Competitors will take on Norfork Lake during the Toyota Bonus Bucks Bassmaster Team Championship held out of Mountain Home, Ark., Dec. 6-9.

Photo by B.A.S.S.

Nov. 30, 2017

Anglers Compete For Classic Berth In Upcoming Toyota Bonus Bucks Bassmaster Team Championship

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MOUNTAIN HOME, Ark. — Many anglers got their start in competitive fishing by teaming with a partner in local weekend events on their home lakes.

Team tournaments have always been known to be a lot of fun — and there have been times when these tournaments could be a good money-making venture. But only for the past four years have team events offered a path to the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods.

Founded in 2014, the Toyota Bonus Bucks Bassmaster Team Championship starts with the same simple concept as most team events around the country. Two partners fish for two days out of the same boat for bass that will go in the same livewell. The team with the heaviest total weight wins.

This year, the tournament will head to Mountain Home, Ark., Dec. 6-9 with competition on Norfork Lake.

After deciding a team champion on the final competition day, the six anglers from the Top 3 teams are sent back onto the lake for a two-day solo tournament. The winning individual earns a berth to the Classic.

The Team Championship is comprised of the top teams from organized tournament trails around the country. The trails must register with B.A.S.S. before the season.

The program has been a hit from the start — and has only gotten bigger. In 2014, 38 trails from around the country competed in the inaugural tournament. That number grew to 57 trails (with 11,866 members) in 2017, and the fourth annual Toyota Bonus Bucks Bassmaster Team Championship will draw more than 170 boats.

The winning team will take home the trophy and a Nitro Z20 boat powered by a Mercury 225 Pro XS with a Minn Kota trolling motor and Lowrance electronics valued at $41,995. In addition, teams finishing through 34th place will earn a check based on a 170-boat field.

B.A.S.S. officials expect continued growth for the Team Championship, as the event gives grass-roots anglers a chance to chase their dreams.

The 101 Boat Dock (565 Howard Cove Rd.) in Gamaliel will be the location for daily takeoffs at 6:45 a.m. CT, with weigh-ins following at 2:45 p.m.

The Mountain Home Area Chamber of Commerce is hosting the event.

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