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10 Bass/37.81 Lbs Wins Oilmen's Bass Classic
By Ed Snyder

-8.10 Toledo Lunker Claims Overall Big Bass-

20th Annual Oilmen's Bass Classic- "GOD BLESS AMERICA AND OUR YOUNG MEN & WOMEN WHO NOW WIELD THE MIGHTY SWORD OF JUSTICE"

Saturday, September 7, 2002, Cypress Bend Resort, Lake Toledo Bend, LA.

Although Tropical Storm Fay made landfall in south Texas her stormy strength was felt as far north as Lake Toledo Bend with her tropical winds and threatening rainsqualls buffeting the final day Oilpatch anglers. Team#488, Bob Walton of Longview TX, and Mike Mahan of Homer LA, maintained their lead with a 5 bass/17.25 lb final day catch to give them a two day total of 37.81 lbs for claiming the "braggin-rights" to the 20th Annual Oilmen's Bass Classic, and Team# 407, Lawrence Roy and Huey D. Stafford buzz-baited an 8.10 lb Toledo lunker to claim the Overall big bass slot.

What makes this "Oilpatch" mega-tournament run so smooth are the special computer teams, weigh-in teams and traffic control krewe that keep the flow of incoming teams moving at a quick pace. As the flights of bass-teams arrive for their scheduled weigh-in times the traffic control group guides the incoming vehicle-boat traffic through the weigh-in site area where team anglers are dropped off with their bass catches and funneled through one of three bass weigh-in lines, who weigh, record and transfer their bass catches to one of two fish recovery barges who carefully treat, and live release the bass back into the lake. The recorded team weigh-in vouchers are then transferred to waiting computer teams for quick tabulations of angler team-weights for immediate leader-board positioning. Those of us who have ever witnessed an "oilpatch" tournament are always left in awe of such a well-organized tournament management structure that can keep a 1,000 plus anglers moving at such a quick and manageable pace.

Day-1-Oil-Cap- (Friday- September 6) The effects of Tropical Storm Fay was felt all the way to Toledo Bend as white-capping winds and threatening rain squalls kept the Oilpatch teams on "rock & roll" alert. The first day team lead went to the 20-56 lb catch of Team# 488, Bob Walton of Woodgroup ESP and Mike Mahan of FINA (retired) who fished north-lake brush-humps. The day-1 Overall Big Bass came in with Haliburton Team# 292, Joe Keller and Chad Woodward who fished mid-lake docks to catch a 7.54 lb big bass on a 9:30 am big bite.

Day-2 Oil-Cap- (Saturday-September 7) Although Tropical Storm Fay visited south Texas her strength could be felt in west Louisiana as tropical winds and rains buffeted the final day Oilpatch anglers. Day-1 leaders, Team#488, Bob Walton and Mike Mahan managed to bring in a 5 bass/17.25 lb catch that gave them a total of 37.81 lbs to claim the "braggin-rights" to the 20th Annual Oilmen's Bass Classic. Team# 407, Lawrence Roy and Huey Stafford put their 8.10 lb lunker on the scale to claim the overall big bass slot.

1st Place Oilpatch Team- (10 bass/37.81)- Team#488, Bob Walton of Woodgroup ESP and Mike Mahan of FINA (retired) managed to hang on to their 1st place position by adding another 5 bass/17.25 lbs to their two-day tally giving them a 37.81 lb finish and the "braggin-rights" to the 20th Annual Oilmen's Bass Classic. "We kept to our first day pattern of fishing white 3 / 4 oz Stanley spinner-baits, 1 / 2 oz black/blue/purple Stanley jigs w/Larew craws, and TX rigged black/blue Larew craws, informed Bob Walton of Longview TX, and Mike Mahan of Homer LA, as they explained how they maneuvered their Blazer/Mercury bass-rig over Beson area brush-humps to work G-Loomis/Allstar rods and Lews/Ambassadeur reels spooled with 20 lb test Berkley Big Game mono while fishing 6' brush-humps with 12' slopes. "We caught an all day bite for 30 bass on day-1, informed the Smith Marine Team of Minden LA, and we managed to catch another 20 bass on day-two for our final cull that won this event.

Overall Oilpatch Big Bass- (8.10)- Team#407, Lawrence Roy of Smith/Chem-tech and Huey D. Stafford of Exxon/Mobil (retired) put their Bullet/Mercury bass-rig over 1215 area grass-banks to work Team-Daiwa rods & reels and Castaway rods with Shimano reels spooled with ABD 14 lb test line. The big bass duo were fishing 2' mustard grass patches with 1 / 2 oz black Lunkerlure buzz-baits when Lawrence hooked an 8.10 lb big bass on an 8:30 am big bite. "We lost another big bass of about the same size at 12:30 pm, stated the excited anglers who claimed the Overall Big Bass slot.

Top 5 Oilpatch Teams
1-(37-81)-Team#488- Bob Walton/Mike Mahan
2-(29-55)-Team#177- Terry & Pam Boddie
3-(26-74)-Team#307- DAVIS Ruttley/Kory Martinez
4-(26-06)-Team#179- Rick Barns/Lanny Avery
5-(25-06)-Team#378- Bill Ainsworth/Robert Pitt
-($68,325 pay out to the top 200 teams)-

TOP 5 Overall Oilpatch BIG BASS
1-(8-10)-Team#407- Lawrence Roy/Huey D. Stafford
2-(7-54)-Team#292- Joe Keller/Chad Woodward
3-(7-53)-Team#44- Steve Moore/Tony Parker
4-(6-52)-Team#59- Leroy Maupin/Randy Wunderlich
5-(6-21)-Team#127- Bob Fontenot/Clint Creader
-($13,600 pay out to the daily top-10 big bass)-

Special Note: Immediately following the 2001 Oilmen's Bass Classic, the tragic, and unparalleled terrorist attack occurred on 9/11. The ramifications from that cowardly event set off a chain reaction of an anguished Nation that are still trying to comprehend the terrible impact of such a heinous crime against the free world. During that attack in New York City eight fire-trucks were destroyed. And though a monetary value cannot be placed on the humanity that suffered, the loss of those fire-trucks provided a critical situation for the people of New York. With that in mind, the Oilmen's Bass Classic Board of Directors contributed $20,000 to a special fund that was set up to replace those lost in the attacks of 9/11. These fire-trucks are built in Louisiana at a cost of $750,000. Those of you who're participating in these Oilpatch events can take GREAT PRIDE in the fact that YOU have made a significant contribution to aide our fellow Americans in this time of National tragedy. "God Bless you all and "GOD BLESS AMERICA AND OUR YOUNG MEN & WOMEN WHO NOW WIELD THE MIGHTY SWORD OF JUSTICE"
Luck-O-The-Draw- $30,000 Cajun Outboards Fully-Rigged Dual Console Skeeter/Mercury SX-200 Bass Boat -(Not Available at this writing)
Luck-O-The-Draw- $1,500 Cal-Dive Bass-Pro Water Quest Duck Boat- (Not Available at this writing)

All bass recovered and live released by SRA/LA and Bass-N-Bucks fish recovery.
Day-1 tally- 1,131 bass weighing 2,467.50 Lbs-
Day-2 tally- 775 bass weighing 1,690.58 Lbs-

For more information on the Oilmen's Bass Classic contact Charlotte Comeaux at 337-235-9464
\-

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Team#488- Bob Walton -R- and Mike Mahan celebrate their 37.82 1st place "Oilpatch" win

Team#407- Lawrence Roy- L- and Huey D. Stafford heft their 8.10 lb "overall" big bass
< photos by Ed Snyder >

"The Spirit of Louisiana" Fire Truck sent to New York City to help replace those that were lost on 9/11

The 20th Annual Oilmen's Bass Classic Tournament Krewe

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