Classic Berth, Big Payday on the Line at Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest

Classic Berth, Big Payday on the Line at Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest
Classic Berth, Big Payday on the Line at Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest, stories, tournament news, Mike Iaconelli

The winner will be awarded an automatic berth to the 2019 Bassmaster Classic

There is certainly no shortage of storylines for this year’s Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest benefiting Texas Parks and Wildlife Department on Lake Travis.

The tournament, which is scheduled for May 17-20 with daily takeoffs from Jones Brothers Park at 6:15 a.m. CT and weigh-ins back at the park each day at 3 p.m., features a total purse of $1 million, with $100,000 going to the winner.

It’s the only regular-season Elite Series event this year that will feature a catch-weigh-release format, where fish are weighed by an onboard judge and immediately released without ever going into a livewell.

It’s also the only regular-season Elite Series tournament that will award an automatic berth to the 2019 Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods – and that’s the part that has New Jersey star Michael Iaconelli’s attention.


“It’s nice that this tournament creates another spot for the Elites in the Classic,” said Iaconelli, who has qualified for the Super Bowl of Bass Fishing 17 straight times. “It gives you a little extra motivation. If I make it, I can take it easy the rest of the year.”


The automatic Classic berth will be especially important to Iaconelli this year since he plans to skip the Elite Series event scheduled for June 7-10 on the Sabine River in Orange, Texas.


The tournament was originally scheduled for April, but heavy flooding in the region forced a postponement — and Iaconelli already has television obligations planned for the new dates.

“Missing Orange, this will be only chance I have to keep my Classic streak alive,” he said. “That’s all the motivation anyone should need.”

With this being the first visit to Lake Travis for B.A.S.S., many of the 108 pros on the Elite Series will be seeing the fishery for the first time.


Iaconelli said he finds that aspect exciting as well.

“I didn’t practice there before it went off-limits,” he said. “I’ve never even laid eyes on the fishery. Guys are going to discover some things at Travis. You’ll see patterns used that you haven’t seen in a long time – or maybe ever before.”

One Elite Series pro who has fished Lake Travis is Oklahoma resident Jeff Kriet.


He won an FLW Texas Tournament Trail (TTT) event on the lake in May 2004.

“I like it,” Kriet said of the 29,160-acre impoundment on the Colorado River. “It’s full of bass and fishes just the way I like to fish. It’s a deep, clear lake – and that’s what I like.”

After Kriet’s victory in the TTT event, Lake Travis stayed well below full pool for an extended period. That low water level allowed vegetation to grow up around the shoreline – and since the lake is now full again, that vegetation could create new opportunities for anglers.

“I think guys will catch them a lot of different ways, including flipping,” Kriet said. “The lake is in really good shape.”

Alton Jones, a Texas pro who also has some experience on Lake Travis, agreed.

“During the last decade or so, they’ve put Florida bass in it,” Jones said. “The lake level has been higher, and that’s improved the spawn.

“It’s not the kind of Texas fishery we’re used to – like Toledo Bend or a Sam Rayburn or a Lake Fork. It’s very deep, very clear water.”

Jones said the typical seasonal patterns – like crankbaits, Carolina-rigged plastics and jigs – will likely come into play. He also said the morning topwater bite could be solid, even though the annual shad spawn, which promotes early-morning feeding along the shoreline, is just about over.

“There are some really big fish in the lake,” Jones said. “I don’t think we’ll see lots of guys bringing in stringers of big fish. But there will be some big ones caught – and when you do catch a big one, it will go a long way.”

The Bassmaster Elite Series Outdoors Expo will take place at the park on Saturday and Sunday. The event will feature boat demo rides, an aquarium, free prizes and the latest fishing products on the market. The fan-favorite kid’s area, Bassmaster Get Hooked on Fishing presented by Toyota and Shakespeare, will also include catfish-casting ponds and a chance to meet the pros. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Outdoor Adventures Area will welcome visitors of all ages to try out archery, learn ways to contribute to conservation and participate in other fun outdoor activities.

Also taking place on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., is Bassmaster University. Bassmaster Elite Series pros will be teaching seminars at the park on a variety of topics related to fishing including techniques, gear, electronics and more. All activities are free and open to the public.

Visit Bassmaster.com for more information.

Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

Recommended for You

Experts agree record channel cat caught in 1949 was actually a blue catfish. Records

Upon Further Review: 70-Year-Old Catfish Record Voided

G&F Online Staff - May 22, 2019

Experts agree record channel cat caught in 1949 was actually a blue catfish.

Try these tips to improve your wild boar hunting skill set. Hogs

Quick Tips: How to Spot and Stalk a Hog

Ian Nance - May 28, 2019

Try these tips to improve your wild boar hunting skill set.

The Pennsylvania man's trophy fish was more than two pounds heavier than the previous record. Records

No Kidding: Angler Smashes Record for Lake Trout

Scott Bernarde - May 21, 2019

The Pennsylvania man's trophy fish was more than two pounds heavier than the previous record.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Minn Kota's Brad Henry shows OSG's Lynn Burkhead that there's much to like in the new Minn Kota Riptide Terrova saltwater trolling motor that comes with I-Pilot and an 87-inch shaft.

BPT Points Champ Edwin Evers Talks New Berkley Baits

BPT Points Champ Edwin Evers Talks New Berkley Baits

After making the switch to Berkley products heading into the inaugural BPT season, Edwin Evers tells OSG's Lynn Burkhead why Berkley baits played such a key role in his recent angling success.

New Abu Garcia Baitcasting Reels

New Abu Garcia Baitcasting Reels

In the booth of one of fishing's all-time great reel makers, Outdoor Sportsman Group writer Lynn Burkhead and Andrew Wheeler of Pure Fishing discuss one of the brand new baitcasting reels from Abu Garcia being released at ICAST 2019.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

While catfish are still catfish, the difference between day and night tactics and strategies can be profound, even when fishing the same lake or river. Catfish

How to Catch Catfish Day and Night

Terry Madewell - April 04, 2018

While catfish are still catfish, the difference between day and night tactics and strategies...

Want to test the outer limits of your shooting skill? There's more to successful long-range Ammo

10 Best Long-Range Cartridges Ever Made

David Hart - January 14, 2015

Want to test the outer limits of your shooting skill? There's more to successful long-range

          From Monksville Reservoir to Union Lake, plus five other picks, here's where you'll find Bass

7 Best Bets For New Jersey Largemouth Bass

October 04, 2010

From Monksville Reservoir to Union Lake, plus five other picks, here's where you'll...

See More Stories

More News

Adam Heggenstaller takes over after 14 years with NRA Publications. News

Game & Fish Magazine Names New Editorial Director

G&F Online Staff - May 23, 2019

Adam Heggenstaller takes over after 14 years with NRA Publications.

The lake trout caught on Lake Champlain was quite a sight. News

Fish with ‘Two Mouths' Goes Viral

G&F Online Staff - August 22, 2019

The lake trout caught on Lake Champlain was quite a sight.

Jeff Kolodzinski attempted to break his own 24-hour world record for most fish caught. News

Did 'Marathon Man' Break His Own World Record?

Lynn Burkhead - September 10, 2018

Jeff Kolodzinski attempted to break his own 24-hour world record for most fish caught.

See More News

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.