BENTON, Ky. (Aug. 22, 2011) – Led by PAA Angler of the Year Todd Auten of South Carolina, 15 PAA Tournament Series pros have qualified for the fifth annual Toyota Texas Bass Classic world championship.
The 15 anglers will receive invitations to the TTBC, which is Oct. 28-30 on Lake Conroe in Conroe, Texas. The anglers will have two weeks to accept or decline their berth. If any decline, the next angler in the Tournament Series point standings will be invited until the field is completed.
Defending champion Brian Snowden of Missouri and four sponsor invitees will join the 15 Bassmaster Elite Series and 15 FLW Tour anglers who accepted invitations for a week of fun and competitive action on Lake Conroe. Following three days of practice, the pros will participate in the U.S. Reel Pro-Am on Oct. 27 and then begin competition the following morning.
“We’re treated like professional golfers when we’re there,” said Auten, who secured the PAA Angler of the Year title last weekend on Neely Henry Lake in Alabama. “I think the TTBC is run very well and very professionally.
“It’s a different kind of tournament. I wouldn’t say that it’s low-key, but it’s fun and comfortable fishing that kind of tournament. You qualify to get into it, there’s no entry fee and everyone in it wants to win. It’s a fun week and competitive event.”
The qualifying Tournament Series anglers who will receive invitations: Todd Auten, South Carolina; Mike McClelland, Arkansas; Takahiro Omori, Texas; Chad Morgenthaler, Illinois; Gary Yamamoto, Texas; Derek Remitz, Alabama; Tommy Biffle, Oklahoma; Terry Butcher, Oklahoma; Cody Bird, Texas; Brian Travis, North Carolina; Chris Brasher, Texas; Shane Long, Missouri; Gary Clouse, Tennessee; James Watson, Missouri; Harold Allen, Texas.
The TTBC will pay out more $420,000 in cash and prizes, with the winner receiving $100,000 and a Legend boat with an Evinrude E-TEC engine. Fans will be treated to three days of fun at the Lone Star Expo & Convention Center, with numerous vendors featuring hands-on exhibits, food, beverages and nightly concerts from Billy Currington, Pat Green and Robert Earl Keen.
“One of my goals going into the final (PAA) tournament was making sure I qualified for the TTBC,” said Mike McClelland of Arkansas, who was runner-up to Auten in the Angler of the Year race. “I think it’s a cool tournament and I’m really looking forward to it.”
Auten said Lake Conroe provides a challenge for the field and could have an extra twist this year if water levels are low. Drought conditions and a drawdown of water from Conroe into Lake Houston could alter his plans to fish shallow.
“Usually when water level is around the docks there’s plenty for me to fish along the shoreline,” Auten said. “But with the low lake conditions, you’ll have to focus more on offshore stuff and brushpiles. I think it’ll fish totally different and smaller, and for someone who fishes shallow it’ll be different. I’ve never been one to find something and just camp out, so it’ll be interesting to see what we have when we get to Conroe.”
For more information about tickets, sponsorship or vendor opportunities with the TTBC,
About the PAA
The Professional Anglers Association is a non-profit organization that gives
professional anglers a unified voice in order to aid in the growth of the
sport of professional bass fishing. The PAA also aims to administer
educational programs to the average angler, to increase enjoyment of the
sport, and to embrace sound conservation practices to further the future of
the sport. Web: www.FishPAA.com
2011 PAA Tournament Series Premier Sponsors: Bass Pro Shops, E21 Carrot
Stix, Optima Batteries, Nitro Performance Bass Boats
2011 PAA Tournament Series Associate Sponsors: Lazer TroKar, Jasper Engines
& Transmissions, Mercury Marine, Boat U.S. Foundation, Fishouflage, U.S.
Reel, Sign Designs, Toyota Texas Bass Classic