Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest underway in East Texas

Zavalla, Texas (KETK) - We are now in day two of the Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest held on Lake Sam Rayburn.

People say Lake Sam Rayburn is one of the best bass lakes in the country and hundreds of anglers came to compete.

The Toyota Bassmaster Texas fest is going on now, it is a new format designed to replace and build on Toyota Texas Bass Classic's decade-long legacy.

"This was a standalone event before but we've partnered with Toyota and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to make it a regular elite series event," said Eric Lopez, Director of Event Operations.

The day started with 109 anglers and by series end it will be down to 12, and one lucky competitor will bring home the $100,000 top prize.

"Basically all the fish that are caught and handled in this tournament are judged in the boat," said Dave Terre, TPWD Chief of Fisheries Management. "Matter of fact, fish that are caught are measured, weighed and immediately released while in the boat."

Very few are kept and those are brought to the George H. Henderson Expo Center in Lufkin for the fans to see.

But the series isn't all about competition.

"This event helps us promote the programs, our fishery here at Sam Rayburn, and helps in a large way to get youth involved in fishing," said Terre.

Terre says fishing is a gateway to the outdoors, and kids who spend time outdoors are happier and do better in school.

For this tournament a handful of participants can also go on demo tours.

"They see it on TV all the time and maybe they're a fan of the bass fishing tour and the elite series and they'd like the opportunity to get out there so we're going to give them that opportunity to get out there," said Dan White, Demo Team Director.

The demo tours also give visitors a test run on the newest boats with the latest gadgets, for those looking to buy their dream boat.

On Saturday the anglers will take a day off to meet the fans.

"What's great about this particular event in general is how up close and personal with the anglers," said Lopez. "These are the best guys in the world when it comes to fishing, these are the ones you see on ESPN on the weekend."

The anglers will be at the George H. Henderson Expo Center for Bassmaster University.

Fans will be able to meet the anglers, talk to the, sign autographs, take pictures and even get a few pointers.


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