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5 Bass/20.90 Lbs Wins Rayburn Team-Splash
By Ed Snyder

Sealy Outdoors $260,000 Open Team Splash Series;
Sunday, April 28, 2002, Twin Dikes Marina, Lake Sam Rayburn, TX.

Changing weather re-conditioned the bass-i-tudes as hard sunshine replaced pre-tournament "rock & roll" winds as 196 teams tried to pattern a post spawn bass-bite. But even though it was mostly assured that this event wouldn't tally-up the record bass catches of the previous April team-splash event, which marked 15 team-sacks weighed-in at over 20 lbs each, expectations for some "Rayburn-Sized" bass-sacks were still being anticipated.

"This is our third, of four, team-splash tournament events this year, informed Bob Sealy, "as we've guaranteed over $260,000 in cash & prizes for our 2002 "Team-Splash" tournament series, "which will culminate as a Rayburn/Toledo $81,000 Triton split-lake Championship scheduled for September on Lake Toledo Bend and lake Sam Rayburn. "Our team-splash series pays out a guaranteed $44,000 per event, with $10,000 CASH for 1st place and $5,000 CASH for 2nd place. "But, if this isn't enough to attract your competitive fishing interests, Bob further noted, "Then why not try our $MILLION$ dollar Big Bass Splash series with upcoming events being held on Lake Toledo Bend, and Lake Fork. "NO, you say! "You don't do freshwater! "But much prefer saltwater fishing instead! "Well, Bob grinned, "it just so happens that we will be on Galveston Bay next week with a "Guaranteed" $28,750 "Team Trout Splash" event scheduled on Tiki Island, at Teakwood Marina, on Saturday, May 4th. "So, what's your argument now, Bob grinned, "The bass and the specks are biting folks, and it's time to go fishing!

1st place team-( 5 bass/20.90)- Mark Allen of Lindale TX, and C.J. Lester of Many LA, put their Ranger Mercury bass-rig over south-lake grass-patches to fish Falcon rods and Abu-Garcia reels spooled with 65 lb test Berkley whiplash line. "The Boat Center" of Flint TX, team worked green/pumpkin 1 oz Oldham jigs with green/pumpkin Larew craws within 15'-16' deep-grass to catch their winning 20.90 lb weight, which included a 6.50 lb big bite.

2nd place team-( 5 bass/18.41)- James Ausmus and Harry Thomas of Alvin TX, ran their Tidecraft/Yamaha to Needmore and Squirrel Creek grass-flats to work Shimano rods and reels spooled with 17 lb test Berkley line. The Alvin TX, team fished white/black Pop-R's and pepper/chartreuse brush-hogs along 10'-12' grass to catch their 2nd place win, which included a 5.18 lb big bite.

Overall Big Bass-( 7.07)- Sgt 1st Class, Terry Helgeson of Fort Polk LA, was fishing with his son, Chris, while running their Procraft/Mercury to Farmers Flats grass to work Castaway rods and Shimano reels spooled with 12 lb test Berkley Big Game mono. The father & son team were fishing watermelon Senko's over an 8'-10' grass-patch when Dad nailed the 7.07 big bass on a 7:10 am big bite.

Top 5 Teams:
1-(20.90)-Mark Allen/C.J. Lester------------$10,000
2-(18.41)-James Ausmus/Harry Thomas---$4,000
3-(16.65)-Stan Burgay/Mark Herron--------$3,000
4-(15.98)-Mel Hawkins/Alton Rankon-----$2,500
5-(15.78)-Archie Dore II/Emanuel Settl-e-$2,500

1st big bass-(7.07)-Terry Helgeson/Chris Helgeson-$750
2nd big bass-(6,50)-Mark Allen/C.J. Lester-$6.50---$500
3rd big bass-(6.21)-Slade Dearman/Randy Dearman-$250

This team-splash event paid out $44,000 to the top 25 teams with a cut-off at (11.96 lbs)-

Next Sealy Outdoors Events:
Team-Trout- May-4th, at Teakwood Marina, Tiki Island, Galveston Bay, TX.
Team-Splash- June 9th, Cypress Bend Resort, Lake Toledo Bend, LA.
Big Bass Splash, June 21, 22, 23rd, Cypress Bend Resort, Lake Toledo Bend, LA.

All bass recovered and live released by Sealy Outdoors bass recovery with 464 bass weighing 1,101 lbs, and 54 limits caught.

For more information on the Sealy Outdoors freshwater & saltwater tournament series contact Bob Sealy at (888-698-2591)- or click to -

Sealy Outdoors Tournament Sponsors: Triton- Johnson/Evenrude- Polaris- Shimano- Academy- Cherokee of McDonalds R.V.- Dawson Marine- Weaver Brothers Dodge- AC Delco- Minn-Kota- Texas Fish & Game- Wave Worms- Neals Taxidermy- Port-A-Cool- - Latch Oil- The Stump Restaurant- Toledo Town & Tackle- Needmore Tackle- and the Sealy Outdoors Tournament Anglers.

Mark Allen with a solid rep to his 20.90 lb $10,000 1st place catch

Top 5 team-splash anglers with BIG BASS 1st thru 2nd- R-L- kneeling and 3rd thru 5th L-R- rear
< photos by Ed Snyder >

1st Sgt Terry Helgeson and son Chris display their 7.07 big bass

Ausmus and weigh-in crew show off reps to their 18.41 lb 2nd place win

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