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5 Bass/24.25 Lb Toledo Catch Finalizes Team/Splash Season
By Ed Snyder

Sealy Outdoors $200,000 Open Team/Splash 2001 Tournament Circuit.
Sunday, June 10, 2001, Cypress Bend Resort, Toledo Bend Lake, LA.

Launching into the post-storm effects of Tropical Storm Allison, the 292 teamed anglers were confronted with the aftermath of her 20 -inch mega-rains as flash flooding warnings were being alarmed throughout the entire lake system. Although this would make the bass happy within their widening aquatic playgrounds, the bass anglers were to have a much more difficult time of it as they probed Toledo's quickly rising waters in their final quest of qualifying for the Sealy Outdoors 2001 Team/Splash Championship.

"We've paid over $200,000 in cash & prizes to our team/splash anglers this year, advised Sealy Outdoors CEO, Bob Sealy, "With a "Guaranteed" cash & prize payout of $37,000 for every team event "Regardless" of team entry numbers with two events being held on Lake Toledo Bend and Lake Sam Rayburn. "Now it is time to take our top 25-point anglers, top 10 finishers and 5 wild card picks to our 2001 Team/Splash Championship, which will be held as a split lake event on September 8th at Rayburn and September 9th on Toledo Bend.

By the 3:pm tournament weigh-in time at Cypress Bend Resort the skies cleared, the winds eased, and the sun began to make its summer-like presence known. But despite the aftermath of Allison's Tropical rage the team/splash anglers managed to top the leader-board with some amazing post-storm catches.

1st place team-(5 bass/24.25 lbs)- Mike Wheatley of Sam Rayburn TX, and Chad Kelley of Haughton LA, put their Triton/Mercury bass-rig up along north-lake ridges to work Shimano/Allstar rods and Shimano reels spooled with 15 lb test P-line. "We concentrated our efforts by sitting out in 20' of water and casting to 10' timber-ridges, stated the 1st place team as they informed of fishing Carolina rigged watermelon/red Cyclone tubes, mud-bugs, and baby bass DD-22's. The Team Triton Pro's managed to catch their bass between an 8:am to 8:45 am bite, which included a 9.01 "kicker" caught by Mike Wheatley on an 8:20 am big bite that held for the "overall" big bass of the day.

2nd place team-( 5 bass/21.67 lbs)- David Truax of Beaumont TX, (fishing by himself)-put his Nitro/Mercury down along south-lake grass-lines to work Quantum rods and reels spooled with 50 lb test Power Pro. Truax fished 1 oz black/blue Oldham jigs with black/blue craws to catch 6 bass from an all day bite.

3rd place team-( 5 bass/20.53 lbs)- Harold Allen of Huxley TX, and Glenn Freeman of Zwollie La, put their Skeeter/Yamaha bass-rig over north-lake ridge-lines to fish Shimano V-rods and Shimano reels spooled with 14/16 lb test Triple-Fish line. The 3rd place team managed to catch 3 limits between 8:am to noon on TX rigged crab apple and green/pumpkin/red-flake Reaction wacky worms.

4th place team-(5 bass/19.85 lbs)- Sid Abernathy and Bob Bryant of Nacogdoches TX, put their Ranger/Evinrude bass-rig over Housen Bay inside and outside grass-lines to work Shimano rods and reels spooled with 20/25 lb Triple-Fish line. The 4th place team flipped black and green Stanley Tuba-Tubes along 15' to 18' grass-edges to catch their weight, which included an 8.14 lb "kicker" caught by Bryant on a 10:30 am big bite. Bob Bryant's bass held as being the 2nd largest bass of the tournament.

5th place team-(5 bass/19.63 lbs)- Matt Reed of Madisonville and Ricky Freidrich of Beaumont TX, put their Nitro/Mercury bass-rig over 18' inside & outside south-lake grass-lines to catch at least 25 bass between 10;am to 3:pm while working Shimano rods and reels spooled with 60 lb test Spider-Wire. The 5th place team fished 1 oz pumpkin/green Stanley jigs with Larew craws to catch their weight.

Top 5 Teams:
1-Mike Wheatley/Chad Kelley--------------------5 bass/24.25-$13,000
2-David Truax/Tommy Dickerson---------------5 bass/21.67-$5,000
3-Harold Allen/Glenn Freeman-------------------5 bass/20.53-$2,500
4-Sid Abernathy/Bob Bryant----------------------5 bass/19.85-$2,100
5-Matt Reed/Ricky Friedrich----------------------5 bass/19.63-$1,200

1st Big Bass-(9.01)-Mike Wheatley/Chad Kelley-$1,000
2nd Big Bass-(8.14)-Bob Bryant/Sid Abernathy-$600
3rd Big Bass-(7.20)-Eddie Morgan/Monroe McCarty-$300

All bass were recovered and live released by the Shimano-SRA/LA fish recovery krewe with 439 bass weighing 1,204 lbs.

For more information on this, as well as other Sealy Outdoor events, which include Big Bass Splash and other events, contact Sealy Outdoors at (1-888-698-2591)- or click to- 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.


Abernathy and Bryant with 4th place win

2001 Team/Splash Championship Qualifiers with "Team Anglers of the Year" front row kneeling
< photos by Ed Snyder >

David Truax with 2nd place sack

Top 25 toledo teams with top 5 winning teams front row kneeling

Kelley and Wheatley with 1st place $13,000 bass

Freeman and Allen with Bob Sealy and 3rd place catch

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