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Tracy Byrd Big Bass "Blitzed" by 8.5 Lb Lunker
By Ed Snyder

6th Annual Tracy Byrd Big Bass Tournament
Saturday, March 31, 2001, Twin Dikes Park, Lake Sam Rayburn, TX.

"The early morning fog kept me from fishing my "honey hole" stated Jasper TX, angler Paul Ingles who had just weighed-in an 8.5 lb bass, "But when the fog finally lifted at about 10am I wasted no time in getting to my spot where I then made one cast and caught this 8.5 lunker on a Mr. Blitz Brush-Hog. Paul Ingles had topped a tournament field of 541 Big Bass anglers with his big bass catch that put him in the seat of a new $36,000 fully rigged Ranger bass boat -PLUS- $1,000 cash..... "Not a bad payday folks!"

This event marks the 6th time that Nashville Country Star Tracy Byrd has visited the shores of Lake Sam Rayburn with his "Big Bass" tourney, which is Part of his "Home Coming" package of events that holds a concert and golf tournament in Beaumont TX, in conjunction with the Big Bass tournament on Lake Sam Rayburn. Tracy Byrd, a native East Texan who became a celebrated Nashville Country singing artist, holds his annual Home Coming events here every year to help raise important funds for the support and benefit of The Children's Miracle Network which help Miracle Children such as 13 year old Crystal Holton.

Crystal, an 8th grade Junior High student in Jasper TX, is in dire need of a life saving liver transplant. But, Crystal whispered her wish of wanting to fish the Tracy Byrd Big Bass event to her Grandpa, Larry Pi'Gott of Holly Springs TX, so with the support and help of Ann's Tackle Shop in Jasper, TX, the severely ill child, along with her Grandpa, were teamed up with Rayburn BASS/Pro John Presley to fulfill her dream of fishing and competing at Tracy's "Home Coming" event on Lake Sam Rayburn.

Tracy Byrd's Big Bass Tournament, explained Tournament Director David Concienne, "Offers "hope" to these children of the Miracle Network through the "guaranteed" tournament purse of $95,000 in cash & prizes for our contestants this year, which paid $18,200 "per-hour" for the top five hourly bass weighed-in between 7:am through 2:pm, with the balance of the cash & prizes awarded the top 30 "overall" big bass winners of the tournament, which included a $36,000 fully rigged Ranger Bass Boat for first place "overall" Big Bass and an $8,000 Harley Davidson "Cowboy" sport-bike for the second place "overall" Big Bass of the tournament. "A percentage of the Tracy Byrd Big Bass entry fees, Concienne added, goes a long way to support those "Hopes" of the Miracle Network Children.

1st place-(8.5 lbs)- Paul Ingle of Jasper TX, hovered his Xpress/Yamaha bass-rig near the launch site until the morning fog lifted enough for him to make a run to Caney Creek where he fished a Shimano rod and Garcia reel spooled with 17 lb test Trilene mono. "I couldn't get to my fishing spot till after the morning fog lifted, Ingles fretted as he told of not being able to make his move to Caney Creek until about 10am. "After finally getting there, Ingles stated, "I concentrated on working a MR. Blitz pumpkin/garlic-chartreuse brush-hog within some flooded Cedar. Paul Further informed that after making his very first cast at 10:30 am, and while he was working his brush-hog off from a 12' drop-off edge that the big bass hit. "I immediately knew that this bass may have a chance to win the tournament, Paul excited, "So in the live-well she went and in we came to have it weighed only minutes before the 10am to 11am hour was up. Mr. Ingles bass made the #1spot for that hour paying him $1,000 cash. And after his bass-weight held up for being the largest lunker weighed-in for the tournament, he was then awarded the keys to a $36,000 Ranger bass boat by Nashville Country Star Tracy Byrd.

2nd place-(6.29 lbs)- William Shelburne of Beaumont TX, put his Champion/Yamaha over Farmers Flats to work a Cotton Cordell rod and Garcia reel spooled with 14 lb test Silver Thread. "I was fishing a 10' isolated grass-clump with a cinnamon/blue-purple Senko, Bill stated as he told of catching the 6.29 lb big
bass on an 8:40am bite. Shelburne won the 8am to 9am hour for $1,000 and managed to mount an $8,000 Harley sports-bike which was awarded to him by Tracy Byrd for catching the 2nd Overall big bass of the tournament.

3rd place-(6.1 lbs)- Cade Leach of Burkeville TX, put his Ranger/Yamaha bass-rig over a Farmers Flats ditch to work an Allstar rod and Browning reel spooled with 15 lb test Berkley Big Game mono. "I was
dragging a Carolina rigged motor-oil/red-flake Zoom lizard along a 15' to 20' ditch drop-off, Cade explained as he informed of catching his 6.1 lb bass on a 12:30pm big bite. Cade won the Noon to 1pm hour for $1,000 plus was awarded a $1,000 Bass Pro-Shop gift certificate by Tracy Byrd for his 3rd place overall finish.

Top 5 Overall Big Bass Winners:
1-Paul Ingle/Jasper TX----------------------8.5 lbs-$1,000- $36,000 Ranger Boat
2-William Shelburne/Beaumont TX------6.29 lbs-$1,000- $8,000 Harley Sport-bike
3-Cade Leach/Burkeville TX--------------6.1 lbs-$1,000- $1,000 Bass Pro Shop
4-Pierre Lognion/Beaumont TX----------5.52 lbs-$1,000- $1,000 Bass Pro Shop
5-Jerome Cope/Lumberton TX-----------5.36 lbs-$1,000- $1,000 Bass Pro Shop

The Southeast Texas Bass Federation operated a Casting Kids event at the tournament site, which drew over 60 contestants of all ages. After the tally was finished 6 children managed to flip, pitch, and cast their way towards the Regionals, Nationals, and possibly the BassMaster's Classic. -(Winners names unavailable at time of this print)-
All bass were recovered and live released by the Bass-N-Bucks fish recovery team with 71 bass weighing 256 lbs-
For more information on this Tracy Byrd Big Bass event, contact David Concienne at (409)-727-8941 -or click to-
6th Annual Tracy Byrd Tournament Sponsors; Grand Casino Coushatta of Kinder, LA.- Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana, - The Beaumont Enterprise- KWYX 102.7 fm "Country Gold" Radio- Cowboy Harley Davidson- All Star Rods- Justin Boots- Wrangler- Mossy Oak- Ranger Bass Boats- Bass Pro Sops- Children's Miracle Network- "and" the Tracy Byrd Big Bass Anglers.

Paul Ingles enjoying his $36,000 1st place bass boat with Tracy Byrd

Casting Kids Champions with BASS Federation reps and Tracy Byrd
< photos by Ed Snyder >

William Shelburne "Revs-Up" his 2nd place Harley as Tracy Byrd looks on

David Concienne-L- and Tracy Byrd help Paul Ingles with his 8.5 bass and Miracle Child Crystal Holton with her catch

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