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11.19 Lb Toledo McBass Top-Ends Big Bass Splash
By Ed Snyder

16th Annual $250,000 Sealy Outdoors McDonalds Toledo Bend Big Bass Splash
Sunday, June 23, 2002, Cypress Bend Resort, Lake Toledo Bend, LA.

With the official 6am 'Anglers Start Your Casting" broadcast of KICKS 105fm radio, an estimated 2000 anglers from 19 states and two countries (Canada & Egypt) began fishing for their final day catches of this 16th Annual Big Bass Splash event. And uppermost in the minds of most would be the previous days catch of 11.19 lbs by Bryan Rodriguez. Would it hold, or could their be a larger bass lurking within Toledo's massive 184,000 acres of water? And THIS was almost answered within the first 15 minutes of the 7am hour when a 10.21 lb and a 9.59 lb bass were weighed-in, which was quickly followed up with an 8am big bass splash of 9.90 lbs ……….…. 'ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE'

"We've paid out 240 checks at this tournament event, stated Bob 'McBass' Sealy, which was part of the guaranteed $250,000 cash & prize package. is being paid out at this event, and I would now like to present the $32,000 -1st place 'Sportsman's Package' of a Dodge Sport Truck and a Cherokee Travel Trailer to Bryan Rodriguez for his 'incredible' 11.19 lb winning McSplash. "And as always, Bob announced to an attending McCrowd of over 4,000, we of the Sealy Outdoors group are raising some very important funds to benefit the operational needs of McDonalds Select Children Charities such as the Ronald McDonald Houses, which comes out to over $9,000 this year that makes our total donation so far at over $100,000,000. 'Mark your calendars for June 20-12-22 of 2003 for the 17th Annual Toledo Bend Big Bass Splash, Bob invited before pulling the draw ticket for the Camper, and after Howard Ashley stepped up to collect the keys for his $13,500 Cherokee Camper the 16th Annual McBass splashed into Big Bass history.

Day-1 McCap; HOT and humid summering weather greeted the McBass anglers who plied Toledo Bend waters for 1st day competition that tallied a 1st place 8.10 lb leading McSplash landed by Gary Barcroft of Emory, TX, and marked a 7.28 lb 2nd place lead caught by Eddie Rhea of DeRidder, LA, who also received a $500 McT-shirt Bonus.

Day-2 McCap; HOT and HUMID weather conditions continued into 2nd day competition as the 6am 'anglers start your casting' broadcast echoed from Kicks 105fm radio started an estimated 2,000 angler field from 19 states and two countries flipping, pitching, and cranking their chosen big bass patterns to catch a winning portion of the $250,000 being paid out in cash & prizes.

Day-3-Final; Clouds and big bass ruled the final weigh-in day as an active big bass bite shuffled the leader-board marks up a notch or two. But after all the threats were weighed and tallied Bryan Rodriguez's 11.19 lb big bass caught on Saturday held up as being the "overall" biggest bass of the tournament.

1st place McLeader-(11.19)- Bryan Rodriguez of Port Neches TX, was fishing with his son, 12 year old Cody, and fishing pal, Alvin Breaux, up in Carrice Creek when, after putting his Ranger/Mercury bass-rig over a grass-flat, Bryan set his TX rigged Zoom june-bug craw-worm into a 6:50am big bite. "I thought I was surely going to lose her, Bryan stated, especially after it jumped 4 times, which scared the living 'BLEEP' out of me. "But my fishing pal, Alvin Breaux of Port Arthur TX, managed to net the bass for me. "I told him that we were definitely in the money now, Alvin stated after seeing the huge bass in the net. "My son Cody was my good luck charm today, Bryan stated to the appreciative crowd as his 25 & ¼ inch by 19 & ½ inch big bass was certified into the Toledo Lunker program. Bryan's 11.19 lb bass was successfully live released which will award him an exact replica mount from Toledo Town & Tackle.

2nd place McLeader-(10.81)- Marty Kelley and Jim Beamen of Houston TX, teamed up to fish their Champion/Mercury bass-rig over a Turtle Beach slope where he worked his Castaway rod and Shimano reel spooled with 17 lb test Stren. Marty was fishing the a 4' to 22' slope when the bi g bass hit his TX rigged Zoom watermelon/red worm. "I thought it was a much smaller bass, Marty informed, but quickly change that idea when my partner finally netted it. Marty's 25" by 18" bass was released making it the 2nd Toledo Bend Lunker bass of the tournament, which qualifies him for an exact replica mount provided by Toledo Town & Tackle.

3rd place McLeader-(9.90)- Bobby Welbourn and Keith Ford of Lumberton TX, put their Skeeter/Yamaha bass-rig over a Pendleton Bridge creek-channel to work Castaway rods and Ambassadeur reels spooled with 12 lb test Berkley Tri-lene. Bobby was fishing a Carolina rigged watermelon brush-hog along a 14' grass-edge when the big bass hit on a 6:30am big bite. "I didn't think it was very big at first, Bobby stated, but I got mighty nervous after it came up by the boat before my buddy, Keith, finally netted it for me".

4th place McLeader-(9.59)- Bruce Calhoun of Evadale and Louis Clark of Buna TX, put their Skeeter/Mercury bass-rig over a Housen Bay flats to work Castaway rods and Shimano reels spooled with 20 lb test Mason Bass-On line. Bruce was fishing a TX rigged Zoom plum Olde Monster worm along a 15' timber-edge drop-off when the big bass hit at 6:50am. "MAN, Bruce explained, that bass wrapped me up around, under, and over things before unwrapping itself enough for my partner to net it for me".

5th place McLeader-(8.51)- Rolan DuPre of Hemphill TX, ran his Champion/Johnson bass-rig to Housen Bay grass-beds to work a Falcon rod and Shimano reel spooled with 20 lb test P-line. The lucky angler was fishing a ¾ oz brown/black jig with a pumpkin Zoom craw around the inside edges of a 6'-10' grassbed when he set his hook into an 11:40am big bite that put the 8.51 bass into his boat.

6th place McLeader-(8.14)- Joe Pritchard of DeRidder LA, ran his Xpress/Yamaha bass-rig to the south-lake area to work Texas Island grass-beds with his Castaway rod and Ambassadeur reel spooled with 14 lb test Spider-Wire. Chad was fishing by himself when the 8.14 lb big bass hit his Zoom green-pumpkin/red-chartreuse garlic dipped wacky worm over a 14' grassy bream bedding area. "Prayers do work, Joe informed as he spoke of how 'tuff' it was to land that big bass by himself.

7th place McLeader-(8.10 lbs) - Gary Barcroft, of Emory TX, put his Ranger/Mercury bass-rig over a grass-bed to work his Falcon rod and Shimano reel spooled with 15 lb test Bass-On-Line. Gary was fishing with his wife when he caught his Big Bass on a Carolina rigged French fry in a 12' grass-patch.

8th place McLeader-(8.00)- Steve Delia of DeRidder LA, ran his Champion/Mercury bass-rig to a Pendleton Bridge hump to work his Castaway rod and Shimano reel spooled with 15 lb test Berkley Big Game mono. 'I concentrated on fishing an 8' hump in 25' of water with a shad colored DD-22, Steve stated, as he informed of catching his bass on a 2:30pm big bite.

9th place McLeader-(7.97)- Craig Whitwell of Hurst TX, ran his Triton/Evinrude bass-rig to a Housen Bay grass-flat to work his Loomis rod and Shimano reel spooled with 20 lb test P-line. Craig was fishing a Carolina rigged 4" Zoom trick-worm over a 12' grass-patch when the 7.97 lb bass hit on a 7:15am big bite.

10 th place McLeader-(7.28 lbs) - Eddie Rhea of DeRidder LA, put his Champion/Yamaha bass-rig over 12' brush-patch north of the Six Mile area to work his Castaway rod and Daiwa reel spooled with 30 lb test Spider-wire. Eddie managed to nail his catch on a 7:45am big bite before weighing it in for the 11am T-shirt bonus.

Day-1 (3.0) exact weight bass not weighed but will be given away Sunday in a drawing.
D ay-2 (3.0) exact weight bass-No exact weight boat was weighed-in- Sunday drawing.

Day-3 (3.0) exact weight bass-'FINALLY' at exactly 12:40pm Nick Andrus of Basile LA, managed to lock-in an exact weight 3.00 lb $13,500 Triton Bass Boat. Nick put his Skeeter/Yamaha bass-rig over a Housen Bay grass-mat to work his Falcon rod and Garcia reel spooled with 17 lb test P-line. 'I was fishing an 8' grass-edge with a TX rigged Zoom black/red brush-hog, Nick advised, when the bass hit at 9:05am. "After a while I decided to weigh it on my Wal-Mart electronic scale, which showed it weighing betwixt 2.11 and 3.00 lbs. So I decided to give it a try at the tournament site and 'BINGO'.

A total of 19 anglers received their exact replica bass mounts from the Toledo Bend Lunker Bass Awards/2002 season at this tournament by Reaction Lures CEO John Dean.

Day-1 Tally- 236 bass weighing 837.05 lbs.
Day-2 Tally- 196 bass weighing 685.60 lbs.
Day-3-Tally- 212 bass weighing 787.76 lbs.

The Little Anglers Day 2 standings:
Bass - (3.69)-Trent Cole-(11)-Annacoco, LA
Crappie -(1.82 )- Lauren Hebert-(6 )- Breaux Bridge, LA
Catfish -(3.15 )- Robert Hamilton-(10)- Hemphill, TX
Perch -(0.51)- Megan Velek-(9)-Reddell, LA

For more information please contact Sealy Outdoors at www.sealyoutdoors.com or call 1-888-698-2591.

McDonald's Big Bass Splash is sponsored by Polaris; Triton Boats; Johnson/Evinrude Outboards; Cherokee Campers; McDonald's Mobile Homes & RV; Hayes RV Center; Dawson Marine; Weaver Motors; Academy Sports & Outdoors; AC Delco; MinnKota; Texas Fish & Game; Port-A-Cool; Shimano; Neals Taxidermy; www.FishingWorld.com; Wave Worms; Latch Oil, Inc., and the McBass Anglers. KICKS 105 "The Country Leader" the official radio station and stayed on top of the event keeping the listening ears of the anglers and radio audience appraised of the hourly standings and official times.


The Gals of Sealy Outdoors help Marty Kelley with his 10.81 lb 2nd place McWinner

Bryant Rodrigues hefts the 'Braggin-rights' to his winning 11.19 lb Big Bass Splash
< photos by Ed Snyder >

Bob Sealy helps 6 year old Lauren Hebert with her 1.82 lb winning McCrappie

Bob Sealy announces Bryan Rodrigues and his winning 11.19 lb Toledo Bend Hawg

The 19 anglers recieving their Toledo Bend Lunker Awards
 

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