TTBC moving from Fork to Ray Roberts

STEVE KNIGHT/Staff Brent Ehrler won the 2015 Toyota Texas Bass Classic on Lake Fork. The 2016 tournament is moving to Lake Ray Roberts north of Dallas

After a two-year run at Lake Fork, the Toyota Texas Bass Classic is making a move to Lake Ray Roberts near Denton May 20-22. Weigh-in for the tournament will shift to Toyota Stadium in Frisco.

“We are looking forward to celebrating TTBC’s 10th Anniversary in the city of Frisco at Toyota Stadium,” said Lenny Francoeur, TTBC’s tournament director. “This world-class facility was built to host large scale events and will provide an amazing venue for TTBC fans and partners.”

Ray Roberts is a 26,500-acre lake located 10 miles north of Denton.

“The event will be held at Lake Ray Roberts, which is also a great bass fishery,” said Dave Terre, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s chief of management and research and a liaison to the tournament. “Also, I'm very excited about that because we have a great state park there too. We have the chance to introduce D-FW families to the outdoor opportunities at the park include fishing, camping and hiking.”

The current bass record at Ray Robert is a 15.18-pound fish caught in March. The lake has had six Toyota ShareLunker entries.

The TTBC is an invitation event open to the top ranking professional fishermen from B.A.S.S., the FLW Tour and the Professional Anglers Association.

The move is not unexpected. When the tournament has been held at Lake Fork it has been headquartered at the Sabine River Authority headquarters. The only parking and sites for and exhibition and concerts has been in a field. Heavy rains last year made parking impossible and force promoters to close all final-day activities to the public. Weather will not be an issue at Toyota Stadium, located some 25 miles south of the lake. Toyota Stadium, home of FC Dallas soccer team.

Toyota is also moving its U.S. headquarters to nearby Plano.

The Toyota Texas Bass Classic got its start at Lake Fork in 2007, but after the 2008 event it moved to Lake Conroe where it was held until 2014 when it moved back to Fork. In its first year back on Fork Huntington-based pro Keith Combs won the event for the third consecutive time with a professional tournament three-day record stringer of 110 pounds.

Even with heavy rain and high winds this spring, California pro Brent Ehrler won with 89 pounds, 12 ounces.

The annual tournament benefits Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Neighborhood Fishing Program. Each year the program has received $250,000 from Gulf States Toyota, which has underwritten the event since its beginning. In all the program has received $2.5 million in conjunction with the TTBC.

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