Bassmaster Elite Series anglers Matt Arey and Brandon Lester have been added to the Toyota Motor North America bass fishing team, the company announced Tuesday.
Arey and Lester join mainstays Kevin VanDam, Mike Iaconelli, Terry Scroggins and Gerald Swindle, all of whom compete on the MLF Bass Pro Tour, on Team Toyota.
Arey, who passed his driver’s test 22 years ago in a Toyota truck, has won nearly $1 million during his fishing career, and qualified for 10 Forrest Wood Cups before joining the Bassmaster Elite Series this season.
“I passed my driver’s test in a 1993 four-wheel drive, extended cab, Toyota pick-up truck with BFG All Terrain tires on it," Arey said. "If you can’t tell that truck still means the world to me 22 years later.
“These days, I’m driving my fifth full-size Toyota Tundra,” he added. “It’s all about reliability. I’ve never had a mechanical issue with any of the five Tundras I’ve bought, and the Bonus Bucks program is a no-brainer if you’re a tournament fisherman.”
Lester has established himself as a consistent performer in the Elite Series as he's racked up 23 top-20 finishes and three Bassmaster Classic berths.
“I bought my first Tundra because I wanted to be eligible for Bonus Bucks, but it’s just a top-quality vehicle, and the huge 38-gallon fuel tank they have today is just awesome for those of us that tow a bass boat long distances,” Lester said. “Honestly, I’m both honored and humbled to be a part of Team Toyota because there’s no other company in the world that has done more to support bass fishing during the six years I’ve been a pro than Toyota."
“Toyota is proud to have two Bassmaster Elite Series pro anglers who have been long-time customers, and successful in the Bonus Bucks Program join the Toyota Fishing Team,” added Matt Ozawa, Engagement Marketing Manager, Toyota North America.