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5 Bass/25.37 Lbs Takes "Team/Toledo" Splash
By Ed Snyder

Sealy Outdoors $200,000 Open Team/Splash 2001 Tournament Circuit.
Sunday, February 19, 2001, Cypress Bend Resort, Toledo Bend Lake, LA.

Post-front blue-birds greeted the 556 teamed anglers who launched from Cypress Bend Resort for the first event of the Sealy Outdoors "Team/Splash" tournament, and with calmer winds and warming 60 degree temps pre-setting the bass-i-tudes, guesstimates for the top team/splash weights were betwixt 24 to 26 lbs. And those predictions wouldn't miss the mark by much as 25.37 lbs landed 1 st with 21.24 lbs taking the 2nd place finish.

"We're offering over $200,000 in cash & prizes this year for our team/splash anglers, Sealy Outdoors CEO, Bob Sealy informed, "With a $37,000 "Guaranteed" cash & prize payout for every one of our events "Regardless" of team entry numbers. "Same as last year, Bob advised, "With two events on Toledo Bend and two events on Rayburn with a split-lake Championship being held on both lakes. "Our team/splash tournaments payout to the top 25 teams per event this year, Bob further informed, "With $12,000 "CASH" to 1 st place and $5,000 "CASH" to 2 nd place teams, as well as $1,900 being paid for the top three big bass of each event, "And, Sealy added, "Due to the tremendous response we had for this event, "We're going to pay and extra 10 places today, "So, What're you waiting for folks, Sealy invited with a smile, "Let's go fishing??!!

1st place team-(5 bass/25.37 lbs)- Needmore Tackle anglers, Ernie Hildebrandt and Scott Soisson of Sam Rayburn TX, put their Ranger/Evinrude over south-lake grass-beds to work Falcon/Castaway rods and Shimano reels spooled with 12 lb test Trilene mono. The Rayburn veterans fished 3/8 oz white Cyclone spinner-baits and watermelon/red Reaction trick-worms through 5' grass to catch 2 limits. "We didn't have anything to measure till almost noon, Ernie explained as he told of Scott finally connecting to their first keeper, a big bass of 7.55 lbs right at high-noon. The team managed to cull to our winning weight after that, -which put 25.37 lbs in the well and $12,000 in their pockets -PLUS- another $1,000 for the overall big bass.

2nd place team-(5 bass/21.24 lbs)- Wayne Ebarb of Many LA, and Dickie Marze of Stonewall LA, put their Ranger/Mercury over 1215 buck-brush to work Castaway/Allstar rods and Ambassadeur reels spooled with 80 lb test Pro-line. The 2 nd place team fished 3/8 oz black/blue/amber and black/blue/purple Rattle-Back jigs with pumpkin/orange Reaction and black/blue Larew craws within 3' buck-brush to catch their 9 bass cull between 10:30 am to 2:30 pm to claim their $5,000 check..

3rd place team-(5 bass/20.02 lbs)- Tommy Dickerson of Orange TX and David Truax of Beaumont TX, ran their Gambler/Mercury bass-rig to mid-lake brush to work Castaway/Quantum rods and Daiwa/Quantum reels spooled with 25 lb test Berkley Big game mono. The 3 rd place team fished 1 / 2 oz black/blue Mr. Blitz jigs with black/blue Zoom craws to catch 10 bass from an all day bite that put $2,500 in their tackle pack.

2nd Big Bass came in with the team of Bradley and Don Stringer as they worked north-lake brush. The father and son team from Huntington TX, were fishing 2' brush while Bradley worked a Hawg-Hustler rod and Garcia reel spooled with 20 lb test Trilene mono. "The big bass hit my 1 / 2 oz black/blue Hawg-Hustler jig with a pumpkin pork-chunk at 1:30 pm, Bradley stated, and I told my dad to "Get the Net"!! Bradley's dad managed to net his son's 7.74 lb bass and a $500 check, missing the $1,000 payday by only 1 / 100ths of a lb.

Top 5 Teams:
1-Ernie Hildebrandt/Scott Soisson---------------5 bass/25.37-$12,000
2-Wayne Ebarb/Dickey Marze------------------5 bass/21.24-$5,000
3-Tommy Dickerson/David Truax---------------5 bass/20.02-$2,500
4-Kerry/Kerry----------------------------------5 bass/19.53-$1,500
5-Denton/Williams------------------------------5 bass/19.29-$1,200

1st Big Bass-(7.75)- Soisson/Hildebrandt-$1,000
2nd Big Bass-(7.74)-Stringer/Stringer-$500
3rd Big Bass-(6.62)-Canon/Fox-$300

All bass were recovered and live released by the Shimano-SRA/LA fish recovery krewe.

For more information on this, as well as other Sealy Outdoor events, which include Big Bass Splash and Big Trout Splash events, contact Sealy Outdoors at (1-888-698-2591)- or click to- www.sealyoutdoors.com <http://www.sealyoutdoors.com>

Sealy Outdoors Open Team/Splash Sponsors: Triton- Texas Dodge Dealers- Evinrude- Johnson- Shimano- Academy- Reaction Lures- McCoy's- Latch Oil- Needmore Tackle- Toledo Town & Tackle- The Stump Restaurant- Cypress Bend Resort- "and" the Team/Splash anglers.


Bradley Stringer with $500 Big Bass

Top 5 teams with 1st/2nd kneeling R-L- and 3rd-thru-5th-standing-L-R-
< photos by Ed Snyder >

Hildebrandt-L- and Soisson display their $13,000 win

Ebarb-L- and Marze with their $5,000 catch

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