Lakecaster Online

Clifton "Bruce" Whitehead Wins Rayburn McSplash
By Ed Snyder

-Evadale TX, angler lands $55,500 with 10.52 McBass-

(Dedicated to all the lady's who ALLOWED their husbands to fish this event)

$MILLION-DOLLAR$ Sealy Outdoors/McDonald Big Bass Splash Tour
Sunday, April, 21, 2002, Twin Dikes Marina, Lake Sam Rayburn, TX.

Barely keeping his nervousness in check for this three long day McBass-A-Thon, Evadale TX, angler, Clifton "Bruce" Whitehead's first day 10.52 lb McSplash managed to hold off all the other McLunkers, which included a 10.25 and 10.10 lb bass, to take the 18th Annual McDonalds Big Bass Splash. Clifton Whitehead competed against 3,200 McBass anglers who arrived from 31 states and 2 countries to fish this $350,000 event. Catching his 10.52 bass on the very first day of competition, Clifton had to "SWEAT" it out for three long days before claiming his first place $55,500 "Overall" McWin.

"This has definitely been one of our better events, stated Bob "McBass" Sealy, "as we've had 3,200 people enter to fish this tournament who arrived from 31 states and 2 countries. "For more than 18 years now, Bob interviewed, "we've paid out over 34 $MILLION in cash & prizes to the anglers who've fished our events. "and, Bob continued, "in that same period of time we've managed to raise over 3.5 "Million-Dollars" for the Ronald McDonald Houses and other needful Charities. "And now, with this years contribution, we at Sealy Outdoors, are very proud to add another $16,000 to the benefit those needed funds. "PLUS" Bob added, "Sealy Outdoors will donate another $5,000 to help build the new Rayburn Pavilion Park that will become a major event facility for our lake area. "Mark your calendars for April 25, 26, 27, of 2003, Bob announced to the crowd, "for fishing our 19th Annual McDonalds Big Bass Splash, and after drawing the winning draw ticket for a $13,500 Cherokee Camper, Dale Penny of Texarkana stepped up to claim his prize- as the 18th Annual McDonald Big Bass Splashed into Big Bass McHistory.

As a special guest to the 18th Annual McDonald Big Bass Splash, Bob Sealy introduced Texas Governor Hopeful Tony Sanchez to the McBass family. Popularly known as "The Sportsmen's Friend" , Tony Sanchez went on to speak to the McCrowd about his views on sport-fishing and the importance of. And Tony Sanchez received "boystrous" applauds of approval from the spectators.

Also, fishing within the hourly adult weigh-ins, were the "Little Anglers" who were fishing for catfish, perch, crappie, bass, as they too become an important part of this family oriented tournament event. Also, the Southeast Texas BASS Federation sponsored and operated a Kids Casting Contest for those children who wanted to learn fishing techs such as pitching, flipping, and casting that could, one day, qualify them for a trip to the prestigious BASSMaster World Classic.

Day-1 McCap: Warm 87 degree weather greeted first day competitors with the first day weigh-in providing an impressive big bass catch that topped out with Evadale TX, angler Clifton Whitehead's McCatch of 10.52 lbs, and marking a 2nd place lead for the 10.25 lb McCatch of Carrollton TX, angler, Ron Degelia.

Day-2 McCap: Summer-like weather continued to bless this event as Clifton Whitehead's 10.52 still maintained its 1 st place McLead, with the 10.25 lb catch of Ron Degelia holding for 2 nd, and a 10.10 lb catch of Stan Miller for 3 rd.

Day-3: Although the skies began shifting with an expected weather front, the final day of the 18th Annual McBass tournament managed to experience continued purrr-fect weather and fishing conditions, which helped to provide the excellent McBass catches for this three day McBass-A-Thon that saw 870 bass weighed-in at over 3,659 lbs..

Adult Division McWinners:
1st place McWinner-(10.52)- Clifton Whitehead of Evadale TX, fished with his son, Coahlton, while putting his fishing efforts over 15' Needmore Point outside grass-patch. While fishing a BassPro rod and Garcia reel spooled with 15 lb test Berkley Big Game mono, Bruce was working a green/pumpkin Senko when the 10.52 "hawg" hit on an 8:40 am big bite. Bruce then made it for the 8-9 am weigh-in by 8:48 am. "NOW, that's FAST!!

2nd place McWinner-(10.25)-Ron Degelia of Carrollton TX, was working his Falcon rod and Shimano reel spooled with 25 lb test Berkley Big Game mono, Texas rigged with a watermelon Zoom lizard, when he set the hook on a 9am big bite that put a 10.52 lb bass in his boat. "I was fishing a Caney grass-point when the big bass hit, Ron stated, as he also informed of having the "official" T-Shirt which gave him the $1,000 bonus for the 11am to 12-noon hour.

3rd place McWinner-(10.10)-Stan Miller of Arlington TX, was fishing a BassPro rod and Shimano reel spooled with 20 lb test Stren line Carolina rigged with a watermelon Air-worm when he caught his 10.10 Mclunker. Stan was working a Farmers Flat 10'-15' grass-bed when the fish hit on a 7:30 am big bite.

4th place McWinner-(9.50)- Carl Ferrell of Silsbee TX, was fishing a Daiwa rod and Ambassadeur reel spooled with 14 lb test Berkley Vanish line, rigged with a pumpkinseed/blueflake Zoom lizard. Carl was working an 8' Farmers Flat grass-patch when the 9.50 lb McLunker hit on a 10:30 am big bite.

5th place McWinner-(9.15)- Ben Gardner of Pennington TX, put his effort up in Ayshe bayou where he fished an Allstar rod and Ambassadeur reel spooled with 17 lb test Berkley Vanish line. Ben was working a ½ oz Stanley watermelon/seed jig with a Larew black/neon-yellow craw around 8' cypress and brush when the 9.15 lb bass hit on a 10:58 am big bite. In being that Ben had purchased the "official" tournament T-Shirt he then throttled out of Ayshe Bayou and headed straight for Twin Dikes Marina to claim his $1,000 for the top of the hour, as well as the $1,000 bonus for the 11am to 12noon T-Shirt Hour.

Top 5 Big Bass Awards-
1-(10.52)-Clifton "Bruce" Whitehead/Evadale TX-$55,500 Sportsmans Pkg -plus-
2-(10.25)-Tom Degelia/Carrollton, TX-$13,500 Cherokee Camper -Plus-
3-(10.10.)-Stanley Miller/Arlington, TX- $6,000 Polaris 4 Wheeler-Plus-
4-(9.50)--Carl Ferrell/Silsbee, TX- $4,000 -Plus-
5-(9.15)-Ben Gardner/Pennington, TX- $2,000 -Plus-

Day-3 Exact-Weight Bass-
3.00-Kennith Lasyone of Colfax LA, decided to fish the San Augustine area, where, after working his Kistler rod and Ambassadeur reel spooled with 15 lb test Berkley big game mono, he managed to catch his bass from a 3' brush-patch on a blue/emerald Zoom brush-hog. Kevin weighed it on a Berkley scale where it showed it weighing 3.00 lbs. The rest became history after Lasyone claimed his $13,600 Triton bass-rig.

4.00-Came in with Lewis Clark of Buna TX, after he worked his Castaway rod and reel spooled with 17 lb test Berkley Big Game mono.Lewis was fishing a watermelon Sling-shot over a 10' Needmore Point grass-top when the fish hit at 10:230am. "I weighed the bass on a Berkley Scale, Lewis stated, and after it showed the bass weighing 4.2 lbs, he decided to bring it in where he was able to claim the $13,600 Triton bass-rig.

5.00-(UNCLAIMED)-Sunday Draw-Boat.

Day-1-T-Shirt Bonus-Ben Gardner/Pennington, TX-$1,000
Day-2-T-Shirt Bonus- Tom Degelia/Carrollton, TX-$1,000
Day-3-T-Shirt Bonus-Roman Skweres/Houston, TX-$1,000 + $1,000 Bonus

Children's Division McWinners-
Catfish-(5.32)- Wyatt Stout-(7)-Kingwood TX-
Perch-(0.59)-Lorie Bishop-(10)-Beaumont TX-
Crappie-(1.42)-Kelsey Jones-(10)-Spring Branch TX-
Bass-(3.77)-Michael Theiler-(12)- Nacogdoches TX-

BASS Federation Casting Kids Champions-
(7-10)-1st-Brittany Land-(8)-Jasper TX- 2nd-Chelsea Biscamp-(7)-Silsbee TX-
3rd-Billy Gilcrease-(7)-Center TX- 4th-Jessica Osburn-(7)-Kirbeyville TX-
(11-14)-1st- Wesley Jones-(13)-Silsbee TX- Garth Baumann-(11)-Buna TX-
3rd- Dylan House-(11)-Jasper TX- 4th-Rock Biscamp-(9)-Silsbee TX-

All fish were released by the Lake Fork Association Fish Recovery Barge.
Day-1-Tally-292 bass/1,292 lbs-
Day-2-Tally-271 bass/1,181 lbs-
Day-3-Tally-307 bass/1,181 lbs-

For more information on this, as well as other Sealy Outdoors events, which include Saltwater Trout "Team-Splash" events, Freshwater Bass "Team-Splash" events, a Texas Hunting "Mega Whitetail Buck" contest, and the Big Bass Splash hourly tournaments, contact Bob Sealy at Sealy Outdoors -(888-698-2591)- e-mail or click to .

2002 McDonald Big Bass Splash Sponsors: Polaris- Triton Boats- Johnson/Evinrude Outboards- McDonald's Mobile Homes- Cherokee Campers- Dawson Marine- Weaver "DODGE" Motors- Academy Sports & Outdoors- AC Delco- Minn-Kota- Texas Fish & Game Magazine- Shimano- Neal's Taxidermy- Port-A-Cool- Wave-Worms- Latch Oil- - and the McBass Big Bass & Little Anglers.

Nicole Sealy and Roger Gay flank Whitehead with his 10.52 McSplash

"The Sportsmen's Friend" Texas Governor hopeful, Tony Sanchez
< photos by Ed Snyder >

BASS Federation Casting Kids Champions with Federation officers

McBass "Little Angler" Winners

Clifton "Bruce" Whitehead and Family Claim 18th Annual McBass

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