Bassmaster Opens EQ pro Trevor McKinney added an extra $1,500 to his pockets from Toyota Bonus Bucks thanks to his fifth-place finish in the St. Croix Bassmaster Open on Lake Eufaula. This marks the third time McKinney has earned added money in 2023 Opens competition from Toyota’s popular contingency program.
“I’m trying to pay for my truck with Bonus Bucks,” McKinney said with a smile. “In the last two years alone, I’ve made $8,500 from the program. You really can’t beat that. Toyota supports the industry, supports the anglers and they make a heck of a tow vehicle … if you fish competitively, why wouldn’t you drive one and try to win free money?”
His rewards from Eufaula where he finished fifth, and Wheeler Lake where he ended up in 13th, highlight the fact that you don’t have to win a tournament to earn Bonus Bucks, you just have the be the highest finishing angler driving a 2019 or newer Toyota tow vehicle.
McKinney’s currently driving a 2020 Tundra, a truck he bought after spending a year as the Bassmaster College Series Bracket Champion in 2021. For winning the College Classic Bracket, the McKendree University graduate won a spot in the 2021 Bassmaster Classic on Ray Roberts as well as full use of a Toyota Tundra, Nitro Boat and paid entry fees to all nine Bassmaster Opens.
After putting 30,000+ miles on the truck in 2021, the always respectful McKinney started toying with the idea of buying his program vehicle. It was the biggest purchase of his young life at that time, but McKinney was able to make it work and never looked back.
“Buying that truck was honestly one of the best decisions I’ve made in my career,” McKinney said. “I never could afford a newer truck in high school or college, even though I traveled to fish a lot, but after driving this Tundra during my year as the College Champion I felt spoiled. I loved it and knew I couldn’t go back to a beater tow-vehicle. I needed a reliable truck if I was going to fish the Opens, and I wanted to keep driving a Toyota. It’s been a blessing.”
The former college fishing standout hails from Illinois but has an impressive track record in Oklahoma. He’s won a pair of college tournaments in the Sooner state, one on Grand Lake and another on Lake Hudson, and while he had never fished Lake Eufaula before, McKinney was excited when he saw this event on the schedule.
McKinney employed a drop shot and forward-facing sonar to catch his fish in six to 15 feet of water on Lake Eufaula to notch his first Top 10 of the 2023 season. Along with Bonus Bucks, McKinney cashed in on an additional $1,000 from Costa’s Compete + Conserve program for being the highest finishing angler wearing Costa Sunglasses.
McKinney may only be 25 years young, but he’s learned that supporting companies with impactful contingency programs helps his dollar go a little farther while competing on the Bassmaster Opens Trail. To get registered (for free!) or for more information regarding Toyota’s contingency programs, follow these links: