Bonus Bucks Owners Tourney Returned “Izzy” to his Toyota Roots

Israel “Izzy” Mills grew up near Beckley, WV sensing there might be a better quality of life beyond the coal mines of his home state. So when a job opportunity with the Army Corps of Engineers developed 13 hours away at Lake Ouachita, Arkansas, he set the hook, and now works proudly as a hydroelectrician, helping supply power to many portions of the Southwest.

He also sensed there might be a better brand of truck than what he currently owned after attending his first Toyota Bonus Bucks Owners event at Lake Norman in 2012 as a guest of his fishing buddy Joel, who was already a registered Bonus Bucks member.

“My dad has owned Toyotas since 1982, but I strayed for a number of years and drove other brands,” admits the 41-year-old.

“After a handful of failed transmissions and leaky rear seals, I got mad and started thinking Toyota might be a better option. And right about that same time, I went to that Bonus Bucks event at Lake Norman and saw how incredible Toyota treated all of us anglers, so I traded for a Tundra a few weeks later,” explains Mills, who served America for four years of active service in the U.S. Air Force, and three more years in the Army National Guard.

His satisfaction with his first Tundra was so immediate, he went out and bought a second Tundra for his wife Frankie Jo, and has since traded for a newer 2017 Tundra for himself, and a 2018 Camry for her.

“I love Toyota’s dependability, and I love their towing power. It’s as though a Tundra was born to tow a bass boat,” says Mills, who cashed a number of Toyota Bonus Bucks checks by doing well in the Arkie division of the BFL league, as well as the Arkansas Bass Team Trail.

Not only has the Mills family returned to Izzy’s dad’s longtime loyal roots to Toyota, but they’ve also become consistent competitors in the annual Toyota Bonus Bucks Owners event, ever since “Izzy” first competed as a guest at Lake Norman six years ago.

“This year, I’m bringing my 13-year-old son Jacob to the Bonus Bucks Owners Event at Table Rock in October. He’s just getting into bass fishing, and it will provide him a chance to meet all the Toyota pros he watches on TV, as well as to see how the bigger tournaments I compete in work,” says Mills.

While “Izzy” says many of his favorite days of bass fishing take place in the winter, throwing a heavy jig to deep brushpiles on Lake Ouachita, his son Jacob is pretty fond of a Rat-L-Trap.

On October 28th, the father and son team hopes to do well on Table Rock at the 7th Annual Toyota Bonus Bucks Owners event, but one thing’s for certain, their loyalty to Toyota is sure to continue running deeper than a West Virginia coal mine.

To register or learn more about Toyota Bonus Bucks and the 7th Annual Toyota Bonus Bucks Owners Tournament on Table Rock Lake in October, visit; call Kendell at (918) 742-6424, or send her an email to

Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest Tournament To Be Held On ‘Bucket-List’ Lake

Texas angler Keith Combs won the 2014 Toyota Texas Bass Classic on Lake Fork with giant limits of bass. Combs and other Bassmaster Elite Series anglers will return to Texas’ legendary trophy lake in May 2019 for the Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest benefiting Texas Parks and Wildlife.
                                                                                                         Photos courtesy of Gabe Roux, Toyota Texas Bass Classic

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Giant bass and record-breaking limits are predicted for the third Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest benefiting Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to be held next spring on the legendary Lake Fork near Emory, Texas, B.A.S.S. announced today.

The tournament will pay $1 million to the top-ranked professional anglers competing in the event, including a Toyota Tundra pickup truck awarded to the one who weighs in the heaviest bass of the event.

The event is one of nine regular-season tournaments in 2019 in the Bassmaster Elite Series, the world’s most prestigious professional bass fishing circuit. It will be held May 2-6 on the 27,000-acre east Texas impoundment of the Sabine River.

“Fishing could be off the charts at that time,” said Dave Terre, chief of Inland Fisheries Management and Research for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

Terre noted that Texas Fest is being held at approximately the same time as the 2014 Toyota Texas Bass Classic event — a predecessor of Texas Fest — that established catch records for bass tournaments. Keith Combs of Huntington, Texas, won that event with a three-day, 15-bass total of 110 pounds.

“To get 100 pounds in four days is a major accomplishment, and to do it in three is unheard of,” said Combs. “It’s nothing about the angler, but it’s a testament to this lake.”

Stetson Blaylock, who, like Combs, is an Elite Series angler, also joined the Century Club in that event with 102-8. In addition, Combs weighed in a 42-pound limit of five bass one of the days, and his catch included a 10-14 largemouth.

“This outstanding bass fishery is the result of progressive fisheries management practices by TPWD and its partners over the past 38 years,” Terre added. “The opportunity to showcase this world-class bass fishery on the Bassmaster stage, with a special tournament format we helped create, is something really special.”

Lake Fork would not be suitable for a traditional bass tournament because of its restrictive slot limit, which requires anglers to release bass between 16 inches and 24 inches in length and limits them to only one bass per day more than 24 inches long.

“To comply with the slot limit regulation and to minimize handling stress on bass, TPWD will work with B.A.S.S. to use the ‘catch-weigh-immediate release’ tournament format that was originally born at the Toyota Texas Bass Classic at Lake Fork in 2007,” said Terre. “I think we could see record-setting catches of giant-size bass in 2019. These are the fish that have made Lake Fork a top destination for bass fishing for decades.”

Under the format, which was also used in previous Texas Fest events at Sam Rayburn Reservoir and Lake Travis, a judge in each competitor’s boat weighs and records the official weight of each bass caught. All bass are immediately released except for one fish over the slot, which can be taken back to the Texas Fest weigh-in stage to show off to fans.

“B.A.S.S. and the Bassmaster Elite Series anglers have long wanted to conduct an Elite event on Lake Fork, which is a bucket-list fishery for bass anglers worldwide,” said Bruce Akin, CEO of the 500,000-member B.A.S.S. organization. “The innovative catch-weigh-release format — along with the support of Gulf States Toyota, Texas Parks and Wildlife and the family of B.A.S.S. sponsors — enables us to finally show what Lake Fork is capable of producing. We can’t wait to go there.”

“We are proud to once again present the 2019 Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest benefiting Texas Parks and Wildlife, which showcases the great Texas outdoors,” said Cindy Hamrick, Gulf States Toyota’s vice president of marketing.  “Our continued partnership with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department allows them to offer the Toyota ShareLunker Program and a number of youth and urban outreach programs.”

The full field of Elite Series anglers, who must earn the right to compete on the circuit through the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Opens and other qualifying events, will fish Thursday and Friday, May 2-3, to accumulate the heaviest five-bass daily limits. Anglers will take a break on Saturday, May 4, for a special Fan Appreciation Day festivities, including Bassmaster University seminars, the Bassmaster Outdoors Expo and the annual Bassmaster High School All-American Fishing Team Tournament. Top-ranked anglers after two competition days will fish Fork in the semifinal round on Sunday, May 5, and the Top 12 will compete on Championship Monday, May 6.

Impounded in 1980, Fork holds the state bass record of 18.18 pounds, and it produced 30 of Texas’ Top 50 largemouth bass and seven of the Top 10. It dominates the list of Texas lakes that have produced 13-pound “Legacy” bass entered in the Toyota ShareLunker program. Including three giants this spring, Fork has yielded 260 “teen” bass over the years, or 45 percent of the total ShareLunker Legacy entries statewide.

“Lake Fork is world-renowned for its record-breaking fishing,” noted Micheal Rogge, president of the Lake Fork Area Chamber of Commerce. “And Bassmaster is world-renowned for its elite fishing competitors. It is only fitting that these two giants come together for a classic fishing event.

“A coalition of community organizations is proud to have the opportunity to host such a premier event as the Bassmaster Elite Series Tournament benefiting Texas Parks and Wildlife, which has committed so much time and resources to Lake Fork to make it what it is today. Lake Fork is the destination for fishermen from all over the world because of their efforts. All we can say is, ‘Welcome to Lake Fork, Bassmaster, Toyota and Texas Parks and Wildlife.’”

In addition to the Lake Fork Chamber, the Wood County Industrial Commission and Emory, TX Tourism are hosting the Texas Fest event.

The event will be covered in real time on Bassmaster LIVE programming on and WatchESPN and in a special episode of The Bassmasters television program to be aired later on ESPN2 and ESPN Classic.

About B.A.S.S.
B.A.S.S. is the worldwide authority on bass fishing and keeper of the culture of the sport, providing cutting edge content on bass fishing whenever, wherever and however bass fishing fans want to use it. Headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., the 500,000-member organization’s fully integrated media platforms include the industry’s leading magazines (Bassmaster and B.A.S.S. Times), website (, television show (The Bassmasters on ESPN2), radio show (Bassmaster Radio), social media programs and events. For 50 years, B.A.S.S. has been dedicated to access, conservation and youth fishing.

The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the most prestigious events at each level of competition, including the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Open Series, Academy Sports + Outdoors B.A.S.S. Nation Series presented by Magellan Outdoors, Carhartt Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops, Mossy Oak Fishing Bassmaster High School Series presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods, Bassmaster Team Championship and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods.

California’s Prop 65 Compliance Deadline Applies to You

California’s Proposition 65 Labeling Requirements Change on August 30, 2018

Many sportfishing products contain chemicals that require consumer warnings under California’s Proposition 65.

In 2016, California enacted regulations changing “safe harbor” labeling requirements and imposing new obligations to warn. The compliance deadline is August 30, 2018 and applies to all goods manufactured on or after that date.

In addition to the change in warning language, notices must be product specific. Some products will be adequately labeled by the manufacturer, but bulk and repackaged products will need warning provided by the retailer.


For Manufacturers and Importers
Products manufactured on or after August 30, 2018 must include warnings with specific triangle graphic and language. For bulk and/or unlabeled products, you must provide instructions and language to downstream merchants. There are detailed requirements for font size and, potentially, for multilingual warning language.

Online, Catalog and All Other Retailers
Warning requirements now apply to you. You must provide consumers with product specific warning language before purchase.

Proposition 65 Information/Instructions for ASA Members
Specific information about Prop 65 is available for ASA’s members in the online Member Resource Center under Advocacy & Policy. Prop 65 information resources include a recorded webinar and FAQs.

Detailed compliance requirements are available from a variety of sources, including the American Sportfishing Association’s (ASA) website. ASA has held seminars and webinars over the past two years.

Additional Information Regarding Legal Guidance
The ASA Members’ website also includes the names and contact information of several law firms/attorneys with expertise in Proposition 65 issues and law.

You must be an ASA member to access these resources.

Please contact ASA Membership Director Kirk Ross, at or 703-519-9691, x234, for more information about membership.

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