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9.64 Lb Bass McWins Rayburn Big Bass Splash
By Ed Snyder

17th Annual McDonalds/Lake Sam Rayburn $350,000 Big Bass Splash
Sunday, April 22, 2001, Twin Dikes Park, Lake Sam Rayburn TX.

Marking its 17th year of operations on Lake Sam Rayburn, which witnessed over 30 Million Dollars being paid out to its contestants during that span of time, the McDonalds Big Bass Splash culminated its 17th Annual event with a "LIVE ON AIR" broadcast on Fox-29 Television. This Tournament group, fondly known as the "McBass" family, have helped to raise over 3 & ½ Million Dollars for the McDonald Charities. And with the prizes and awards being awarded to this years competitors, the 17th Annual McDonalds Lake Sam Rayburn became an echo within the Big Bass Splash History Book.

"We've awarded $350,000 in cash & prizes at this event, Tournament Director, Bob Sealy began to announce to the huge McCrowd who had gathered to witness the final moments of this three day long event, "Which included three days of hourly payouts, daily 3.0-lb, 4.0-lb, and 5.0-lb exact weight Triton bass-boat awards, with the $50,000 overall big bass1st place Sportsman's Package of a Dodge Truck, Triton Bass Boat, Polaris Magnum 325-4X4, and a Princeton Pontoon Boat going to the 9.64 Lb Bass catch of Pinehurst TX angler Don Maywald. "And as always, Bob began to finalize, "Our McBass anglers have managed to raise important funds for the benefit the of the McDonalds Select Children Charities such as the Ronald McDonald Houses, which now exceeds $3 & ½ Million Dollars in McBass Tournament donations since we first started. "On behalf of Sealy Outdoors, and the McDonalds Corporation, Bob announced with heartfelt pride, "We wish to thank each and every one of you who arrived from a 31 state and three country area to fish and compete at this event. "Next years 18th Annual Sam Rayburn event, scheduled for April 19, 20, 21, of 2002 will have $400,000 "guaranteed" for its overall payout, Bob announced to the huge crowd, and as the applauds finally began to wane, Bob Sealy pulled the last "Luck-O-The-Draw" item for this $350,000 Big Bass tournament and as Calvin Runnels of Jefferson TX, stepped up to claim the $11,000 Princeton Pontoon boat the 17th Annual McDonalds Lake Sam Rayburn McSplash eased into Big Bass History.

McCap-Day-1- Southerly wind-gusts of 15/20, plus shifting cloud cover, and peek-a-boo sunshine provided first day weather conditions giving the McLead to the -(8.43 lbs)- catch to Castula Escalante of Pipe Creek TX, who fished a south-lake grass-flat with a black Berkley Power Worm and weighing it in during the 11am to Noon T-Shirt hour to collect $2,000. The $15,500 -4.00 lb exact weight bass boat went to Jerald W. Johnson of Woodville TX, who fished a TX rigged, watermelon Zoom centipede along flooded Millcreek timber to catch his Triton bass boat during the 11am -to- Noon weigh-in hour.

McCap-Day-2-Warmer weather and slightly calmer winds greeted the 2nd day anglers as they found improved bass bites with heavier results for their weigh-in giving the1st place lead to the -(9.64 lb)- catch to Pinehurst TX, angler Don Maywald who fished a 10" Berkley Power Worm on a 7:45 am Needmore Point big bite. Louie Cooper of Center TX, managed to catch a $15,500 -3.00 exact weight Triton bass boat at 10:30 am from Kingstown flooded willows on a Carolina rigged watermelon/red Zoom centipede.

McCap-Day-3- FINAL DAY provided shifting cloud cover and peek-a-boo sunshine with winds gusting and threatening skies giving the McBass anglers a rough final round for their three day Big Bass Splash.

1st place Overall-(9.64 lbs)- A Ranger/Evinrude bass-rig took Pinehurst TX, angler Don Maywald to Needmore Point to fish a 10" Berkley Power Worm scented with garlic. Don caught his big bass on the 2nd day while working his Fuji rod and Shimano reel spooled with 17 lb test Stren when his $1,000 bass hit on a 7:45 am big bite. Maywald managed to weigh his bass in during the 7am to 8am hour to take the top of the hour $1,000 cash award. And as his weight held as the largest bass weighed-in during the tournament, Don also won the 1st place overall position, which awarded him the top Sportsman's Package, valued at $50,000.

2nd place Overall-(8.94 lbs)- Mike Gibbs of Geneva TX, ran his KenCraft/Suzuki-40 to Needmore Point to fish a Berkley rod and Shimano reel spooled with 17 lb test Berkley vanish. Mike was fishing a black/shad Assassin soft jerk-bait along a 10' brush-flat drop-off when his 8.94 lb $1,000 bass hit at 7:45 am. MR Gibbs managed to weigh his bass in during the T-shirt hour, which also won him another $1,000 in bonus money, plus the 2nd place overall win valued at $11,000.

3rd place Overall-(8.43 lbs)- A Blue Wave boat and Yamaha outboard put Castula Escalante of Pipe Creek TX, onto a south-lake flat to work a Shakespeare rod and Shimano reel spooled with 14 lb test Stren. Escalante was fishing an 8' to 9' grass-flat with a black Berkley Power Worm through a bare-spot when his 8.43 lb bass hit on an 8:am big bite that put $1,000 into Castula's pocket as well as another $1,000 in bonus money for weighing it in during the 11am to Noon T-Shirt hour plus the 3rd place overall win valued at $6,000.

4th place Overall-(8.14 lbs)- Francisco Mendez of Dallas TX, ran with a Stratos/Evinrude bass-rig to a cove above the Needmore Point area. Francisco was fishing a Shakespeare rod and Shimano reel spooled with 17 lb test Berkley mono when he caught his big bite on a Carolina rigged 6" green Zoom worm at 9:15 am plus the 4th place overall win valued at $4,000.

5th place Overall-(7.91 lbs)- Ed Carter of Broken Bow OK, put his Stratos/Evinrude over Caney Creek moss-beds to work a ½ oz black/blue Rolex jig and black/blue Hank Parker craw with a Berkley rod and Quantum reel spooled with 20 lb test Trilene. Carter's big bite came at 9:30 am where he then managed to weigh it in during the 11am to Noon T-shirt hour to receive $1,000 for his top of the hour catch plus another $1,000 in bonus cash money plue the 5th place overall win valued at $2,000.

3.00 Exact Weight bass for day three came within the sack of Coy Parchman of Mount Pleasant TX, who put his Skeeter/Yamaha rig over south-lake flooded brush to pitch a homemade 3/8 oz black/blue Monroe jig along flooded timber. "The bass hit at 10:30 am, stated the lucky angler as he explained that he thought it might take the 3.00 slot so he brought it in to find out. Lucky for Coy he did so as his bass locked in for the $15,500 Triton bass boat.

"Luck-O-The-Draw" Pontoon Boat Winner-Calvin Runnels of Jefferson TX.-$11,000.

Top Children's Division Winners:
Bass-Dustin Holmes-(8)-Glenwood AR-(3.78)-
Crappie-Derek Cryer-(8)-Zavala TX-(1.46)-
Perch-Savanah Fletcher-(12)-Pollock LA-(.52)-
Catfish-Jennie Youell-(12)-Deerpark TX-(2.06)-

Children's "Luck-O-The-Draw" Polaris 4X4 win-Jacob B. Ledley-(4)-Chester, TX.-$3,000.

3/0-4/0-5/0-Exact weight Triton boats-(Unclaimed boats to be draw items on final day).
Day-1- $15,500 -4.00 lb -Jerald W. Johnson of Woodville, TX.
Day-2- $15,500 -3.00 lb-Louie Cooper of Center, TX.
Day-3- $15,500 -3.00 lb-Coy Parchman of Mount Pleasant TX.

Southeast Texas BASS Federation Casting Kids Contest Winners-Sponsored by the Vidor Bass Club with over 100 children attending.
(11-14 age group)
1st-Derek Munday-(13)-Zavala TX-
2nd-Shannon Cryer-(14)-Zavala TX-
(7-10 age group)
1st-Joesph Dougan-(10)-Jasper TX-
2nd-Derek Cryer-(10)-Zavala TX-

All bass were recovered and live released by the Sealy Outdoors fish recovery team with Day-1-McTally-233 bass/907 lbs.
Day-2-McTally-278 bass/893 lbs.
Day-3-Total McTally-725 bass/2,544 lbs.

Hourly/Daily live tournament updates provided by KICKS 105.1 fm/radio-Lufkin, TX.

Televised live by Fox-29's "News at Nine" for the Beaumont TX, Lake Charles LA, viewing area. Fox-29 -between 3:30 to 5:30 pm on Sunday, April 22nd.

For more information on this, and other Sealy Outdoor events contact Bob Sealy at (1-888-698-2591)- or click to-

McDonald/Rayburn Big Bass Splash sponsors: McDonalds, Triton Bass Boats, Johnson Outboards, Evinrude, Weaver Motors, Polaris, PrinceCraft, Shimano, Neal's Taxidermy, AC Delco, Academy, Dawson Marine, WWW.FISHINGWORLD.COM, Texas Fish & Game, Texas State Networks, McCoys, Latch Oil, The Texas Fishing Show, WWW.SEALYOUTDOORS.COM, "and" the 17th Annual McSplash Family.

Don Maywald hefting the "braggin-rights" for his 9.64 lb -1st place overall McBass win

Castula Escalante & family enjoy a moment with Bob Sealy and their 3rd place overall award
< photos by Ed Snyder >

Mike Gibbs & Family give "thumbs up" for their 2nd place overall win

Four year old Jacob B. Ledley hops on his newly "luck-O-The-Draw" Scrambler 4X4 with Bob Sealy

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