Staff Photo By Patti Sells
The games were on this weekend during the 2nd Annual Toyota Texas Bass Classic held at the Sabine Valley River Authority on Lake Fork. The fishing tournament drew a crowd of thousands who enjoyed seeing the pros reel 'em in and listening to country music entertainment by good old boys like Trace Adkins (above).
Crowd Photo Courtesy of Ben Scarborough

Bass Classic draws thousands to Lake Fork

PATTI SELLS, News-Telegram Feature Writer

April 21, 2008 - Thousands turned out this weekend for the 2nd Annual Toyota Texas Bass Classic on Lake Fork, a three-day fishing tournament which included two days of world class country music entertainment performed by favorites such as Trace Adkins.

Adkins entertained fans Saturday with favorites such as "I've Got My Game On" and his hip-hop "Honky-Tonk Badonkadonk" which reached number two on the US Country Billboard chart.

Mineola native Kacey Musgraves, whose career was launched when she became a finalist on USA Network's Nashville Star, kicked off the concert Saturday afternoon.

Taking the stage on Sunday were Roger Creager and Robert Earl Keen, both from Houston. Creager was named Entertainer of the Year at the Texas Music Awards in 2001. Keen, considered one of traditional country's all time greats, has recorded 14 albums.

The fishing tournament, which began Friday, April 18, appealed to young and old spectators alike with continuous activities and vendor exhibits displaying the latest and greatest in boating, fishing and outdoor equipment. Professional anglers also took turns signing autographs much to the excitement of fishing fans.

Contest standings were announced regularly throughout the day, with weigh-ins in both the morning and afternoon.

Over the course of the three day tourney, 581 fish weighing in at a total of 2,141 pounds were caught by the more than 100 anglers making up 26 teams of four.

The competition came down to the top five on Sunday, April 20, and included teams 8, 9, 16, 17 and team 20, captained by Kelly Jordon, a Lake Fork fishing guide. Jordon and team members Lance Vick, David Smith and David Walker ended up winning the first place prize of $250,000 with 54 fish which weighed in at 228 pounds.

Team 9, captained by Bobby Lane, came in second with 48 fish, which weighed in at 219 pounds and 12 ounces. Team 16, captained by Chad Morganthaler, had 50 fish for a total of 183 pounds. Fourth went to Team 8, captained by Terry Scroggins; they brought in 51 fish for a total of 180 pounds and four ounces. Fifth place went to Team 17, captained by Mike Iaconelli, with 37 fish and 146 pounds.

The Toyota Texas Bass Classic paid out $750,000 with an additional donation of $250,000 given to the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department. The tournament was sanctioned by the Professional Anglers Association (PAA).

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