Hardin County hosting Toyota Series Championship fishing tournament on Pickwick Lake, Oct. 28-30
The 2021 Toyota Series Championship Presented by Guaranteed Rate at Pickwick Lake is coming to the Counce-Pickwick area Oct. 28-30, where some of the nation’s best bass-fishing pros and top international anglers will compete for up to $235,000 cash.
Hosted by the Hardin County Convention and Visitors Bureau, the three-day, no-entry-fee event is the culmination of the 2021 Toyota Series Presented by A.R.E. season, a six-division circuit that paves a path to the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit and ultimately the Bass Pro Tour.
“We are thrilled to welcome anglers who qualified for the 2021 Toyota Series Championship on Pickwick Lake and to display the scenic outdoor lifestyle and rich history of our area,” said Hardin County Tourism Director Beth Pippin. “Hardin County is well-known for our world-class smallmouth fishing and the consistency and reliability we bring to sportsmen, both on and off the water. We feel honored to continue our partnership with Major League Fishing by hosting this championship and are looking forward to a fantastic week.”
Pro Jimmy Washam of Covington, Tennessee, said he felt fortunate to be fishing the championship on his home lake and is excited to see how the tournament unfolds.
“There’s not as much vegetation on Pickwick Lake as we normally have this time of year, and the fish haven’t made a push to the bank yet,” said Washam. “However, the cooler weather coming in should help them get out of suspension mode and start biting. The bigger fish are already getting easier to catch, and we should see a lot of healthy fish in the 3- to 4-pound class, so it’s setting up to be a fun event.
“I expect to see some junk fishing, but I think moving baits will play a big role with the cooler weather and cooler water temperatures, and fish should really start keying in on bait. Depending on what type of water release schedule we have, there will be some traditional tail water baits in play, but I expect there to be a surface bite and a pretty good moving bait bite that will either be full-blown or will develop throughout the event.”
Washam said he anticipates it will take an average of 19 pounds per day to win the championship, and approximately 17-1/2 pounds per day to get into the Top 10.
“I’m planning to enjoy myself at this event because there’s no stress for me – whether I finish first or last, I’ve had a great year, and I couldn’t be more thankful for it,” said Washam, who won the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit TITLE Championship in August, taking home the TITLE belt and $200,000 cash. “The TITLE win was amazing, but my family wasn’t with me, so I’m excited to have my wife and my son and a lot of friends from the Memphis area at this event.”
The Toyota Series Championship at Pickwick Lake marks the third time Washam has qualified for the championship in the five years he has fished the Toyota Series Presented by A.R.E.
Anglers will take off daily at 7 a.m. from Pickwick Landing State Park. Weigh-ins will also be held at the park starting at at 3:15 p.m. Outdoor vendors will be onsite prior to weigh-ins Thursday and Friday from 1-3 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Fans can attend the event or watch online through the “MLF Live” weigh-in broadcasts and daily coverage at MajorLeagueFishing.com.
The full field of anglers will compete on Days 1 and 2 of the event, with the top 10 pros and top 10 Strike King co-anglers based on cumulative weight from the first two days continuing to the third and final day. The 2021 Toyota Series champions will be determined by the heaviest three-day total weight.
Pros and co-anglers can qualify for multiple contingency awards based on final standings in the championship, including the $35,000 Phoenix MLF Bonus for pros. The winning Strike King co-angler will earn a new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat with a 115-horsepower Mercury outboard motor.
I’ll be glad when all these tournaments are over for the year. I know it brings in money but, Pickwick has been pounded for the last two years. It needs a year off to recover from the pounding. I’m sure Asian carp will fix most of the problem in the near future. Dang, the bass fisherman’s are ruthless fellows.