September 4, 2014 at 1:00 am

Soup it Up

A.R.E. turns a Toyota Tundra into the ultimate tackle box

The A.R.E. 2014 Fishing Team Tundra Project Truck is touring as part of the 2014 Bassmaster tournament season. By the way, that season includes the Bass Pro Shops Northern Open, today through Saturday September 4-6 on Lake St. Clair, and the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year Championship, September 18-21 at Bays de Noc in Escanaba. (A.R.E. Accessories LLC)

Obviously, if you’re going to be serious about fishing, you’re going to need a boat. But it turns out that you also need a properly equipped truck to haul that boat to and from the lakes and rivers, including those that may be far from paved roads.

To show what’s possible, the A.R.E. 2014 Fishing Team Tundra Project Truck is touring as part of the 2014 Bassmaster tournament season. By the way, that season includes the Bass Pro Shops Northern Open, today through Saturday on Lake St. Clair, and the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year Championship, Sept. 18-21 at Bays de Noc in Escanaba.

Ray Scott staged his first Bassmaster tournament fishing competition in 1967 and the following year established the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society, not only to promote his favorite activity as a sport but to work with state and local governments to maintain water quality and encourage quality fisheries. It has grown to include more than half a million members and stages bass-fishing tournaments for anglers ranging from high school and college teams to professionals.

A.R.E. is the Massillon, Ohio-based manufacturer of truck caps and tonneau covers and used its own products and others from other aftermarket companies to build the ultimate bass fishing truck.

A.R.E. started its show truck project with a 2014 Toyota Tundra and the goal, as A.R.E. director of marketing Bryan Baker put it, is “to build a truck that any avid fisherman would love to have.”

Obviously, A.R.E. was going to use its own products for the A.R.E. Fishing Team Tundra. Those include a Pickup Vault, a pickup bed-mounted and lockable drawer system for stowing gear and keeping it organized; a Z Series truck cap; and a pair of rod pods, roof-mounted, 8-foot tubes that holds fishing rods.

The bed also got a BedRug carpeted berliner and CargoGlide roll-out tray system. In addition to A.R.E.’s rod pods, the top of the truck carries a Yakima Tower Series roof rack and Surco roof basket.

The Tundra rides on a Skyjacker suspension system with Hellwig sway bars and, for optimal ride height in varying environments, Air Lift air springs with wireless control system.

The truck is equipped with Bushwacker fender flares to cover TIS Monster Energy-edition wheels and Dick Cepek all-terrain tires.

Performance of the Tundra’s V8 engine is enhanced with a Bull Dog gauge tuner, K&N air intake and Magnaflow exhaust.

N-Fab steps and bumpers were installed, along with Monster Hooks recovery hooks and Rigid Industries light bars.

In addition, there’s a Bolt receiver lock and various Bolt padlocks, which use the truck’s ignition key to secure the trailer and gear. The truck wears the A.R.E. Elite fishing team colors.

For information on A.R.E. and its products, visit www.4are.com. See www.bassmaster.com for more on the Bassmaster fishing series.

Larry Edsall is a Phoenix-based freelance writer. You can reach him at ledsall@cox.net.