Best anglers making their way to Rayburn for Toyota Texas Fest

Best anglers making their way to Rayburn for Toyota Texas Fest

LUFKIN, TX (KAUZ) - B.A.S.S., the world's largest fishing organization, will host the Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest benefiting Texas Parks and Wildlife Department at Sam Rayburn Reservoir, May 17-21, in Lufkin, Texas. This event marks the 41st time B.A.S.S. has held a tournament on Sam Rayburn Reservoir, and it is the fifth of nine regular-season Bassmaster Elite Series professional bass fishing tournaments scheduled for 2017.

The tournament pits 109 of the top bass anglers in the world against one another as they compete for $1 million, including the $100,000 first-place prize and a $50,000 Toyota Tundra pickup. The field of competitors includes fishing superstar Kevin VanDam, reigning Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year Gerald Swindle and 2017 GEICO Bassmaster Classic champion Jordan Lee. Eight Texas anglers will also compete: Keith Combs (Huntington), Todd Faircloth (Jasper), Alton Jones (Lorena), Alton Jones Jr. (Lorena), Kelly Jordon (Flint), Gary Klein (Weatherford), James Niggemeyer (Van) and Takahiro Omori (Emory).

We will also have our 2017 Bassmaster High School All-Americans at the event. These are 12 standout students that have been selected out of more than 380 applications from students in grades 10-12 representing 40 states across the nation. Of these, 69 were chosen as Bassmaster All-State anglers. After reviewing tournament résumés, community service activities and recommendations from coaches and school officials, a panel of judges further narrowed the field to the Top 12 high school anglers in the country.
The team has been invited to participate in a special Bassmaster High School All-American Bass Tournament being held in conjunction with the event. Each All-American angler will be paired with an Elite Series pro for the one-day derby to be held on a nearby fishery. 

From watching the first boats take off from Cassels-Boykin Park at 7 a.m. CT on Wednesday, May 17, to the final weigh-in at the George H. Henderson Jr. Expo on Sunday at 4:30 p.m., to participating in the family-friendly Elite Series Outdoors Expo, all activities and venues are free and open to the public.

A schedule of activities planned throughout the weekend at the Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest include: 

Schedule of Events
*All times are local

Wednesday, May 17
7 a.m.  The full field of anglers launch on Sam Rayburn. Public launch viewing is available each day from Cassels-Boykin Park (Zavalla, Texas 75980)

4:30 p.m.  Official weigh-in takes place at the George H. Henderson Jr. Expo (1200 Ellen Trout Drive, Lufkin, Texas 75901)

Thursday, May 18
7 a.m.  The full field of anglers takes off from Cassels-Boykin Park on Sam Rayburn

4:30 p.m.  Official weigh-in takes place at the George H. Henderson Jr. Expo

Friday, May 19
7 a.m.  The full field of anglers takes off from Cassels-Boykin Park on Sam Rayburn

4:30 p.m.  Official weigh-in takes place at the George H. Henderson Jr. Expo

Saturday, May 20      
7 a.m.  Launch for the 2017 Bassmaster High School All-American Tournament (tournament fishery to be announced on May 19)

10 a.m.  Bassmaster Elite Series Outdoors Expo opens at the George H. Henderson Jr. Expo

Sunday, May 21
7 a.m.  The Top 12 anglers launch from Cassels-Boykin Park for the final day of Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest competition

10 a.m.  Bassmaster Elite Series Outdoors Expo opens

4:30 p.m.  Official final weigh-in for Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest begins at the George H. Henderson Jr. Expo

Bassmaster Elite Series Outdoors Expo Activities:
On Saturday the anglers will take a day off-the-water to participate in activities at Bassmaster University. The onsite expo will be open Saturday and Sunday starting at 10 a.m. All activities are free and open to the public.

Military and Public Safety Personnel Day on Sunday. (Bring your official I.D. for an official Bassmaster hat.)

Check out the latest line of fishing wear from Huk Performance Fishing at the Huk merchandise trailer.

Power-Pole will also have several active displays and will be selling their latest products and merchandise, as well.

Free boat and motor demo rides will be available from Skeeter, Yamaha, Nitro, Triton and Mercury. A free shuttle to Sam Rayburn is available at the expo.

The Berkley experience trailer —

Celebrity Elite pros will be on hand for autograph and photograph sessions

Follow your favorite pros on the water with up-to-the-minute updates on BASSTrakk.

Toyota Ride and Drive obstacle course will also be on-site giving free rides to qualified drivers.

The fishing expo will include dozens of other vendors such as Carhartt, Dick Cepek Tires & Wheels, Livingston Lures, Phoenix Boats, Shimano, and T-H Marine are also scheduled to appear.

TPWD Outdoor Adventures Area is a family experience and is scheduled to include the following:


Boater Education


Coastal Fisheries Expo

Daisy Air Gun

Fish Fundamentals Aquarium

Invasive Species Awareness

Operation Game Thief Trailer - Wall of Shame

River & Stream/Texas Paddling Trails

Take Me Fishing Trailer – Learn to Fish

Texas State Fish Art

Texas State Parks

Toyota Sharelunker Trailer

TPW Bass Management

Water U Doing Road Trip

Wildlife Crime Scene Investigations

2017 Bassmaster Elite Series Platinum Sponsor: Toyota

2017 Bassmaster Elite Series Premier Sponsors: Minn Kota, Nitro Boats, Power-Pole, Shell Rotella, Skeeter Boats, Triton Boats, Yamaha, Berkley, Huk, Humminbird, Mercury

2017 Bassmaster Elite Series Supporting Sponsors: Lowrance, Phoenix Boats, Shimano, T-H Marine, Academy Sports + Outdoors, Carhartt, Dick Cepek Tires & Wheels, Advance Auto Parts, Livingston Lures

Local Host: Gulf States Toyota, Texas Parks and Wildlife, Lufkin Convention & Visitors Bureau

About B.A.S.S.
B.A.S.S. is the worldwide authority on bass fishing and keeper of the culture of the sport, providing cutting edge content on bass fishing whenever, wherever and however bass fishing fans want to use it. Headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., the 500,000-member organization's fully integrated media platforms include the industry's leading magazines (Bassmaster and B.A.S.S. Times), website (, television show (The Bassmasters on ESPN2), social media programs and events. For more than 45 years, B.A.S.S. has been dedicated to access, conservation and youth fishing.
The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the most prestigious events at each level of competition, including the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Open Series, Academy Sports + Outdoors B.A.S.S. Nation presented by Magellan, Carhartt Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops, Costa Bassmaster High School Series presented by DICK'S Sporting Goods, Toyota Bonus Bucks Bassmaster Team Championship and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK'S Sporting Goods.

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