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5 Bass/16.10 Lbs Takes Pro/Win At Toledo BFL
By Ed Snyder

-5 Bass/14.12 Lbs Lands Co/Win-

Wal-Mart/Operation Bass Fishing League- Cowboy Division.
Saturday, February 16, 2002, Frontier Park, Lake Toledo Bend, TX.

Warm spring-like weather dominated most of the day but a "chilly" ripple front re-conditioned the bass-bite as 402 teamed anglers launched into the opening event for the Cowboy Division of the Wal-Mart/Operation Bass Fishing League tournament. But even with the bite seeming lock-jawed for most, with several "almost limits" coming in, there were a few who fished north and south of the Pendleton bridge to catch enough winning weights to secure their leader-board winnings.

Special note: Two BFL anglers were lost to this circuit on February 9, after their boat was holed and sunk on Lake Toledo Bend while pre-fishing for this event. Both men were lost due to severe hypothermia. The Wal-Mart BFL tournament teams managed to raise $1,308 dollars from their pockets to donate to the family needs of Lester Nickelbur and Doug Bailey. May God bless and rest their souls.

1st place Pro-(5 bass/16.10 lbs)- Pro/Angler Robert Anderson of Zwollie LA, ran his Triton/Mercury bass-rig to north of the Pendleton Bridge to work Falcon rods and Shimano reels spooled with 15 lb test P-line. The first place pro caught 5 bites for 5 bass by pitching ¼ oz black/blue/purple Cyclone spinner-baits with dog paddle trailers and TX rigged black/blue Reaction craw-goes from north-lake timber.

2nd place Pro-(5 bass/15.5 lbs)- Timpson TX, pro/angler, Stan Burgay put his Ranger/Yamaha bass-rig south of the Logansport Bridge to work stump patches with Shimano rods and reels spooled with 20 lb test Berkley Big Game mono. The 2nd place pro fished bank shallow to 5' areas with 5/16 oz black/blue Stanley jigs w/pork-craws and 5/8 oz chartreuse/white Bulldog spinner-baits.

Overall Pro/Angler Big Bass-(8.9 lbs)- Wyatt Withers of Buna TX, put his Javelin bass-rig south of the Pendleton Bridge to work Housen Bay grass with a Falcon rod and Abu-Garcia reel spooled with 12 lb test P-line. The pro/angler was working a red Deep Little N along an 8' inside grass-line when his 8.9 lb big bite hit at high-noon for a $1,000 check.

Top-5 Pro/Anglers:
1-(16-10)-Robert Anderson/Zwollie, LA-$5,000
2-(15.50)-Stan Burgay/Timpson, TX-$2,500
3-(14-11)-Harold Allen/Shelbyville, TX-$1,500
4-(14.10)-Bryan Fox/Pineland, TX-$1,200
5-(14.6)-George Clark/Center, TX-$1,000

Pro/Angler Tally-378 bass weighing 947 lbs-

1st place Co/Angler-(5 bass/14.12 lbs)- Joe Daw of Spring TX, was fishing with pro/angler George Jeane JR. while fishing south of the Pendleton Bridge with Abu-Garcia rods and Daiwa reels spooled with 20 lb test Berkley Big Game mono. The co/angler won his #1 spot by fishing C-rigged gourd green Zoom Fries along south-lake 12'-15' grass-edges.

Overall Co/Angler Big Bass-(6.13 lbs)- George Bruyn of FT Worth TX, was fishing west of the Pendleton Bridge with pro/angler Archie Halley of MT Pleasant TX, when working a Shimano rod and reel spooled with 14 lb test Stren up in a Carrice Creek 8' hydrilla patch when the 6.13 big bite hit at 7:45 am on a C-rigged watermelon/blue-metal-flake Zoom Fry for a $500 check.

Top-5 Co/Anglers:
1-(14.12)- Joe Daw/Spring, TX-$2,500
2-(14.90)-Reed Sartin/Austin, TX-$1,250
3-(14.40)-Barry Helberg/The Woodlands, TX-$750
4-(12.60)-Gary Reimers/Frisco, TX-$600
5-(12.10)-Kenny Moser/Alba, TX-$550

Co/Angler Tally-219 bass weighing 532 lbs-

All bass recovered and live released by the BFL fish recovery team.

The top-30 Cowboy Division boaters and co-anglers will advance to regional competition Oct. 29-Nov. 2 on Lake Hamilton near Hot Springs, Ark., where they will go up against top competitors from the Okie, Ozark and Gulf Coast divisions for a shot at qualifying for the Wal-Mart BFL All-American - one of the most lucrative post-season tournaments in competitive angling, where 2002 BFL awards could reach $7 million based on full fields.

For more information on Wal-Mart BFL events contact (270)-362-4880 -or- click to www.bassfishingleague.com -or- www.operationbass.com .

Wal-Mart/Operation Bass BFL Sponsors:Wal-Mart- Faded Glory- Stanley- Alpo- EverStart- BC- Evinrude- Shop-Vac- BF Goodrich- Frito- Lay- Conseco- Fuji- Stren- Garmin- Kellog's- Snickers- Coleman- Land-O-Lakes- Chevy Trucks- Minn-Kota- US Bank- Castrol- Poulan- Energizer- Yamaha- Pepsi- Weed Eater- Abu Gracia- Berkley- Eagle Claw- Laker- Plano- Solar Bat- and the BFL Anglers.


Wyatt Withers with his 8.9 lb pro/big bass

Robert Anderson with 2 reps to his 1st place pro/win
< photos by Ed Snyder >

George Bruyn with his 6.13 lb co/angler big bass

Top 2 pros and Co/angler- L-R- Robert Andeson- Stan Burgay- Joe Daw

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