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Co-worker’s crankbait keys Bonus Bucks victory

Co-worker’s crankbait keys Bonus Bucks victory

(Editor's note: Alan McGuckin of Dynamic Sponsorships provided this wrap-up of the 10th annual Toyota Bonus Bucks Owners tournament.)

Along with no entry fee, great food and all the cool free clothing that is given out to competitors at the annual Toyota Bonus Bucks Owners event, the fellowship and camaraderie is top-notch too. And the fact this year’s tournament was won by Greg Haddix and Kevin Willoughby with a crankbait given to them by co-worker Roy Byrd exemplifies that.

Haddix, Willoughby, and Byrd have dedicated most of their adult lives to building Toyota Camrys and Corollas with zero defects for optimal customer satisfaction at Toyota Manufacturing plants in Kentucky and Mississippi.

But on the weekends, they fish with equal passion and dedication.

“Even though we were fishing against Roy today, he was kind enough to give us some of his new Byrd Custom Crankbaits yesterday, and they ended up being key to us winning today,” says Willoughby.

Fishing on Table Rock proved brutally tough in winds that gusted to 40 mph on tournament day, and their winning weight of 14-01 proved dominant as a result of calling an audible to fish in the back of a creek instead of battling waves on the main-lake points they fished in practice.

However, nobody went home empty-handed, highlighted by 23-year-old Cole Anderson winning an all-new redesigned 2022 Toyota Tundra at Saturday evening’s tournament meeting in a random drawing. And Micah Littlejohn won a Tracker ATV valued at roughly $8,000, courtesy of Bass Pro Shops.

Also impressive regarding the generosity of Toyota was their pledge to donate 100 times the winning weight to conservation. So, $1,410 was given by Toyota to the Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife Foundation for a future fisheries-related project on Table Rock Lake.

The Top 30 places all got a paycheck and even the first place "out of the money" got $1,000 from Yamaha. Thomas Huckabee picked up a $1,000 Bass Pro Shops gift certificate, Kevin Adcox won $300 and two pairs of Costa sunglasses for finishing 10th and the Big Bass of 4-06 was good enough for $1,000 in Carhartt gear.

But greater than any prize is the value of fellowship experienced at this annual event. This year’s winners would be among the first to stand and testify to that, as a co-worker's crankbait led them to $5,000 and memories for a lifetime.

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