The 2020 Toyota Series Eastern Division will wrap up their season with a tournament next week in Huntersville, North Carolina, Oct. 1-3, with the Toyota Series at Lake Norman. Hosted by Visit Lake Norman, Charlotte & Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation, the three-day tournament will feature the region’s best bass-fishing pros and co-anglers casting for a top prize of up to $65,000, plus a $35,000 bonus if the winner is a qualified Phoenix Boat owner.
“Everyone is going to catch a lot of fish and this is going to be a good tournament,” said Bass Pro Tour angler Bryan Thrift of Shelby, North Carolina, who has five top-10 finishes – two wins – on Lake Norman in FLW competition. “I was looking at the long-range forecast, and it’s supposed to cool off considerably. Like down into the 40s at night. That’s going to get them moving and make the shallow bite turn on real good.
“That’s what makes Norman such a fun tournament lake, though, is guys can catch them on pretty much anything that they want to throw,” Thrift continued. “Shallow topwater is going to be strong – buzzbaits, walking baits – I’m going to have a Damiki Rambler tied on, and I’m sure that we’ll see lots of Whopper Ploppers – but plenty of guys will be catching them out deep with drop-shot rigs, as well. We’re going to have to run everything, and fish different stuff every day.”
When asked for a weight prediction, Thrift mentioned that the winning weight will be largely determined by the weather.
“I think if you can catch 12½ to 14 pounds a day, you’ll be right there at the end,” Thrift went on to say. “I think the winner will have something like 37 to 40 pounds. If you catch that and don’t win, you didn’t do anything wrong. You just got beat.”
Anglers will take off daily at 7 a.m. EDT from the Blythe Landing Park at 15901 N.C. Highway 73 in Huntersville. Weigh-ins will also be held at the park and will begin at 3 p.m. Attendance is limited to competing anglers and essential staff only. Fans are encouraged to follow the event online through the “FLW Live” weigh-in broadcasts and daily coverage at FLWFishing.com.
In regular-season competition, payouts are based on the number of participants competing in the event, scaling up for every 20 boats over 160 and scaling down for every boat below 160. With a 160-boat field, pros fish for a top prize of $40,000, plus an extra $35,000 if FLW PHOENIX BONUS qualified. Co-anglers cast for the top prize of a new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat with a 115-horsepower outboard (valued at $33,500). With a 260-boat field, pros fish for a top award of $65,000, plus an extra $35,000 if FLW PHOENIX BONUS qualified. Co-anglers cast for the top prize of a new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat with a 115-horsepower outboard (valued at $33,500) plus $5,000 cash.
The Series consists of eight divisions – Central, Eastern, Northern, Plains, Southeastern, Southern, Southwestern and Western – each holding three regular-season events, along with the International division. Anglers who fish all three qualifiers in any of the eight divisions and finish in the top 25 will qualify for the no-entry-fee Toyota Series Championship for a shot at winning $235,000 cash, including a $35,000 FLW PHOENIX Bonus for qualified anglers. The winning co-angler at the championship earns a new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat with a 115-horsepower outboard. The 2020 Toyota Series Championship will be held Dec. 3-5 on Lake Cumberland in Burnside, Kentucky, and is hosted by the Somerset Tourist & Convention Commission and the Burnside Tourism Commission.
For complete details and updated information visit FLWFishing.com.