as he could to help hand out the ‘freebies.’

All were treated to a meal of steak and chicken. All were treated to a meal of steak and chicken.

T-H Marine’s Luke Dunkin (right) and his buddy Andy Abernathy provided quality country tunes while participants finished their meals. T-H Marine’s Luke Dunkin (right) and his buddy Andy Abernathy provided quality country tunes while participants finished their meals.

And sweet dessert wasn’t far behind. And sweet dessert wasn’t far behind.

 

Alabama Senator Arthur Orr graciously offered a prayer during dinner. Alabama Senator Arthur Orr graciously offered a prayer during dinner.

And Toyota’s Jim Baudino was on-hand from California to offer a sincere word of thanks to all participating anglers. And Toyota’s Jim Baudino was on-hand from California to offer a sincere word of thanks to all participating anglers.

Bonus Bucks participants began arriving at Ingalls Harbor around 5:45 a.m. Sunday morning. Bonus Bucks participants began arriving at Ingalls Harbor around 5:45 a.m. Sunday morning.

Swindle and VanDam weren’t the only Elite Series pros to help-out with the event. Longtime Bonus Bucks supporters Randy Howell and David Walker were there too. Swindle and VanDam weren’t the only Elite Series pros to help-out with the event. Longtime Bonus Bucks supporters Randy Howell and David Walker were there too.

And eight hours later fish became rolling into the weigh-in. Not all of them big ones. But still worthy of a smile. Very personable Troy Mims’ whopper weighed 7 ounces. And eight hours later fish became rolling into the weigh-in. Not all of them big ones. But still worthy of a smile. Very personable Troy Mims’ whopper weighed 7 ounces.

Brian and Roger Parker figured it out – to the tune of 17 pounds 15 ounces. Good enough for 2nd Place. Brian and Roger Parker figured it out – to the tune of 17 pounds 15 ounces. Good enough for 2nd Place.

 

And in the end – age was not a factor. 18-year-old Sam George and his Toyota driving partner, Jimmy Carruth, won with 18 pounds, 10 ounces. They hauled home $5,000 cash from the No Entry Fee event. And in the end – age was not a factor. 18-year-old Sam George and his Toyota driving partner, Jimmy Carruth, won with 18 pounds, 10 ounces. They hauled home $5,000 cash from the No Entry Fee event.

Ironically, a mutual friend named Greg Buie was suffering with back issues, couldn’t partner with Carruth for this event, and in turn, paired the young Sam George with Carruth. Surely the winners will at least buy Buie a cheeseburger of thanks. Ironically, a mutual friend named Greg Buie was suffering with back issues, couldn’t partner with Carruth for this event, and in turn, paired the young Sam George with Carruth. Surely the winners will at least buy Buie a cheeseburger of thanks.

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