ATHENS — The Toyota Texas Bass Classic has long been considered a world championship of bass fishing, bringing the top anglers to Lake Conroe year after year, and with the first set of qualifiers to the 2012 field, the tournament will continue to be a showcase for the world’s best.
The top 15 Professional Anglers Association members from the 2012 Walmart FLW Tour Angler of the Year List have qualified for the tournament. Highlights from the field include Angler of the Year David Dudley and 2009 Toyota Texas Bass Champion Dave Lefebre.
The Toyota Texas Bass Classic will take place Sept. 28-30 at the Lone Star Convention & Expo Center in Conroe.
“These first qualifiers to the 2012 TTBC are an impressive group of anglers,” Tournament Director Lenny Francoeur said. “All 15 make for an exciting and talented field and just demonstrate why the Toyota Texas Bass Classic is a world class bass fishing tournament.”
In seven FLW tournaments this season, Dudley has won twice and finished in the top 10 four times. 2012 marks the third Walmart FLW Tour Angler of the Year title for him in his 17-year FLW career, winning in 2011 and 2008. One of the most successful anglers on the Tour, Dudley becomes the first back-to-back FLW season point winner.
“I’m excited to be fishing in what is considered the Pro Bowl of bass fishing, where all the top anglers from every circuit come together to compete,” Dudley said. “I can’t wait to get out there.”
2009 TTBC Champion Lefebre finished 11th in the Walmart FLW Tour Angler of the Year rankings, earning one win at Kentucky Lake in June and finishing in the top 10 twice. In his ten years as a FLW Tour professional, Lefebre has five career tournament wins and 45 top-10 finishes. Lefebre followed up his 2009 TTBC victory with a fifth place finish in 2010 and 41st in 2011.
The other qualified anglers are Jacob Powroznik, Ron Shuffield, Jim Moynagh, Cody Meyer, Luke Clausen, Bryan Thrift, JT Kenney, Matt Arey, Andy Morgan, Clifford Pirch, Wesley Strader, Clent Davis and Jim Tutt.
The remaining 45 spots will be filled by the 2011 Champion Keith Combs, the top 15 from the 2012 Bassmaster Elite Series Toyota Tundra Angler of the Year standings, the top 15 from the 2012 Bass Pro Shops PAA Tournament Series Angler of the Year standings and four tournament sponsor exemptions.
Limited quantities of free tickets are available this year to the three-day outdoor music festival and professional bass fishing world championship. Fans can obtain free tickets online now at toyotatexasbassclassic.com, while supplies last. Tickets are available for Friday, Saturday and Sunday individually.
Fans can also pick up TTBC tickets at any Toyota dealership or Academy Sports + Outdoors location in the greater Houston area.
Walk-up tickets the day of the event will require a donation towards the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department and all days are subject to sell-out.
The daily tickets are valid for admission into the festival grounds for angler weigh-ins and the concert on that particular day.
All activities, including concerts, weigh-ins, Reliant Outdoor Adventures Area and Bass Pro Shops Outdoor Expo will take place at the Lone Star Convention & Expo Center’s festival grounds in Conroe. Concert headliners include Dierks Bentley, Gary Allan and Jake Owen.
The Lone Star Convention & Expo Center is a state-of-the-art facility conveniently located minutes from Lake Conroe and The Woodlands and only 40 minutes north of Houston. The location offers easy access to event activities, local shops and restaurants. For more information, visit www.thelonestar.org.
The Toyota Texas Bass Classic tournament functions are operated by the Professional Anglers Association with technical assistance and support from Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Inland Fisheries Division. Title sponsor for the event is Toyota. Other sponsors include: Ricoh, ATX Wheels, Coca-Cola, TXU and U.S. Reel. Corporate partnership opportunities are available for 2012. For additional information, visit www.toyotatexasbassclassic.com or call 1-866-907-0143.