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Johnson "Gold" Claims Top Speck at Galveston Bay "Big Trout Splash"
By Ed Snyder

- 756 Shimano Anglers Compete For Hourly Cash & Prizes -

1st Annual Galveston Bay Big Trout Splash
Sunday, September, 12, 1999, Clear Lake Park, Clear Lake, TX.

"The Johnson Sprite spoon has always been known as a Big Fish bait, stated Clint Shirley as he displayed his 5.64 lb Speckled Trout to the crowd of spectators. The Channelview Tx, angler had just bested a tournament field of 767 anglers to claim the winners circle for the very first Galveston Bay "Big Trout Splash", and to collect his 1st place prize of a $16,000 Pathfinder BayBoat.

"Our first tournament has been a great success, Mike Mills answered to my question, "and we're already planning our 2nd Annual for next year, he added while handing out "free" Shimano rods & reels to the kids who had arrived to compete at the Texas Parks & Wildlife Kid-Fish tank. "This is what its all about, Mike proudly smiled as he placed another Shimano rod & reel into the eager hands of another young angler, "The kids are a very important resource to our fishing future, and we're just saying "thank you" to those anglers who've chosen to use Shimano products in their world of fishing.

Mike Mills, a National Rep; for Shimano Corporation, was on hand with Bob Sealy of Sealy Outdoors, Larry Bozka of Texas Fish & Game, Texas Parks & Wildlife officials and the 93Q Country Radio road-crew to coordinate the first Shimano/Sealy Outdoors, "Galveston Bay Big Trout Splash" being held at Clear Lake Park, on Clear Lake TX. The "free entry" September 12th event attracted the fishing interests of 756 Speckled Trout anglers as they competed for hourly weigh-in cash & prizes which started at 7:am and operated hourly until 3:pm. The fishing tournament benefited the needs of C.C.A. and Sea Center Hatcheries as well as providing some major all-day excitement and fun for those who wished to enjoy.

Although the first Speckled Trout to be weighed-in at the "Big Trout Splash" arrived from the Southshore Harbor Marina catch of Richard Rodriguez, the Friendswood TX, anglers 1.33 lb Chartreuce Corky catch for the 7:am-8:am weigh-in hour was soon overpowered by the Sun-day long weigh-ins that witnessed 3 lb, 4 lb, and 5 lb Specks. And as the final weigh-in at 3:pm arrived, the tournament leaderboard marked the anglers who managed to finish in the top five "overall" positions.

1st place-(5.64 lbs)-"I was working a gold Johnson Sprite spoon along the northshore area of East Galveston Bay, stated Channelview TX, angler, Clint Shirley, explaining that the Sprite spoon is a well known as a big fish catcher, and the gold color attracts well when fished in sandy-green waters. The Tanner Pipeline employee managed to catch his 5.64 Speck on a noon bite while using a Shimano Calcutta reel for the 1:pm to 2:pm hour weigh-in. Shirley's catch awarded him a $250 Shimano V-Rod/Calyx Reel combo as well as the "Grand Prize" of the $16,000 Pathfinder Bay Boat.

2nd place-(4.81 lbs)-"Chartreuce/clear Super-Spook, answered Frank Bartlett of Huntington TX, explaining that he was wade-fishing Smiths Point when the 24" Speck hit at 9:30/am. The Jasper Outboard employee managed to land his 4.81 lb Speck on a Shimano Calcutta reel for the 12:noon to 1:pm hour which won him a $250 Shimano V-Rod/Calyx reel combo, as well as the Texas Fish & Game bonus hour award of $500 for being a subscriber.

3rd place-(4.26 lbs)-Herman Alvarez of Houston Tx, managed to catch his 4.26 lb Speck in time for the 2:pm-3:pm final hour for winning a $250 Shimano V-Rod/Calyx reel combo.

4th place-(4.18 lbs)-"Texas City flats, stated Pearland Tx, angler, Leon Garner, informing that he was wade-fishing the flats when he caught his 4.18 lb Speck on a green/red white tail Cocaho minnow. The Duke Energy-(retired)- angler was fishing with a Shimano Curado when he landed the fish for the 12:noon-1:pm weigh-in winning him the hourly 2nd place award of a $180 Shimano V-rod

5th place-(4.15 lbs)-"Southshore area of East Galveston Bay, answered Tracy Graham of Houston TX, further informing that he managed to catch his 4.15 lb Speck while fishing a yellow/green Super-Spook. The Big "H" Auto employee landed his 7:40/am bite for a 12:noon to 1:pm weigh-in and a 3rd place hourly prize of a $160 Lowrance GPS Unit.

All Speckled Trout were tested with a Tori-Meter for freshness by TroutMaster rep; Bill Rose. "The Tori-Meter is able to tell us if the fish had been pre-iced or frozen before the tournament, Rose informed, "with this tool, and the expertise of the polygraph test, we're able to keep this tournament on an even-keel.

The 1st Annual Galveston Bay Big Trout Splash signed up 756 anglers who managed to catch 78 Speckled Trout weighing 2001 lbs which were donated to the "Open Door Mission". The Shimano/Sealy Outdoors event also raised $1,771 for the CCA and another $1,771 for the Texas Sea Center Hatcheries.

"Luck-O-The Draw" winner of the special Las Vegas "Give-away" trip awarded by 93Q Country Radio went to J.C. Brannon of Pearland TX.

For more information on this event contact Sealy Outdoors at 1-888-698-2591

Tournament Sponsors; Pathfinder Boats, Yamaha Outboards, Academy Sporting Goods, Texas Fish & Game, McClain Trailers, Lowrance Electronics, Pradco-Tackle-Smithwick-Rebel-Heddon-Cotton Cordel-Bomber-SilverThread-Riverside-ExCaliber-CreekChub-GottaBite-Lazy Ike-Triple Fish-Lowrance, 93Q Country Radio, Shimano, Sealy Outdoors, CCA, Texas Sea Center Hatcheries- and the "1st Annual Galveston Bay Big Trout Splash" anglers-

Bob Sealy with Big Trout Splash winner holding 5.64 Lb speck

2nd place winner with 4.81 lb speck

< photos by Ed Snyder >

Shimano Big Speck Crew with 1st place Boat Winner

Bob Sealy and Mike Mills with SeaCenter Check

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