Bass Pro Shops, along with its Nitro brand of performance bass boats, is teaming up with the Bassmaster Tournament Trail for another two years at the Premier Sponsor level. The agreement between Bass Pro Shops and B.A.S.S. LLC, owner of Bassmaster events, continues the title sponsorship of the popular Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Opens presented by Allstate. The renewed partnership also extends the Bass Pro Shops and Nitro top-level sponsorship of the Bassmaster Classic, Bassmaster Elite Series, Carhartt Bassmaster College Series and B.A.S.S. Nation events as well as the Bassmaster Opens. Nitro Boats also will be a Premier Sponsor of the new Toyota Bonus Bucks Bassmaster Team Championship. “We are thankful for the opportunity for Bass Pro Shops and Nitro Boats to continue the relationship with the premier bass fishing organization in America,” said Johnny Morris - See more at:


The Toyota Texas Bass Classic (TTBC), the World Championship of Professional Bass Fishing, brings the best set of qualified Anglers to Lake Fork, May 9-11.  The three-day tournament combines the Top 15 in Angler of the Year (AOY) points from all three major tournaments including the Walmart FLW Tour, Bassmaster Elite Series and The PAA Tournament Series.  Daily tournament weigh-ins, outdoor expos and country music concerts will add to the daily excitement of this event.“We’re extremely excited to have the most outstanding anglers in the world competing in the 2014 Toyota Texas Bass Classic.  This tournament can truly say that we have the best of the best competing on the most historical bass fishing lake in Texas.  From legendary anglers to Lake Fork rookies, the competition will be fierce, the bass will be enormous and I can’t wait to see who will take home the trophy and title of World Champion,” said Tournament Director Lenny Francoeur. Final field qualification for both last year and this year’s TTBC events are based on 2013-2014 Angler of the Year points races.  The 2014 TTBC field is one of the strongest to date; field accomplishments include a combined $64 Million in career earnings, 234 tournament victories, 21 AOY titles and 18 Major Championship wins.- See more at:

Talking about practice

I want to thank everyone who read my first column and especially those who took the time to comment, "Tweet" it, or "Like" it on Facebook. This experience has already been very rewarding, and I'm looking forward to finding better ways to communicate and give you all the kind of information you're looking for and that will help you catch more fish.

If you have an idea for a future column, please put it in the comments below. I'll try to get to it. Just bear with me!

Since it's almost time to start the 2014 Bassmaster Elite Series season, now seems like a great time to answer a question I get quite often: "How do you practice for a tournament?"

I'm certain that all bass fishing professionals are different in how we approach a new season. My answer applies only to me, but I'd bet we all have a lot of similarities in how we go about it.

I start the year by taking a big piece of poster board and putting my competition schedule on it. I then add a column for the different bait types that might come into play for each event.

I do this so I can see at a glance exactly how long my boat and tow vehicle will be gone for each trip. It's critical that I have everything I might need for the duration of each one. I might not need deep-diving crankbaits at one event, but if I need them at the next tournament and I won't be home between events, those baits need to be with me from the beginning of the trip. To leave something behind could ruin my practice or even my tournament.

Faith, family & friends

I'd like to introduce myself. My name is Edwin Evers, and I'm from Talala, Okla. I'm a husband, a father, a son and a Bassmaster Elite Series pro. To my way of thinking, I'm just about the luckiest guy you'll ever meet. I have a family that I love with all my heart, a career that gives me challenges and rewards (though sometimes more challenges than rewards) and I live in the greatest country on earth.

I have it good.

The things that get me out of bed every morning have changed over the course of my life. A teenage daughter and five-year-old son will do that for you. They make every day an adventure for my wife (Tuesday) and me. Our son is all about animals, Tom & Jerry cartoons, Legos and dinosaurs. (What is it about dinosaurs that fascinates every kid?) Our daughter just wants to drive and hang out with her friends. They bring a lot of joy to our lives.

Providing for a family definitely has pushed me to work and strive at an entirely different level than when I was younger and had fewer responsibilities. I'm grateful to them for that and for the focus they've given me. I hope I can do as much for them.

Toyota Texas Bass Classic Brings Texas Sized Entertainment to Lake Fork May 9-11, 2014

The Toyota Texas Bass Classic (TTBC) is returning to Lake Fork in a big way. The Sabine River Authority in Quitman will again host this world-class bass fishing tournament and outdoor country music festival. We are proud to announce our exceptional entertainment this year, featuring country super stars, Pat Green, Little Big Town, and Justin Moore.

“The anticipation and excitement for the Toyota Texas Bass Classic is off the charts this year. TTBC will be bringing premiere country music artists, as well as the world’s best anglers to Lake Fork. We hope to break records on and off the water” said Tournament Director Lenny Francoeur. “Not only do we have family friendly ticket prices, but the sale of tickets will help us in our ongoing effort to support the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.”

Single day, general admission tickets are available for $15 in advance (or $25 at the gate). That ticket includes parking and kids 17 and under get in free with a ticketed adult. Pat Green will be kicking off Friday’s country music concert and Little Big Town will take the stage on Saturday, May 10. Rounding out the event’s entertainment will be Justin Moore, Sunday, May 11. In addition to the headlining entertainment artists, the TTBC will also feature a variety of regional bands including Tyler and the Tribe, Southern Slang, Backroad Anthem, and Sister C. Tickets are available now at, your local Toyota dealerships, Academy Sports + Outdoors, and Brookshire’s.

A three-time Grammy nominee, Pat Green has become a cultural force across the country selling out venues from Nokia Theater in Times Square to the Houston Astrodome in Texas. Green’s explosive live shows have made him a fan favorite and a hot ticket, landing tours with the likes of Willie Nelson and Dave Matthews Band. Named “the Springsteen of the South West” in People Magazine, Green has sold over 2 million albums, released a collection of hits at country radio and has been praised in Esquire, Blender, Billboard and USA Today.

Critically acclaimed country group, Little Big Town–consisting of members Karen Fairchild, Phillip Sweet, Kimberly Schlapman and Jimi Westbrook–first entered the music scene over 13 years ago with hits such as “Boondocks,” “Bring It On Home,” “Good As Gone” and Grammy-nominated single “Little White Church.” The quartet’s fifth studio album Tornado was released on September 11, 2012 and debuted at the top of the Billboard Country Chart where it stayed in the #1 position for five consecutive weeks. The album recently received platinum certification with sales of over 1 million copies. Tornado, produced by Jay Joyce, includes 2x platinum-selling #1 hit single “Pontoon” and follow-up single and title-track “Tornado” which also peaked in the #1 position. The Grammy-nominated track, “Your Side of the Bed” and current single “Sober” are also featured on the album. Collectively, the group has earned over 25 award show nominations and has taken home the award for ACM Top New Vocal Group, CMA Single of the Year (“Pontoon”), CMA Vocal Group of the Year (2012 and 2013), ACM Vocal Group of the Year, ACM Video of the Year (“Tornado”), a Grammy Award for Best Country Group/Duo Performance (“Pontoon”) and an Emmy award (Outstanding Original Song-“Good Afternoon”). The foursome recently wrapped up their sold-out headlining tour and is also a tour with Keith Urban.

Toyota Texas Bass Classic Looking for Volunteers

The Toyota Texas Bass Classic (TTBC) is seeking volunteers to help support the Texas sized outdoor music festival and world championship fishing event. The 8th annual TTBC is returning to Lake Fork, May 9-11, 2014. The event will host the world’s greatest anglers as well as chart topping country music performances. Fishing knowledge is not required and those who register now will receive an unforgettable experience.

Along with the memories, volunteers will receive exclusive tournament gear; including an official TTBC t-shirt, hat, lunch, volunteer badge (serves as general admission Friday, Saturday & Sunday) and a parking pass. Below you will find a list and brief description of the TTBC Committees.

Grass, Rock Were Key Components

As many suspected, Lake Guntersville's grass played a crucial role in several top finishers' strategies at the Bassmaster Classic. It produced Paul Mueller's runner-up stringers and also was the focal point of third-place finisher Edwin Evers.

But grass wasn't the only factor at Guntersville. Rocks, particularly riprap banks along causeways in creek arms, came into play as the water continued to warm up through the tournament.

Here's a rundown of how the rest of the Top 5 finishers went about their business at the Classic:

3rd: Edwin Evers

> Day 1: 5, 26-13
> Day 2: 5, 20-09
> Day 3: 5, 18-05
> Total = 15, 65-11

Evers said he found the area in Goose Pond that he ultimately fished during the tournament on the second day of practice.

"It was the first time I'd ever fished in there," he said. "I really didn't know if it had any history or not."

He said the water was warmer in there than most other places he practiced and by the final day of competition it got up to 60 degrees.

"I fished the little bays where they were fixing to spawn next to the gator grass," he said. "I caught them over the grass and out in front of it on days 1 and 2."

On the final day, he had to move shallower to trigger bites.

"I got a lot of bites," he said. "I just didn't get the 10-pounder I needed. If we hadn't see those changes in conditions like we had, it probably would've been a different game."

> Shallow cranking gear: 7' medium-action Bass Pro Shops cranking rod, Bass Pro Shops CarbonLite casting reel (5.2:1 gear ratio), 10-pound Bass Pro Shops XPS fluorocarbon line, Megabass Flap Slap (sexy French pearl), Megabass Knuckle 60 (Bahama pearl).

> Vibrating jig gear: Same rod, same reel, 20-pound Bass Pro Shops XPS fluorocarbon line, homemade vibrating jig (green-pumpkin).

> Main factor in his success – "I just expanded on the area I'd found. I stayed in there the whole time. I just locked down in that area and stayed with it. There are so many in this lake that I think you could pick any major pocket anywhere on this lake and there are tournament-winning fish in there anywhere. I locked down in there. Maybe it hurt me, but maybe it helped me."

> Performance edge – "The new SpotlightScan is a neat deal on the Lowrance. Being able to see that grass out in front of me and how detailed it is makes it a great tool."

And How: Randy Howell’s Charmed Last Day Leads To Bassmaster Classic Victory

very angler dreams of catching bass after giant bass like Randy Howell did on Sunday.Howell began hauling in Lake Guntersville lunkers minutes into the final round of the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by Diet Mountain Dew and GoPro. He lost track of how many culls he was able to make, but at one point he was trading 4- and 5-pounders for even larger bass.When Howell brought his bag to the scales, his five bass weighed 29 pounds, 2 ounces, with the largest going 7-3. The banner day beefed up his total to 67 pounds, 8 ounces.“I don’t even know if I’m going to win, but it doesn’t matter,” Howell said before all the 25 finalists came to the scales. “It was the best day I’ve ever had in 21 years of professional bass fishing, a day of a lifetime.”But his day did get better: He became the world champion, the 2014 Bassmaster Classic champ.“I’ve had this dream so many times, and it’s happening now. I can’t believe I won the Bassmaster Classic. I don’t win tournaments very often,” said Howell as he was announced the winner.Howell is a two-time Bassmaster event winner, including a 2013 Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Northern Open presented by Allstate event that earned him his 2014 Classic qualification.Sunday’s victory — Howell’s first after 11 other tries as a Classic competitor — was worth $300,000 and the most coveted trophy in the sport. From Springville, Ala., Howell became only the second angler to win the Classic in his home state.Howell edged out B.A.S.S. Nation qualifier Paul Mueller of Naugatuck, Conn., by 1 pound. Mueller, who on Day 2 set a new one-day Classic weight record at 32-3, totaled 66-8 for second place.Third place was claimed by second-day leader Edwin Evers of Talala, Okla., with 65-11. Fourth was Ott DeFoe of Knoxville, Tenn., with 63-6, including the day’s largest bass, an 8-4. First-day leader Randall Tharp of Port St. Joe, Fla., finished in fifth place at 62-12.

Oklahoma, West Alabama tie in Bassmaster College Classic

n the first-ever winner’s tie of the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series, the University of Oklahoma’s Caleb Masters and Landon Dixon and the University of West Alabama’s James Brumbelow and Andrew Warbington shared the trophy. Each team brought 16 pounds to the scales.On Alabama’s Lay Lake in Sunday’s fifth annual College Classic, the Oklahoma team spent most of the day in Spring Creek. Dixon said that the seasonal prespawn movement positioned fish in predictable locations, so he and Masters fished on instinct.“We caught fish on a lot of stuff where I didn’t get a bite in practice, but it was one of those deals where it just looked right,” Dixon said. “It was just time for them to be there.”Targeting riprap banks in 6 to 8 feet of water, the Oklahoma anglers caught fish on jigs, shaky heads and crankbaits, but the latter proved most productive. The Bomber Model 7A crankbait and Norman Deep Little N, both in the red craw color, produced most of their bites.Masters said that most of his team’s bass came before 10:30 a.m.Brumbelow and Warbington caught their fish in Paint Creek and in pockets off the main lake. They targeted sloping banks and caught their fish on Strike King 1.5 squarebill crankbaits in about 1 to 3 feet deep. They caught fish all day, but Brumbelow said morning was the most productive time for the team.Warbington said his team got only six bites, but they were able to boat each fish.“We loosened our drags when we were fighting each fish so we didn’t put too much pressure on them and pull the hooks,” he said.


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