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WELCOME TO THE BASS HOG'S BLOG.  PROFESSIONAL BASS FISHING CO-ANGLER AND OUTDOOR LEGEND.  GET THE LATEST AND GREATEST NEWS AND UPDATES ABOUT FISHING.  PLEASE SUBSCRIBE TO THE BLOG USING THE RSS FEED LINK IN THE BOTTOM RIGHT HAND CORNER OF THIS PAGE.  ADD THE FOLLOWING URL TO YOUR RSS FEED  http://apps.thebasshog.com/Blog/Rss FOR YAHOO, OUTLOOK, AOL, GOOGLE, HOTMAIL OR OTHER EMAIL ACCOUNT OR TABLET. YOU CAN ALSO FOLLOW VIA http://thebasshog.com/news.html. THANK YOU.

Posted By The Bass Hog

LUFKIN, Texas —Sam Rayburn Reservoir is on a very short list of the all-time best fisheries to host a major bass tournament. Not surprisingly, more professional Bassmaster tournaments have been held on the 111,400-acre impoundment in east Texas — 31 — than on any other fishery in the United States.

Beginning with the 1968 All-American won by Bill Dance and continuing through more recent victories by current stars like Rick Clunn, Kevin VanDam, Edwin Evers and Shaw Grigsby, the events have thrilled and entertained fishing fans for nearly five decades.

But none, it is safe to say, have offered bass fishing fans the wealth of things to see and do and experience that will be available at the upcoming Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest benefiting Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD), to be held May 17-21.

That’s not surprising, since Texas Fest is the result of a merger of the fan-friendly Bassmaster BASSfest Elite Series tournaments of recent years and the uniquely formatted Toyota Texas Bass Classic (TTBC), conducted on Texas lakes for the past 10 years.

“We’re excited to develop Texas Fest into one of the biggest events in competitive fishing while featuring the great work Texas Parks & Wildlife Department does to ensure the quality of outdoor recreation for the future,” said Brent Hillyer, vice president/Marketing for Gulf States Toyota, which created and sponsored TTBC from the beginning.

“Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest will combine the best features of the Toyota Texas Bass Classic and our own BASSfest tournament — both of which had become immensely popular among anglers and fishing fans,” said B.A.S.S. CEO Bruce Akin. “Texas Fest will host a special Fan Appreciation Day offering anglers and their families opportunities to meet, greet and learn from the world’s best professional anglers.”

And, borrowing a page from TTBC, the event will feature a catch-weigh-release format. Anglers’ catches will be weighed on identical scales by judges assigned to each boat. Immediately after being weighed, the fish will be released back into the lake. The Top 5 weights will be counted in each competitor’s daily catch, and the pros will bring in their largest bass, if 21 inches or longer, to the weigh-in stage at the George H. Henderson Jr. Expo Center in Lufkin each afternoon.

With a $1 million payout available to the 109 Bassmaster Elite Series pros, including $100,000 to the winner and a $50,000 Toyota Tundra truck to the angler who catches the heaviest bass of the week — along with an automatic entry into the 2018 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods — competition can be expected to be fierce.

In addition to its CastingKids course, Toyota is offering an experience geared to adults: the Toyota Ride and Drive obstacle course, open to qualified drivers 18 and over. Fishing families in the market for a new bass rig can take part in demo boat rides provided by Skeeter, Yamaha, Nitro, Triton and Mercury at Cassels-Boykin Park. Free shuttle transportation is provided between the Expo Center and the park.

Also on Saturday of Texas Fest, the most exclusive high school bass tournament will be held on a nearby body of water. To qualify, students have to be named one of the 12 members of the 2017 Bassmaster High School All-American Fishing Team presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods. In addition to being honored as one of the most outstanding student anglers in the nation, the All-Americans will get to participate in a one-day fun-fishing tournament as the teammate of one of the Elite anglers.

Courtesy of BASS Communications.