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Louisiana Oilmen 6th Annual Tournament Big Winner- St. Jude Hospital
By Don Gervals/The Sabine Index


San Miquel Park, Toledo Bend Lake, LA. The Louisiana Oilmen's 6th Annual Invitational Tournament produced many winners at Toledo Bend Reservoir. Among the winners were St Jude's Hospital; Lynn Leago and Malcolm St. Clair; Team #570, angler Stephen Barnhill and angler Wayne Savoie .St Jude's Hospital received a check for $25,800 from the tournament. Leago and St. Claire won 1st place with a two-day total of 38.88 pounds. Angler Stephen Barnhill won overall Big Bass with a 10.06 largemouth. Wayne Savoie was the grand prize winner of the Lazer 202 Dual Console bass boat, Yamaha motor, and trailer package valued at over $25,000.

Blue bird skies, cool temperature and a brisk north wind welcomed the anglers for a second straight day on the Big Bend. Fish at the weigh-in stations showed few broken or torn tail fins. Fewer fish were brought to the scale on the second day due to some teams opting not to weigh their fish. A computer glitch on Day #2 prevented a report of the total fish and weight for day #2 and tournament. However, Louisiana Wildlife officials at the weigh-in site noted a very good total in the catch and in the release rate on Day #2.

"We caught 80 per cent of our fish in two to three feet of water," said co-champion St. Claire, of Haughton, La.. He and partner Leago of Tyler, Tex. brought 17.6 lbs to the scales on Saturday to add to their first day total of 21.28 pounds. The 38.88 pound total was enough for a $3,000 pay day for the team and the champion rings.

St. Claire and Leago caught their fish from the north area of the lake using a ½ ounce chartreuse spinner bait, with a white trailer. The pair targeted shallow spawning and pre-spawn fish, in 2-3 feet of water, and in 5-6 of water along humps. The last fish culled was a 3.5 lb. They fished Allstar rods, Abu Garcia and Lews reels spooled with Berkely Big Game 15 pound test line.

Second place went to Team # 150, Gary Landry and Tom Mathis. They weighed solid limits each day. Their first day total of 20.38, combined with Day #2 weight of 18.10 was enough for the second place finish with 38.48 pounds, just four tenths (0.4) of a pound behind the first place finishers. They credited their catch to the Bison area. They fished a brush hog, in watermelon/red in shallow water.

Third Place went to team # 211, Jeff Holder and Len Adcock. Holder, a Shreveport angler and Atcock from Jasper also fished in the Bison area. Their second day weight of 24.1 pounds was the second largest stringer of the tournament. Holden second largest fish of the tournament, at 8.96 pounds anchored their second day catch. They fished in three feet of water with a Texas-rigged soft plastic, Be-A-Hog (similar to a brush hog). The team used a combination of Falcon rods and Abu Garcia reels spooled with Stren line. The pair fished in a Skeeter bass boat equipped with a Yamaha engine.

Big Bass Winner
"It caught me," said Barnhill, the Big Bass winner about his 10.06 pound fish. "I thought it was an 8 pound fish 'till I saw it. I almost fainted" Barnhill caught his fish in 13' near Boone's Crossing, south of the Pendelton Bridge, at 1:20 p.m. on Saturday, using a Carolina-rigged, watermelon-color air fry. He was using a 7' Castaway rod, an Abu Garcia 4600 reel spooled with 15 lb Trilene Big Game line.The largemouth was certified by the Louisiana Sabine River Authority as the fifth Lunker of the year. The SRA awards anglers who catch, certify and release a 10 pound and above largemouth bass a fiberglass replica of the fish. This is the second Lunker Bass caught in the past three weeks in tournament competition on Toledo Bend.

Second Day wrap-up-Team # 384, Bucky Crowson and and Bret Rogers weighed-in the largest limit of the tournament with 25.24 pounds. Crowson, from Lafayette, said they fished both days north of the Pendleton Bridge, concentrating in 6' depth with ½ ounce Stanley spinner baits with a white trailer. Crowson caught the 7.84 big bass, the third largest fish of the tournament to anchor the solid five pound average sack for Day #2. They caught 16 keepers on Saturday, culling a 3.5 pound fish. The team's disappointing first day total of 4.44 pounds left them in 25th place overall for the tournament. "We fished the same area the first day of the tournament," said Crowson. "The fish didn't move into the area until today."

Team # 211, Jeff Holder and Len Adcock, weighed in the 2nd largest bag on Saturday, 24.10 pounds. Combined with the 12.98 pounds of Day #1 it was enough to give them 3rd place in the final standings.

Team # 315, Stephen Barnhill and Bill Isaacs second day weight of 22.24 was third largest stringer for Day #2. Their stringer was anchored by Barnhill's overall big fish of the tournament, a 10.06 pound fish. They took seventh place overall for the tournament.

Grand Prize Winner-
"I told the guys at the camp that I was going to win it," said the jubilant Savoie. "I have a way to tow it home."

All anglers of the invitational tournament were eligible for the drawing at the finale of the annual event. The 20' 2" dual console boat is powered by a 225 Yamaha outboard and included a dual-axle BlazerTrail trailer. The package is valued at over $25,000.

Tournament Notes
"We are very proud to have raised and donated over $25,800 for St. Jude's Hospital," said Procell. "Over $7,000 was donated by the fishermen at the sign-in before the tournament."

"The Louisiana Oilmen Tournament directors and staff did an excellent job," said Greg Procell, a tournament director and the master of ceremonies at the Saturday evening finale. "The tournament anglers do not see the all the planning it takes.""Procell acknowledged that the tournament "contributes between $500,000 and $750,000 to the local economy." He went on to say that this year's support from the area was "the best ever." Procell thanked the sponsors of the tournament and the "excellent support " from the Sabine River Authority, the Sabine Chamber of Commerce, the Sabine Tourist Commission, the Sabine Parish Sheriff's Office, the local vendors and the entire Sabine Parish. "It's so important that we protect, maintain and direct the great fishery of Toledo Bend," added Procell. " We will be back next year to Toledo Bend." Procell acknowledged Chana Leal, the founder of the Louisiana Oilmen's Tournament, for his work to establish and support the annual event. Procell also acknowledged the following individuals that made the event so successful; Cindy Leal, Dale Sanchez, Chester Huval, Billy Ebabarb and Red Gremillon."It went so smooth that it's scary," said Larry Hohle, director of the weigh-in site. "It'll be even better next year when we return. I'm starting Monday to plan for next year's event."The planning that went into the weigh-in and the execution was evident as the weigh-in of more than 600 teams was processed so smoothly. Local volunteers, including Negreet High School helpers carried fish from the scales to the Shimano live Release barge.

Top 5 Oilpatch Teams;
1-(Team#570)-Lynn Leago/Reed-Hycalog-Malcolm St Clair/Swayer Drilling-10 bass/38.88 lbs
2-(Team#150)-Gary Landry/Stric-lan Co. Corp-Tom Mathis/Stric-Lan Co. Corp-10 bass/38.48 lbs
3-(Team#211)-Jeff Holder/Reliant Corp-Len Adcock/Natco--10 bass/37.08 lbs-
4-(Team#42)-Pete Lammons/Diamond Drilling-William T. Cook/WTC-10 bass/35.44 lbs
5-(Team#227)-Jesse Johnson/BOCO-LA-Eric Babineaux/BOCO-LA-10 lbs/35.20 lbs

Wildlife and Fisheries officials were on hand during both weigh-in days at San Miguel Park and reported no incidents during the tournament.

Louisiana Oilman sponsors; Blazer Boats, Yamaha Outboards, Cajun Outboards, Apollo Services, Berry Brothers Contractors, Britt-Sarkies-& Associates, Crain Brothers Inc, Envo-Technologies Ltd, FMC Corporation, Frank's Fuels, Peformance Blasting & Coating, Production Management Industries, Schoeller-Bleckmqan Energy, TEI Construction, Test Inc, Varco Systems, Workstrings LLC, "and" the Louisiana Oilpatch Anglers.

#1 Louisiana Oilman team

2nd place Louisiana Oilman team
< photos by Don Gervals/Sabine Index >

Overall 10 lb Big Bass

Grand Prize Boat Winners

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