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10.53 Lb Bass Wins Lake Fork McSplash
By Ed Snyder

15th Annual Lake Fork McDonalds Big Bass Splash-Little Bass for Cash
Sunday, September 23, 2001, Lake Fork Marina, Lake Fork, TX.

-"Dedicated to Victims of Terrorism" -
"We've paid out over $34 Million Dollars so far to our McBass anglers these past years, stated CEO/Tournament Director Bob Sealy, "which have also helped to raise another 3 and 1 / 2 million dollars for the Ronald McDonald Charities. For this, and all these past years of wonderful tournaments and great weigh-ins "we, of Sealy Outdoors wish to thank each and every one of the more than 180,000 anglers who arrived from 32 states and four countries to participate in our tournament events to help raise so much hope for those children and families in need of medical assistance and comfort, with this years donation being $20,000, of which $5,000 will go to the Red Cross emergency fund for the benefit of those hero's who're still struggling through the rubble of World Trade Center to try and salvage something of those lives that were lost.

"The 15th Annual Lake Fork McSplash drew from a field of 3,000 anglers who arrived from 28 states and two countries to fish and compete at this years event.

This was our final Big Bass Splash event for the 2001 season with Sealy Outdoors paying out over $850,000 to the McBass anglers who competed at the Lake Sam Rayburn, Lake Toledo Bend, and now the Lake Fork events, stated Bob "Big Bass" Sealy, "with this event paying out over $300,000 in cash & prizes. "But, what makes this Lake Fork event so unique, Bob informed, "is the slot limit they have here that does not allow anglers to catch and keep bass between the 16" to 24" size limits. "Only one bass may be kept above the 24" mark, with others being "under" the 16" size limit. "So, we reformatted this tournament to accept the "under" 16" bass for our hourly weigh-ins, Bob advised, "which will see the bulk of our $6,600 in hourly cash payouts going to the 2 lb bass, with the top five "overall" prizes going to those larger 24" and above bass that are weighed-in during this three day long event that will award a 1st place Sportsman's Package prize, valued at $50,000, to the angler who catches the largest bass, which in this case is Jerry Reese of Flower Mound TX, for his "awesome" 10.53 lb McSplash. "We also awarded a $15,500 Triton/Johnson-Evinrude bass-rig to the first 2.5 lb exact weight bass brought on each day of the tournament. "AND" the attending public was able to take advantage of a "FREE" boat drawing as well, Bob grinned, "As we'll be giving away an $11,000 Prince-craft Pontoon boat to someone during the final moments of this tournament. "Big Bass Splash & Little Bass for Cash" is what we call it, Bob stated, "so, grab your lawn-chairs and come on down to Lake Fork Marina "AGAIN" on September 20-21-22 of 2002 for the 16th Annual lake Fork McSplash to enjoy some "fun in the sun".

"After providing a "very special" tribute to those victims and rescue workers who're still struggling through the aftermath of those "monstrous" terrorists attacks on America. Bob Sealy then pulled the "luck-o-the-draw" ticket for the FREE pontoon boat, and as Dan Screen of Allen TX, stepped up to claim his $11,000 prize, the 15th Annual Lake Fork McSplash eased into Big Bass History.

McBass ReCap-
Day-1-Hovering clouds and misting rain chances ruled day-1 McBassin' as anglers from 28 states competed for the $300,000 being offered in cash & prizes. Larry Parker of Arlington TX, managed to top-end the leader-board with a 9.15 lb McSplash and Mark Biondi of Burleson TX, nabbed a $15,500 Triton Bass-rig for his 2.5 exact weight bass.

Day-2- Dawned under shifting clouds and clearing skies as the East Texas sun decided to come out to play with the bass-bite, which saw Jerry Reese of Flower Mound TX, take the lead with a 10.53 lb McSplash and Howard Besett of Rogers AR, win a 2.5 lb exact weight $15,500 Triton/Johnson Bass-rig.

Day-3- Started out with a bang as Paul Spain, who was working a black TX rigged Culprit worm along some 10' Caney Creek timber, managed to hook-set on his 3rd cast of the morning, which produced a 8.52 lb McSplash for the 7am to 8am weigh-in hour. Paul was fishing out of his Astro/Tracker bass-rig and working a Castaway rod and Abu-Garcia reel spooled with 20 lb test Fire-line. "I caught that bass on a 6:05am bite, Paul informed, as he told of hurrying in to make the early morning weigh-in. Paul's bass netted him $1,200 for the top of the hour pay-out.

Then came Renee Tannery of Tyler TX, with her 7.70 lb McSplash that she managed to catch on a Carolina rigged Berkley blue-fleck Power-Worm. Renee was fishing with husband, Robert, when they put their Basscat/Mercury over some main-lake point timber in 14' of water, where she worked a Shimano rod and reel spooled with 17 lb test Stren. "I was so nervous when that bass hit at 6:45 am, Renee stated, that I dropped my rod, "BUT NOT" until my husband managed to get it in the boat. Renee received $1,200 for her "nervous" catch.

Then at about 10:05 am, Larry Legg of Omaha NE, was flipping a TX rigged red-shad/green-flake Larew Hoodaddy along some upper-lake timber when he set his hook into a $15,500 Triton bass-rig after catching an exact weight 2.50 lb bass. Larry had maneuvered his Triton/Yamaha bass-rig over the timber-patch to work a St Croix rod and
Diawa reel spooled with 20 lb test P-Line. Larry weighed his bass on a Stren scale that showed his bass weighing in at 2.98 lbs. "Close enough, Larry stated, so I brought it into find out if it would make the 2.5 lb mark.

Then nine-year old Michael Hogg JR, of Yantis TX, was fishing with his dad in the main-lake area when he nailed a nice 1.86 lb bass on a red-shad finesse worm. Michael was working a Falcon rod and Shimano reel spooled with 12 lb test Power-line when he caught his bass from the deck of his dads Ranger/Mercury bass-rig. The youngsters bass held as the largest caught for the little anglers division.

McLeader-Board:

(10.53 lbs)- Jerry Reese of Flower Mound TX, fishing his first Mcbass Tourney ever, managed to get his Charger/Yamaha bass-rig over a 25' patch of main-lake timber that produced a $50,000 McSplash for his efforts. As Jerry worked his Bass-pro rod and Garcia reel spooled with 20 lb test Berkley Big Game mono, he managed to catch a 10.53 lb "Lunker" on a TX rigged black Berkley Power-worm at 2:20 pm, which won him a $1,200 McCheck for the top of the 2- to -3pm hour on Saturday -PLUS- another $50,000 in cash & prizes for WINNING the braggin-rights to the 15th Annual Lake Fork McBass.

(9.15 lbs)- Larry Parker of Arlington TX, and fishing partner Craig Spencer of FT Worth TX, tried their luck up on a Birch Creek cedar patch to work an Allstar rod and Daiwa reel spooled with 17 lb test Trilene XL mono, when Larry, while fishing a fire-tiger Norman DD-22 along some 10" timber, when a 24 inch bass hit on a 12:05 pm big bite, which awarded him $1,200 for his top of the hour win.

(8.52 lbs)-Paul Spain of Tyler TX, who was working a black TX rigged Culprit worm along some 10' Caney Creek timber, managed to hook-set on his 3rd cast of the morning, which produced a 8.52 lb McSplash for the 7am to 8am weigh-in hour. Paul was fishing out of his Astro/Tracker bass-rig and working a Castaway rod and Abu-Garcia reel spooled with 20 lb test Fire-line. "I caught that bass on a 6:05am bite, Paul informed, as he told of hurrying in to make the early morning weigh-in. Paul's bass netted him $1,200 for the top of the hour pay-out.

(8.16 lbs)- A Stratos/Evinrude bass-rig got Doug Haeussler SR to his fishing hole, but a
1 / 2 oz red Hildebrandt spinner-bait enticed the interest of a 24 & 1 / 4 inch long bass. Doug SR of Garland TX, was fishing with son, Doug JR, while working a 14' bare flat up in Caney Creek with an Allstar rod and Abu-Garcia reel spooled with 20 lb test Triple- Fish line when his 8.16 lb lunker bass hit on a 7am big bite. The father & son team have been fishing the McBass tournaments for 12 years now.

(7.78 lbs)- James McCaskey of Yantis TX, ran his Starcraft/Yamaha bass-rig to Coffee Creek area grass & hydrilla to work a Castaway rod and Shimano reel spooled with 20 lb test P-line. James was also wearing the "official" Lake Fork McBass T-shirt when he hooked and landed a 7.78 lb lunker on a TX rigged watermelon/green Zoom trick-worm from a 6'to 8" grass-patch at 9:30 am. McCaskey weighed his bass in during the 11am to Noon T-shirt bonus hour, which paid him $1,200 for the top of the hour win -PLUS- another $1,000 for having the "official" T-shirt in the boat when he caught it.

(7.70 lbs)-Renee Tannery of Tyler TX, managed to catch her 7.70 lb McSplash on a Carolina rigged Berkley blue-fleck Power-Worm. Renee was fishing with husband, Robert, when they put their Basscat/Mercury over some main-lake point timber in 14' of water, where she worked a Shimano rod and reel spooled with 17 lb test Stren. "I was so nervous when that bass hit at 6:45 am, Renee stated, that I dropped my rod, "BUT NOT" until my husband managed to get it in the boat. Renee received $1,200 for her "nervous" catch.

(6.71 lbs)- J.L. Matsler of Texarkana TX, was fishing with partner, Jackey Pate of Redwater TX, when they ran their Javelin/Evinrude bass-rig to some 5' Pension Creek timber. J.L. was working a Berkley rod and Quantum reel spooled with 20 lb test P-line TX rigged with a black/blue Berkley Power worm when he hooked a 24" 6.71 lb bass at 10:56 am. Matsler received $1,200 for his top of the hour weigh-in at 11:35 am -PLUS- another $1,000 cash bonus for having the official Lake Fork McBass T-shirt.

(2.5 lbs)- Mark Biondi of Burleson TX, was fishing a TX rigged 7" black Berkley Power worm on a G-Loomis rod and Shimano reel spooled with 14 lb test Stren Flouro-carbon line when he nailed his new $15,500 Triton/Johnson bass boat on a 6:45 am bite. Mark was working some 6' to 8' timber when his 2.5 exact weight bass hit. "I weighed it on a Berkley electronic scale, Biondi stated, telling that the scale showed the bass weighed between 2.40 and 2.50, so he decided to bring it on in-"GOOD DECISSION".

(2.5 lb Exact Weight)- Howard Besett of Rogers AR, was fishing with a TX rigged Larew plum Hoodaddy when he managed to nail a 9:45 am bite. Howard was fishing out of his Sprint/Johnson bass-rig working a Garcia rod and reel spooled with 20 lb test P-line while fishing a bank shallow grass-patch when he caught his bass that his Wal-mart electronic scale showed as weighing 2.8 lbs. "So I took the chance that it might make the exact weight 2.5 mark and brought it in, stated a "very happy" Besett as he collected the keys to his new $15,500 Triton/Johnson bass boat.

(2.5 lbs)-Larry Legg of Omaha NE, was flipping a TX rigged red-shad/green-flake Larew Hoodaddy along some upper-lake timber when he set his hook into a $15,500 Triton bass-rig after catching an exact weight 2.50 lb bass. Larry had maneuvered his Triton/Yamaha bass-rig over the timber-patch to work a St Croix rod and
Diawa reel spooled with 20 lb test P-Line. Larry weighed his bass on a Stren scale that showed his bass weighing in at 2.98 lbs. "Close enough, Larry stated, so I brought it into find out if it would make the 2.5 lb mark.

Top 5 McSplash:
1-Jerry Reese/Flower Mound TX------------10.53 lbs-$50,000 Sportsman's Package
2-Larry Parker/Arlington TX------------------9.15 lbs-$11,000-Princecraft Pontoon
3-Paul Spain/Tyler TX-------------------------8.52 lbs-$5,000-Polaris Mag 325 4X4
4-Doug Haeussler/Garland TX----------------8.16 lbs-$4,000
5-James McCaskey/Yantis TX----------------7.78 lbs-$2,000

Day-1 Exact Weight 2.5 lb bass-Mark Biondi of Burleson, TX-$15,500 Triton/Johnson Bass Boat.
Day-2 Exact Weight 2.5 lb bass-Howard Besett of Rogers, AR-$15,500 Triton/Johnson Bass Boat.
Day-3 Exact Weight 2.5 lb bass- Larry Legg of Omaha, NE-$15,500 Triton/Johnson Bass Boat

Top Little Anglers Leader-board:
Bass-Michael Hogg JR-(9)-Yantis TX-1.86 lbs
Crappie-Haden Sisckles-(6)-Sulphur Springs TX-1.93 lbs
Perch-Danny Barrick-(12)-Quinlan TX-(.47 lbs)-
Catfish-Pierce McSwiggan-(9)-Richardson TX-(7.76 lbs)-

Polaris 50c 4-Wheeler-"Luck-o-the draw" (8) year old Ms Blair Reynolds of Lufkin, TX.

All bass recovered and live released by the Lake Fork Sportsman's Association live release barge and Shimano fish recovery team:
Day-1 Tally- 341 bass weighing 658 lbs.
Day-2 Tally- 346 bass weighing 643 lbs
Day-3 Tally- 270 bass weighing 508 lbs

(Writers Note--Many Kudo's must go to the Lake Fork Sportsman's Association for their handling & recovery of the incoming tournament bass for live release back into the lake)

For more information on this, and other Sealy Outdoors event, contact Bob Sealy at (1-888-698-2591)- or click to www.sealyoutdoors.com

19th Annual Lake Fork Event Sponsors: McDonalds of Paris & Commerce TX- Triton Boats- Johnson Outboards- Evinrude Outboards- Dodge Trucks - Weaver Motors, Kirbyville, TX - Shimano- Polaris- Texas Fish & Game- Prince Craft- Dawson Marine- AC Delco- Academy- Texas State Networks- The Texas Fishing Show- McCoy's- Latch Oil- www.fishingworld.com - Lake Fork Marina- KMOO 99.9 - Star Country 95.9 & 96.9 - "and" the 19th Annual McBass Anglers-


Blaire Reynolds with her "luck-o-the-draw" Polaris

Micheal Hogg JR with his winning little angler bass
< photos by EdSnyder@jas.net >
dsc90-(Blaire Reynolds with her "luck-o-the-draw" Polaris)-
dsc61-(Micheal Hogg JR with his winning little angler bass)-
dsc55-(Larry Legg with his $15,500 2.5 exact weight Triton bass)-
dsc94-(Jerry Reese claims the 15th Annual Lake Fork McBass "braggin-rights")-

Larry Legg with his $15,500 2.5 exact weight Triton bass

Jerry Reese claims the 15th Annual Lake Fork McBass "braggin-rights"

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