(May 24, 2016 - Frisco, TX)
Matt Herren, a Bassmaster Elite Series pro from Alabama, won the 10th annual Toyota Texas Bass Classic, which was an integral part of the Toyota Texas Fest (TTF) presented by JBL, held May 20-22 in Frisco with fishing on Lake Ray Roberts north of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.
With the victory, Herren (who had a three-day total of 51 pounds, 12 ounces,) claimed a $100,000 cash prize, a Nitro Z20 boat with dual Power-Poles, and bragging rights in one of the most prestigious tournaments in the sport of bass fishing. It was his first professional level win in nine years.
“Man, it’s incredible,” Herren said, after weighing a 17-4 limit on Sunday in front of an eager crowd at Toyota Stadium. “A lot of hard work goes into this, and there’s a lot of people who pay a big price to let me do what I do. They all know who they are.”
The top 15 anglers in the 2015 Bassmaster Elites Series and FLW Tour angler of the year standings were eligible to fish on Lake Ray Roberts in the TTBC, which is a benefit tournament for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD). Eight additional top-flight anglers were granted exemptions to fish, including defending champion Brent Ehrler, making it a 38-man field.
In order, the remainder of the “Tundra 10” competitors who fished Sunday were: Bryan Thrift, 51-4; Luke Clausen, 47-8; Andy Morgan, 47-0; Dave Lefebre, 46-12; Aaron Martens, 46-8; Cody Meyer, 45-8; Kevin VanDam, 44-12; Chris Zaldain, 41-12; and Greg Hackney, 41-0.
Zaldain, an Elite Series pro from California and the leader after Day 1, caught a bass weighing 7-12 on Friday that was the heaviest of the tournament. It won him the Tundra Big Bass Award and a 2016 Toyota Tundra truck.
Morgan won the LEER Heavy Weight Award for the 22-0 pound bag he caught on Saturday. That was the highest single-day total caught by any of the pros in the three-day tournament, and it earned the FLW Tour stalwart a new LEER truck cap.
The Toyota Texas Fest presented by JBL (and the TTBC, which is part of that event,) is a significant fund-raiser for the TPWD. This year the check given to TPWD was $250,000, making donations in the 10 years of the Toyota Texas Fest climb to $2.5 million.
The funds go to support youth fishing and urban outreach programs across Texas. The TPWD stocks 18 bodies of water in 11 metro areas that have drawn 100,000 anglers, 50,000 of them new or lapsed anglers.
Music acts again were a big draw, with Eric Paslay opening for Big & Rich on Friday, Roger Creager and Lee Brice performing Saturday, and Chase Bryan and Kip Moore closing the concert series on Sunday.
A new feature of the TTF was the Central Market Lone Star Food Fest hosted by Dean Fearing. Taking place on Saturday and Sunday, the event featured the best food, drinks and restaurants that Texas has to offer. Eateries like Fearing’s, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, The Capital Grille, and NOLA Grill, among others, offered samples of their fares. Ticket holders also had opportunity to taste beer and wine samples from brands like Texas’ own Becker Vineyards, Goose Island, Not Your Father’s Root Beer and more.
About the Event: The Toyota Texas Fest presented by JBL is a three-day outdoor festival that took place May 20-22, 2016 at Toyota Stadium (Frisco, Texas). The mission of the event is to raise awareness and funding for the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department. One of the festivals’ main events is the Toyota Texas Bass Classic (TTBC), which is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2016. TTBC is a world-class bass fishing tournament featuring the top 38 bass anglers competing on Lake Ray Roberts (Denton, Texas). Additionally, the festival included exceptional entertainment and a wide variety of outdoor programming for the entire family. Activities included games and interactive displays at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Outdoor Adventures Area and an outdoor consumer expo featuring the latest products and services from event partners. Throughout each day country music’s biggest stars will entertain thousands of fans.
Charity: Proceeds benefit the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. For more information click here to visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s.
Current sponsors: Toyota, JBL by Harman, Bass Pro Shops, NITRO Boats, GEICO, Dallas Morning News, iHeart Radio, Embassy Suites Dallas Frisco Hotel Convention Center & Spa, Frisco Convention & Visitors Bureau.