UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Clear Lake

Toyota Series: Best Value in Fishing

Toyota Series: Best Value in Fishing

The anglers spoke, and FLW listened.

For 2020, FLW has partnered with Toyota to roll out a completely revamped Triple-A league known as the Toyota Series, with many enhancements over the previous FLW Series that were requested by competitors.

First and foremost, the Toyota Series offers pros and co-anglers one of the best values in competitive bass fishing, with more opportunities to win bass boats and cash prizes up to $235,000 than any other league, but with lower expenses to compete. It’s also the only regional circuit of its kind with a no-entry-fee world championship.

Anglers hoping to make it to the pro ranks also have more chances to qualify up through the Toyota Series than any other circuit, and they never have to leave their home region to do it.

So, no matter if your goal is to compete close to home for minimal expense, to qualify for the pro ranks, or to earn a shot at winning a bass boat or a six-figure payday, the Toyota Series might be the best fit for you in 2020.

Here’s what you need to know:

 

Toyota Series basics

The Toyota Series consists of eight divisions spread out across the country. Each division hosts three tournaments per season, and each tournament lasts three days. Top finishers in each division’s Strike King Angler of the Year and Co-angler of the Year standings qualify for the no-entry-fee Toyota Series Championship.

Pros and co-anglers share a boat during tournaments but compete in separate competitions. In each tournament, the entire field fishes for two days, with the top 10 pros and top 10 co-anglers qualifying for the final round. Winners are determined by three-day cumulative weight.

 

Invest less to fish

One of the hallmarks of the Toyota Series is the chance to fish for major payouts at every tournament, without having to shell out exorbitant entry fees and travel expenses over the course of a season.

The entry fees are $1,700 per tournament for pros and $550 per tournament for co-anglers.  

By expanding the Toyota Series from five divisions to eight in 2020, FLW was able to reduce the distance between venues, making it possible for competitors to fish an entire division with minimal travel expense and time off work in order to have an affordable shot at championship qualification. Some anglers could see nearly an 80-percent reduction in miles driven over the course of a season compared to other Triple-A leagues.

Anyone wanting to fish more than three events is most likely within a reasonable drive of some or all of another division’s scheduled lakes. You do not have to fish every tournament in a division in order to compete.

 

Take advantage of linking to make sure you get in

When registering for a Toyota Series tournament in 2020, FLW is now offering the option for a pro and co-angler to link together to guarantee their spots in the tournament. That means no more waitlists, and no more postponing your travel and tournament plans. If you link, you’re in.

Linking for the Toyota Series is similar to linking for Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine tournaments. When registering for a Toyota Series tournament, either online or over the phone, pros have the option to provide a link to a co-angler, and co-anglers have the option to provide a link to a pro. You’ll need to provide your linking partner’s name and FLW member ID at registration time. And the partner must not already be confirmed in the tournament.

Once your linking partner also registers and verifies your information as his or her link, you’ll both be confirmed for the tournament. If your partner drops out, however, you may lose your confirmed status if a replacement is not immediately available. 

Linked anglers do not compete together during the tournament. Linking is for entry only.

IMPORTANT: Any pro or co-angler currently on the waitlist for a 2020 Toyota Series event will get the first opportunity to take advantage of the new linking option. Those waitlisted anglers have until Feb. 12 to link up and guarantee a spot in the tournament. After Feb. 12, linking opens up to everyone.

Anglers who link will gain entry over people on the waitlist that do not link, so it pays to recruit a buddy to make sure you both get in.

 

Robert Kessler

Regular-season payouts include cash and Phoenix bass boats

Despite reducing entry fees in 2020, FLW increased payouts to Toyota Series anglers.

The maximum winning prize for pros at regular-season events, including a $35,000 FLW Phoenix Bonus for qualified anglers, ranges from $75,000 to $100,000, depending on field size and contingency eligibility. The winning co-angler at every tournament takes home a new-for-2020 Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat powered by a 115-hp Suzuki outboard worth $33,500, with a possible additional cash payout of up to $5,000 depending on field size.

Payouts at regular-season events extend down to 40th place for a 160-boat field. For every 20 additional boats that enter, the payouts increase and extend additional places, up to a max of 65th place for 260 boats. (see the complete payout table here)

 

Strike King Angler of the Year and Co-angler of the Year pay cash prizes, too

Strike King will reward the top pro and co-angler in every Toyota Series division’s standings with cash at the end of the season. Each Strike King Angler of the Year earns $5,000, while each Co-angler of the Year earns $2,000.

 

Record championship payouts in 2020

What might be the biggest carrot for Toyota Series anglers in 2020 is a record-setting payout at the Series’ world championship: a guaranteed $200,000 prize for the winning pro and a $33,500 Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat powered by a 115-hp Suzuki outboard for the winning co-angler.

That’s not all that’s at stake, however.

The highest-finishing pro from each division – a max of only 28 anglers per division – at the championship earns $10,000.

An upgraded roster of contingency programs also promises plenty of opportunity for Toyota Series anglers. For instance, the new FLW Phoenix Bonus pays an additional $35,000 to the winning pro if the pro meets the contingency standards, pumping the top award to an incredible $235,000.

 

How to make the championship

The championship field will consist of the top 25 pros and top 25 co-anglers from every division’s regular-season standings, top performers from FLW’s International Division, and a handful of qualifiers from other FLW circuits (complete details here).

New this year, FLW has added a “win-and-you’re-in” qualification route: If you win a regular-season Toyota Series tournament as a pro or co-angler and fish every regular-season event in that division, you automatically qualify for the championship. You are never more than one tournament away from punching your ticket to the Toyota Series Championship for a shot at winning as much as $235,000 as a pro or a brand-new Phoenix bass boat as a co-angler.

 

Qualify for the Pro Circuit and Bass Pro Tour

The Toyota Series is the qualification route to the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit and ultimately Major League Fishing’s no-entry-fee Bass Pro Tour.

The top five pros in the standings from each U.S. division of the 2020 Toyota Series qualify for the 2021 Pro Circuit. If a top-five pro declines his or her bid, the next eligible pro qualifies. This process continues through the top 10 pros in each U.S. division.

Following the 2021 season, 10 anglers will qualify from the Pro Circuit to compete on the Bass Pro Tour.

 

Kyle Wood

Be seen, build your career

The Toyota Series is a great place for budding stars to be seen by sponsors and fans in photo galleries and articles, regular social media posts to an audience of more than 1 million fans, and live tournament weigh-ins, which stream daily at FLWFishing.com.

Exposure increases at the Toyota Series Championship. The main event of the season will be broadcast on World Fishing Network and FLW’s YouTube channel.

 

Contingency opportunities still building

FLW and its partners are still adding contingency programs. To date, here are some of the best opportunities to earn more:

  • Toyota Bonus Bucks – Up to $1,500 for pros and $300 for co-anglers at regular-season events and $2,500 for pros and $500 for co-anglers at the championship. toyotatrucksbonusbucks.com
  • FLW Phoenix Bonus – Up to $35,000 for pros at all events. phoenixbassboats.com
  • Mercury Bonus Bucks – Up to $1,500 for pros at regular-season events and $2,500 for pros at the championship.
  • T-H Marine Atlas Awards – Up to $1,180 in cash or $2,800 in store credit at all events. thmarinesupplies.com
  • Power-Pole Captains Cash – $500 to a qualified pro at all events. power-pole.com
  • Berkley Cast for Cash – Up to $500 for pros and $200 for co-anglers at regular-season events and $1,000 for pros and $200 for co-anglers at the championship. berkley-fishing.com

GET REGISTERED: Contingency programs require anglers to register and follow specific guidelines in order to be eligible. Prizes vary based on the equipment used by participating anglers and where those anglers finish in the standings. Check respective FLW sponsor contingency websites (links above) for more information. You can also see a summary of all Toyota Series contingencies here.

 

Important links

Dardanelle Midday Update – Day 3

Dardanelle Midday Update – Day 3

Championship Saturday of the Toyota Series Plains Division opener at Lake Dardanelle presented by Fish-Intel followed its pattern of the week with anglers failing to capitalize on sparse opportunities. READ MORE »

Detroit River Midday Update – Day 3

Detroit River Midday Update – Day 3

With the wind laying down a bit, the top 10 anglers in the Toyota Series Northern Division event on the Detroit River have been able to go wherever they pleased today. With crisp morning temperatures, plenty of sun and a north wind, the conditions have largely been quite good, with mixed results from the anglers. READ MORE »

Dardanelle Midday Update – Day 2

Dardanelle Midday Update – Day 2

Anglers said Thursday that current didn’t matter during the first round of the Toyota Series Plains Division opener presented by Fish-Intel at Lake Dardanelle, but apparently it matters more than they thought. READ MORE »

Detroit River Midday Update – Day 2

Detroit River Midday Update – Day 2

With strong wind from the north again, the Toyota Series Northern Division field was again confined to the actual Detroit River. On day one, the fishing was quite good, and several pros crossed the 20-pound mark and plenty of limits hit the scales. Today, things seem a little tougher. READ MORE »

Tommy Skarlis, 1965-2020

Tommy Skarlis, 1965-2020

FLW learned today that former FLW Walleye pro Tommy Skarlis of Denver, Iowa, passed away after a battle with brain cancer. He was 55. READ MORE »

Smith Wins Southeastern AOY

Smith Wins Southeastern AOY

Originally from Wisconsin and sometimes wearing a Green Bay Packers hoodie on stage, Dustin Smith doesn’t fit the mold of Toyota Series Southeastern Division Strike King Angler of the Year. Still, Smith hammered out a pair of top 10s and a 27th-place showing en route to the title, and his style of fishing was simply perfect for this season in the Southeastern Division. READ MORE »

Potomac Midday Update – Day 3

Potomac Midday Update – Day 3

Clouds have lingered throughout the morning, which most of the top 10 were thankful for as the bite has been better than it was during practice when conditions were calm and sunny. READ MORE »

Potomac Midday Update – Day 2

Potomac Midday Update – Day 2

Clouds once again greeted the field for day two of the Toyota Series Eastern Division event on the Potomac River and the fish were biting this morning. With low tide this morning around 8:40 a.m. ET – about an hour and a half later than yesterday – more anglers had time to capitalize on the strong bite revolving around that window today. READ MORE »

Potomac Midday Update – Day 1

Potomac Midday Update – Day 1

It was a gloomy start to the first day of competition for the Toyota Series Eastern Division event on the Potomac River, and though it seems like a fishy day, so far the fish don’t seem to think so. READ MORE »

2021 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Schedule

2021 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Schedule

The 26th season of FLW’s top professional circuit will feature six regular-season tournaments showcasing the best 150 anglers in the world competing for as much as $135,000 in a five-biggest-fish format on top bass fisheries at peak times. The 2020 season culminates in the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit TITLE presented by Toyota, where the top 50 pros will compete for as much as $235,000 in a catch, weigh, immediate-release format. READ MORE »

Wheeler's Wheelhouse

Wheeler's Wheelhouse

The past 20 months of Jacob Wheeler’s fishing career have been nothing less than incredible. In 2020 alone, the MLF pro notched a Bass Pro Tour win on Lake Eufaula, an FLW Toyota Series victory on Pickwick Lake, and dominated the first-ever FLW Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament on Lake Chickamauga. READ MORE »

Ft. Gibson Midday Update – Day 3

Ft. Gibson Midday Update – Day 3

Cameron Foster began the final day of the 2020 FLW Toyota Series Southwest Division event at Fort Gibson Lake with an 11-pound lead. By 8:00 a.m., Foster had returned to the honey hole that brought him to pole position with $27,070 on the line for crossing the finish line. Thanks to a hot, early bite, Foster is now nursing a four fish total with at least one 4-pounder in the boat. READ MORE »

Ft. Gibson Midday Update – Day 2

Ft. Gibson Midday Update – Day 2

Competitors in the Toyota Series Southwestern Division event at Fort Gibson Lake awoke to a completely different waterway than the one they fished yesterday. While day one brought overcast skies and a bevy of baitfish to the surface, day two screamed bluebird skies from the start and has settled into a mostly sunny blanket of blue towards midday. READ MORE »

Fort Gibson Midday Update – Day 1

Fort Gibson Midday Update – Day 1

Day one of theToyota Series Southwestern Division event on Fort Gibson Lake is underway, as anglers largely from Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas and Texas battle it out over an extremely low fishery. The waters at Fort Gibson, a nearly 20,000-acre reservoir along the Grand River, are sitting some 4 feet below average lake levels. Many local anglers report having never seen conditions this low, as submerged houses and a cemetery threaten to peak above the surface in some areas. READ MORE »

2021 Toyota Series Schedule

2021 Toyota Series Schedule

Registration for the 2021 Toyota Series will open in early November. Rules and registration dates will be announced soon. READ MORE »

Top 20 Set for Knockout Round

Top 20 Set for Knockout Round

The official name of the competition round that played out Thursday on the fourth day of the Tackle Warehouse TITLE presented by Toyota is “Qualifying Round,” but in reality, the name “Back Against the Wall Round” is probably more fitting.   READ MORE »

Mitchell Tops 100 Pounds on Day 1

Mitchell Tops 100 Pounds on Day 1

When it all comes down to it, tournament bass fishing is all about the numbers at the end of the day. And when you look at the digits next to Kurt Mitchell’s name after the first 7 ½ hours of the Tackle Warehouse TITLE presented by Toyota, even a casual fan can decipher that Mitchell had an astoundingly good day. READ MORE »

Insiders Watch List

Insiders Watch List

We gathered together a few pundits to take some guesses at who might come out on top at the TITLE. READ MORE »

Announcing the TITLE Groups

Announcing the TITLE Groups

The final event of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit season, the Tackle Warehouse TITLE presented by Toyota, features the top 50 pros in the Angler of the Year standings. They’ll all compete next week at Sturgeon Bay for a guaranteed check and a $200,000 top prize. READ MORE »

How to Follow the Tackle Warehouse TITLE

How to Follow the Tackle Warehouse TITLE

Because the event is a truly combined MLF and FLW event, with MLF officials and SCORETRACKER updates, there are some changes from how you’d follow a regular-season Pro Circuit event. READ MORE »