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Heavy Bass Weights Dominate "Toledo/Splash"
By Ed Snyder

Sealy Outdoors Team/Splash Circuit
Sunday, March 12, 2000, Cypress Bend Resort, Toledo Bend Lake, LA.

"Listen to this folks, Bob Sealy announced to the large tournament crowd at Cypress Bend Resort, "the top five weights for todays team tournament are, ...24.48 lbs,... 24.38 lbs,... 23.98 lbs,... 21.04 lbs,... and... 20.00 lbs!! "Folks, that adds up to an incredidle 113.88 lbs for the top 20 bass weighed-in today!! "And, we're not done yet folks, Sealy re-announced, "now listen to the top 3 big bass which came in today...."8.72 lbs,..."8.59 lbs,... and..."7.99 lbs!! "These weights speak loudly for the successful lake management projects that the Sabine River Authority of Louisiana, and the Louisiana Lake Toledo Bend Association have been active with for the improvements of such a fantastic lake system. "Toledo Bend "IS" very healthy folks, Bob praised, "and it's just going keep on getting better, Sealy pointed out as he began handing out the $40,650 in cash & prizes to those anglers who caught those amazing Toledo Bend bass weights.

"This is our 2nd event of the season, informed Tournament Director, Bob Sealy, explaining that they hold four team/splash tournaments this year, two on Lake Sam Rayburn, and two on Lake Toledo Bend. "Our Team/Splash Championship will be a "split-lake" event with day-1held on Toledo with 2nd day competition on Rayburn. "$40,650 in cash & prizes per tournament event is our payout, Bob explained, "which is paid out "regardless" of the tournament entry field which will also include a $10,000 Triton Bass Boat draw "per tournament" for the anglers who fish our team circuit. "This is our Team/Splash bass circuit, Bob informed, further stating that Sealy Outdoors also holds the McDonalds Big Bass Splash events, the Shimano Saltwater Big Trout Splash events, the Mega Whitetail Bucks Hunting Contest, the Shimano Big Bass Tournament, Texas Fish & Game Trophy Bass Quest, as well as other Tournament Benefits which are held throughout the year. "Our company is a fully developed Hunting & Fishing events group, stated Bob Sealy , "adding that Sealy Outdoors works with corporate, organizational, and private entities to provide exactly what they need for fund raising projects and charity benefit promotions.

Frigid cold-front conditions greated the 198 teams who launched into the Sealy Outdoors Team/Splash event today as brisk northerly winds and hard bluebird sunshine set the stage for the bass bite. But despite the "chilly" weather conditions, todays tournament was expected to put some heavy digitals across the scales as previous fishing reports reviewed that several 10 lb bass, with one recent 12 lb bass, were being caught and turned into the Toledo Bend Lunker Bass program. Keying in on this wealth of big bass catches, "Cajun Phil" Broussard arrived to video-tape this event for Fox-29 "Outdoors" which is expected to be aired within two weeks. For information on dates and times for viewing todays Toledo Team/Splash tournament, contact Sealy Outdoors at (409)-698-2591- or clic to- <>.

(1st place team-5 bass/24.48 lbs)-Rusty Clark and Shelby Shaw ran their Champion/Yamaha to southlake grass-banks to work Castaway rods and Shimano reels spooled with 15# Berkely BG-mono. "We fished 5/8 oz white Mr. Blitz spinner baits with white Zoom trailers, and carolina rigged watermelon Zoom lizards, stated the Beaumont Texas Marine Pro/Team, as they informed of how they worked 13' to 15' deep-grass banks for catching their 5 bass/24.48 lb weight during a 7:30 a:m: to 9:30 a:m: prime-bite. Shelby Shaw also managed to stick the "overall" 8.72 lb big bass of the day on his 8:am bite for a $1,000 check which would be added to their 1st place check of $10,000.

(2nd place team-5 bass/24.38 lbs)-Dickey Newberry and John Gunnels maneuvered their Champion/Yamaha along mid-lake creek-bends on the Louisiana side of the lake, to work Allstar rods and Shimano reels spooled with 20# P-Line. "We dragged 6" carolina rigged watermelon Zoom lizards along the 6' to 15' drop-offs to catch our fish, stated the duo as they told of catching their bass during a noon to 1;pm prime-time bite for catching their 5 bass/24.38 lb weight which put the runner up check in their tackle-pac for $5,000.

(3rd place team-5 bass/23.98 lbs)-Freddie Hightower and Kyle McDonald navigated their BassCat/Mercury to northlake dropoffs to work Shimano rods and reels spooled with 18# Triple-Fish line. "We found our fish holding along the 2' to 6' dropoffs which had brush and laydowns, stated Kyle as he informed of fishing Carolina rigged watermelon Zoom lizards around the brush and laydowns which had some isolated grass patches. "We managed to catch 25 keeper bass today, Kyle stated, adding that they culled to a 5 bass/23.98 lb weight which put the 3rd place check in their pockets for $2,500, as well as another $300 check for Kyle's 3rd place big bass of 7.99 lbs.

Overall Big Bass-(8.72 lbs lbs)- Shelby Shaw and Rusty Clark-$1,000.

Top 5 teams;
1-Rusty Clark/Shelby Shaw-------------------------5 bass/24.48 lbs-$10,000
2-Dicky Newberry/John Gunnels------------------5 bass/24.38 lbs-$5,000
3-Freddy Hightower/Kyle McDonald------------5 bass/23.98 lbs-$2,500
4-Harold Allen/Glen Freeman-----------------------5 bass/21.04 lbs-$1,500
5-Don Johnson/Rodney Pate-----------------------5 bass/20.00 lbs-$1,000

Overall Big Bass-(8.72 lbs)-Shelb Shaw/Rusty Clark-$1,000
2nd Big Bass-(8.59 lbs)-Buddy Rutherford/Randy Smotherman-$600
3rd Big Bass-(7.99 lbs)-Freddie Hightower/Kyle McDonald-$300

"Luck-O-The-Draw" Triton Bass Boat valued at $10,000 ( name of ticket holder not available at this time ).

All bass were live released via the Shimano/SRA-LA fish recovery team.

For more information on this, as well as other Sealy Outdoors events contact (409)-698-2591 -or clic to- <>

Tournament Sponsors; Triton Boats, OMC/Johnson, Polaris, Academy, McCoy's, Texas Fish & Game, Bennington Marine, Texas Dodge Dealers, The Texas Fishing Show, Latch Oil, Lufkin Marine, Texas State Networks, Jasper Chamber of Commerce, Holiday Inn Express, Ramada Inn Jasper, Best Western, Rayburn Country Resort, The Stump Restaurant, Piney Point Plaza, Needmore Tackle, "and" the Team/Splash Anglers.

Clark-L-and Shaw display their $10,000 catch

Gunnels-L-and Newberry display their $5,000 weight
< photos by Ed Snyder >

Kyle-L-and Hightower with $2,500 finish

Top 5 teams with 1st & 2nd kneeling

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