by SLICK TRACY, Travel Detective & Food Sleuth -----
Bring fifty of the best fishermen in the world. Tell them that everyone of them will be 'in the money'. Mix in a lot of music, displays, barbeque, and everything else to make an outdoor festival successful. What is that called? It is the annual Toyota Texas Bass Classic for 2014, which has come to be recognized as the Fishing World Championship for bass fishermen.
This is the 8th year of this special event that held its inaugural run at Lake Fork in East Texas. For 2014, the classic returns to Lake Fork. The tournament is a non-entry fee event, all 50 anglers are guaranteed prize money, and the focus is on conservation and a catch, weigh, and immediate release format.
The winner receives a $100,000 prize and a new Nitro Z9 boat, powered by a Mercury 250-hp outboard. The Bass Classic raises thousands of dollars for a number of special projects. They will be contributing $250,000 to the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department this year. Other programs include the Neighborhood Fishin' Program and the State-Fish Art Contest.
The Sabine River Authority is the host of this years event, providing hundreds of volunteers to make things go smoothly for the thousands of visitors expected to attend. Lake Fork, managed by the Sabine River Authority, is considered one of the premier bass fishing lakes that are enjoyed by water sports enthusiasts. Lake Fork provides water for municipal and industrial users in the Cities of Dallas, Longview, Kilgore, Henderson, and Quitman.
Texas Governor Rick Perry commented, “Whether it's helping your kids bait their first hook, reeling in a great catch, or sharing the heartbreak of one that got away, the memories created on Texas lakes, rivers, and coastal waterways can last a lifetime. The 2014 Toyota Texas Bass Classic will surely be an event to remember.”
The headline music concerts are featuring Pat Green, Little Big Town, and Justin Moore. Pat Green is a three-time Grammy nominee and performs regularly on tour with Willie Nelson and the Dave Matthews Band. Little Big Town has been on the music scene about 13 years and a well-known and critically acclaimed country music group featuring Karen Fairchild, Phillip Sweet, Kimberly Schlapman, and Mimi Westbrook. Justin Moore debuted at the Number 1 spot of the Billboard Country Albums Chart two times and has sold over 5.3 million digital downloads. His music is featured regularly on the ABC hit drama “Nashville.” The 'openers' for the concerts include groups Tyler and the Tribe, Southern Slang, Backroad Anthem, and Sister C.
This is definitely a family-friendly event with plenty of activities for young and old alike. There is an off-roading drive course featuring Toyota trucks. A small off-road area features ATV's. Academy Sports and Outdoors sponsors a casting pond. There is a small kayaking pool, small mechanical bull riding, and a lot more to keep everyone busy throughout the day while the fishermen on on the lake for the tournament.
Lake Fork is located east of Dallas, just north of Tyler, between Interstate 20 and Interstate 20. The event is open to the public but tickets are required to be purchased. The event opened Friday, May 9th and will conclude the evening of Sunday, May 11th. IF you like to take short trips for your travel adventures, this is a good one to attend.