Bass fishing takes center stage as many of the world’s best anglers battle it out on Lake Michigan in Escanaba for the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year Championship today through Sunday.

The championship is being held on Bays de Noc as part of a partnership between Pure Michigan and Bassmaster to promote the state as a top destination for anglers.

The top 50 professional anglers in Angler of the Year (AOY) points standings are competing in the championship. In addition to $900,000 in prize money, at stake is the title of 2014 Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year.

The competitors include Aaron Martens, 2013 Toyota Angler of the Year; Randy Howell, 2014 Bassmaster Classic champion; and Greg Hackney, the Toyota Angler of the Year frontrunner.

Only six anglers have a mathematical chance to win AOY: Hackney (currently with 664 points), Martens (649), Todd Faircloth (647), Jacob Powroznik (623), Keith Combs (623) and Mark Davis (618). Martens won last year and in 2005; Hackney finished second in 2004; Faircloth finished second behind Kalamazoo's Kevin Van Dam in 2008; and Davis won in 1995, 1998 and 2001 and the 50-year-old would become the oldest angler to win the event if he triumphs.

"This is the biggest week of my career," the 41-year-old Hackney told Bassmaster. "You've got to feel a little pressure."

Besides tournament competition from the launch today through the final weigh-in at Ludington Park on Sunday afternoon, other events include the Bassmaster Expo with vendors, Bassmaster University seminars with pro anglers and an autograph and photo sessions with competitors. Events throughout the weekend are free.

Fishing fans can follow the tournament on B.A.S.S.' website.

Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year Championship Schedule
(All events in Escanaba)
Thursday

7:30 a.m. -- The full field for the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year Championship launches on Bays de Noc. Public launch viewing is available from the North Shore Public Boat Ramp.
4 p.m. -- Official weigh-in takes place at Ludington Park.
Friday
7:30 a.m. -- The full field for the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year Championship launches on Bays de Noc. Public launch viewing is available from the North Shore Public Boat Ramp.
4 p.m. -- Official weigh-in takes place at Ludington Park.
Saturday
11 a.m. – 6 p.m. -- Bassmaster Fan and Military Appreciation Day at Elite Series Expo.
11:30 a.m. -- Welcome and interview with Angler of the Year leader on the Bassmaster Elite Series main stage.
Noon - 4 p.m. -- Bassmaster University with seminars from professional anglers and B.A.S.S. staff.
4 p.m. -- Top six anglers in panel discussion with Bassmaster emcee Dave Mercer and "The Bassmasters" host Mark Zona.
Sunday
7:30 a.m. -- The full field for the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year Championship launches on Bays de Noc. Public launch viewing is available from the North Shore public boat ramp.
Noon - 6 p.m. -- Bassmaster Elite Series Expo
4 p.m. -- Official final weigh-in for the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year Championship winner starts at Ludington Park.