Schott & Smith Close Out Texas Team Trail Progressive Team of the Year Title at Toledo Bend

 Reynolds & Howell take 2nd and ILes and Shook take 3rd.

Springfield, Mo (June 13, 2024) – What does it mean to be the Team of the Year winners in one of the most exciting team tournament trails in the country? Can it help anglers go on to pursue other tournaments on larger stages with all the attention of the media and fans? What does it mean to sponsors and brands within the fishing tournament scene? These are just some of the questions that teams fishing the Bass Pro Shops & Cabela’s Texas Team Trail presented by Progressive may have… And the truth to all these questions is YES! It is important and it’s the goal that many teams set at the start of the year.

For Brian Schott & Jim Smith pulling off the Progressive Team of the Year title in 2024 did not come easy, and the duo faced many adverse and challenging conditions along the way, including a complete catastrophe on the final day of competition on Toledo Bend at the TXTT Championship.

Throughout most of the 2024 TXTT season, Schott and Smith have held the lead in the Team of the Year standings. After starting the season with back-to-back Top-20 finishes at the first two events on Sam Rayburn, the Garmin anglers found themselves in the lead for the points title and they barely ever looked back. Coupled with the Top-20 finishes at Sam Rayburn they finished the regular season with a 17th place finish at Lake Fork and 13th place finish at Richland Chambers, to give the team a solid lead but not unsurmountable lead going into the 2024 TXTT Championship on Toledo Bend, and this is where fate decided to test the duo.

Day 1 of the championship event saw them bring a five-bass limit worth 20-07 to the scales in their Rapala ‘Crush City’ bags. That limit had them sitting in 11th place overall but they had lost ground in the standings as the team at the start of the day Reynolds and Howell weighed in over 22 pounds and we’re sitting in 8th place setting up a shootout on Day-2 knowing that if Reynolds and Howell beat them again on day two they likely would win the Texas Team Trail team of the year title.

“I don’t even know how to explain what happened the final morning of the championship,” explained Schott. “We were hooked up with a cameraman, were able to launch out to our spot, and thought this was the day where we didn’t have to think about much but ensuring we had a limit of fish to weigh-in again. But what happened next was a test…..”

At around 9:45am the final day morning, tournament director Mike Hastings got a call from the team that during a fish landing, they had lost their boat keys to the lake.

“It wasn’t that big of a fish, but a solid keeper we knew we needed. I swung the fish in and when it flopped in the bottom of the boat it knocked the keys directly into the lake,” said Schott. “It was at that very moment I thought the world was going to see a grown man cry on camera.”

“It was the opposite of lucky,” joked the Louisiana team angler Jim Smith. “I’ve never seen anything like it, I’ve never heard of anything like that happening, but it would happen to us, and on the final day- the most important day of our whole year.”

The team was able to locate a boat from a fellow angler and finish out their day after a restart by tournament officials. With only a few hours to finish out a limit the duo went fishing and when all the drama finished, and all the dust settled, the team brought in a limit worth 20-02, which gave them a total of 40-09 and put them in 11th place at the championship. That final day rally was enough to seal the deal and the team finished the season with a total of 1069 points. This helped them edge out a charging second place team of Mercury anglers Shane Howell & Jeff Reynolds who finished with 1052 points who fell in the standings on day two after only weighing in a limit of slightly more than 17 pounds.

For the team of the year title, they took home a 2024 Ranger Z-518 boat powered by a Mercury 150 Pro XS. In addition, they will receive brand new Bass Pro Shops GuideWear suits, free entry fees into the 2025 Texas Team Trail, and free 2025 TXTT memberships. Just winning the 2024 Progressive Team of the Year title gave the team a payout of over $54,000 in cash and prizes!

“The TXTT is probably the best team trail in Texas,” said the team. “We fish here because not only is there a boat for winning the Team of the Year, but also a boat given away at each event. No other trail does that for the entry fees.”

2nd place team of Shane Howell & Jeff Reynolds also received 2025 TXTT entry fees, 2025 TXTT memberships, Bass Pro Shops GuideWear, and $2,000 cash.

3rd-10th place teams also received a variety of Bass Pro Shops gift cards, cash payouts, and other exciting prizes. Plus the Ranger Cup, Triton Gold, and Nitro Rewards contingency eligible teams fishing 11th-25th received Bass Pro Shops gift cards. Texas Team Trail continues to pay back more to the teams finishing strong in the Progressive Team of the Year standings and will continue that promise plus more exciting opportunities for 2025 to be announced soon.


Progressive Team of the Year Top-10 Final Points and Payout for Team of Year:

  1. BRIAN SCHOTT & JIM SMITH- $54,725
  3. JOHN ‘Danny’ ILES & BRIAN SHOOK- $2,450
  8. STEPHEN JOHNSTON & TIMMY RENEAU- $500 2024 TXTT Championship Winners
  10. RUSSELL CECIL & TODD CASTLEDINE- $500 2023 Progressive Team of the Year

Stay tuned for more information on the 2025 Texas Team Trail payout and other contingency programs to be announced soon for anglers fishing the TXTT.

Full results can be found through the link here.

For more information about Texas Team Trail, including sponsor incentives, official tournament results and photos, visit Be sure to subscribe to the e-newsletter to receive all the up-to-date news and announcements.


About Texas Team Trail

Texas Team Trail is a part of the Outdoor Team Works family of fishing tournaments. The OTW brand offers a wide range of fishing events from professional tournaments to grassroots fishing derbies. All events are supported by some of the top companies in the nation and include on-site activation and activities, as well as extensive media support. For additional live updates and information, follow TXTT on Facebook and Instagram

2024 Proud Sponsors

Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s, Progressive, Nitro Boats, Ranger Boats, Triton Boats, Mercury Marine, Aftco, Garmin, Power-Pole, TH Marine, Sunline, Gamakatsu, VMC, Rapala ‘Crush City”