Toyota has just the place for Texas fishing families to go this weekend - the Seventh Annual Toyota Texas Bass Classic (TTBC) that kicked off on Oct. 3 with the TTBC Media day where JC Fassino, president of the Texas Bass Classic Foundation, presented Dave Terre, Chief of Management and Research, Texas Parks and Wildlife (TPWD), a $250,000 check to support their programs that introduce urban youth to the fishing experience in Texas.
The event is being held again at Lake Conroe, just north of Houston, on the lake with related family adventure activities at the Conroe Convention Center nearby.
Since its inception, the Texas Bass Classic Foundation, through the TTBC event, has raised and delivered to the TPWD $1.750 million that has enabled outdoor experience programs and the stocking of 15 urban area lakes in Texas for young people to learn about and experience fishing as a recreational pastime.
This annual event also calls attention to the importance of recreational fishing in Texas where over 1.850 million anglers take to the lakes and shores of Texas every year in search of the great catch that is out there with that next cast.
This year, not only is there the world-class championship bass fishing to watch and enjoy on the lake, there is also a huge array of family activities, food and music for the family to enjoy Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Conroe Convention Center and - best of all - the event is free.
With the event being sponsored by Toyota through their distributor Gulf States Toyota, there will be the opportunity to drive new Toyota vehicles including the all new 2014 Toyota Tundra pickup truck at the Toyota Drive Center.
This includes driving the new bold and powerful 2014 Tundra on the nearby off road test track. We took an advance look at the off road course on Thursday as the Toyota team finished up digging the holes, building the hills, tossing down the logs and filling the pit with enough water to make a really good mud slurry.
We are test driving a brand new factory fresh 2014 Toyota Tundra Limited edition this week with 4WD powered by the big 5.7L V8 and equipped with the tow package. We really wanted to get this baby out on that course. But they were not done building it yet, so we weren't able to get our test truck onto that track and into the mud pit.
However, you can get out there in one of theirs and try it in the mud just by going to the Toyota Texas Bass Classic and stopping at the Toyota Drive Center this weekend.
Other family activities (besides cheering on your favorite bass fisherman) include:
Bass Pro Shop Kids Zone - where even more activities are available for kids this year including an inflatable obstacle course and Velcro climbing wall, BB gun shooting range, kayak pool and the always popular mechanical bull riding.
Wake Rail Demonstrations - are new for this year and will be done in two 1,200 foot wake rail pools where pro wakeboard riders will perform trick demonstrations.
Yamaha Test Track - is a good stop when taking a break from driving Toyotas, where you and the family can test various Yamaha ATVs on a 25,000 foot test track full of obstacles to test their capability and your riding skills.
When you get hungry, you can visit the Food Truck Court where several local food trucks will be serving including Papa John's, Holmes Smokehouse, Koagie Hots, Custom confections and more.
For a real food treat, you need to visit the BBQ Cook-off where over 50 teams will compete in this second annual event to use their secret recipes to serve up an abundance of ribs, brisket and chicken.
Last, but not least, is the Texas Parks and Wildlife Outdoor Adventures Area that features a wide range of activities that emphasize youth fishing programs across Texas that expose children in urban areas to the world of angling in Texas. Activities will include archery, a rock climbing wall and a kids casting challenge among a host of outdoor-themed educational and interactive exhibits.
Six of the top anglers were on hand for Media Day including Kevin VanDam, Terry Scroggins, Kelly Jordon, Bryan Thrift, Randall Tharp, and Shinichi Fukae - all speaking to the media about lake conditions, the competition, and fishing Lake Conroe.
When asked about Lake Conroe, Kevin VanDam commented, “Probably the toughest thing about this event is the lake itself. Conroe this time of year is a challenge with the way the fish move around during the summer-to-fall transition where you’ve got to make better decisions, you’ve really got to figure out what’s going on quick and adapt to every single day. That’s what makes all these guys (the competition) good; they’re at the top of their game to do that.”
The seventh annual Toyota Texas Bass Classic starts Friday morning (Oct. 4) with some indications of those transition weather changes that could impact the fishing conditions each day through the weekend.
The water level is currently down about three and a half feet below full pool and affects the anglers in terms of what habitat is available to actually fish. The water level is similar to last year, and better than 2011, when Lake Conroe was ten feet low.
With cooler nights predicted over the next several days the surface temperature of the lake will start to cool, and once that happens shad species will move to shallower water and predator fish like bass will follow.
Look for the fishing to be good this weekend as you bring the family out to enjoy all of the activities at the Toyota Texas Bass Classic at Lake Conroe including driving the new Toyota Tundra 4WD pickup on the off road course at the Toyota Drive Center.
Make a point to look for the new luxury level 2014 Toyota Tundra 1794. Look inside and see what they have done - it says Texas all through it.
And take special note of how many ways you see that the bass fisherman have wrapped their Toyota Tundras for towing a competition bass boat.