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38.30 lbs Wins Sealy Outdoors 2nd Open Team Event
By Patty Lenderman

March 16, 2003

For the second month in a row, record numbers of teams were re-set for Sealy Outdoors Open Team tournaments. This March event was the kind of tournament that gives you goosebumps to watch with 311 teams battling for the $46,500 in prize money given away in 30 places. This was a day of reckoning for the black bass of Toledo Bend as 212 teams brought in limits and top 20 places weighed in over twenty pound sacks. Other records broken in this phenomenal event were the total number of fish brought to the scales (1,205) for a total record tournament weight of 3,347.36 lbs! These anglers brought in strong sacks, evidenced by the fact that in a tournament paying 30 places it took over 18 lbs to snag a check.

1st place - 38.30 lbs - Dickie Newberry and John Gunnels both of Houston, TX brought in the record setting tournament limit using Lake Fork Tackle black neon tube baits lined with Spider Wire. They fished the northern end of the lake in about 3' of water flipping bushes. Their big bass, 9.92 lbs, was caught in a bush that Dickie had literally fallen into 3 years ago. When they got to this bush Dickie told John, his partner, that it out to be good for at least a 5 lb'r because he had left his mark on it when he fell in. They specifically searched out muddy water areas and enjoyed an all day bite, culling 6 before days end. This team is sponsored by Lake Fork Tackle, Dawson Marine, Castaway Rods and Champion Boats.

2nd place - 28.10 lbs - Billy Billeaud of LaFayette, LA and Brooke Morrison of Breaux Bridge, LA found their luck using Falcon jigs in black/blue and brown/amber trailored with Zoom Big Critter Craws in green pumpkin as well as black/blue Zoom chunks. Fishing the mid lake area they concentrated on shallow flooded bushes in cove areas. Their best bite came around 9:30 but it was all over by 10:30. Their kicker fish weighed 8.54 lbs and reported that they both missed the same fish during the day, each having the fish on their line on the way to the boat when by taking their eyes off of it for just a moment it got off both times. This team is sponsored by Falcon jigs.

3rd place - 25.92 lbs - Scott David of Goodrich, TX fished alone today, his dad Bill was unable to participate in this event. Scott used amber colored ½ oz Falcon jigs with bubble gum craw trailers. He had a limit in the boat by 8:00 and was able to cull a full limit throughout the day. Finding his fish in brush and Johnson grass, he reported breaking his big bass off, leaving him with a kicker fish of 7.97 lbs which he caught right at 2:00. Scott David is sponsored by Dave Mungenast Motor Sports, Ranger Boats, Costa Del Mar Sun Glasses, Falcon and Kistler Rods.

Big Bass - 10.40 lbs - Darren Duhon of Orange, TX and Chris Gallender of Baytown brought in the big bass of the tournament "fishing the beds". They used black/blue tube baits in brush and ditches in only 1' depths. This was their first fish of the day, and they had their 21.15 lb limit by 8:30.
Overall Standings:
1st - 38.30 lbs - $10,000 - Dicky Newberry & John Gunnels
2nd - 28.10 lbs - $4,000 - Billy Billeaud & Brooke Morrison
3rd - 25.92 lbs - $3,000 - Scott David
4th - 24.92 lbs - $2,500 - Patrick Cart & Robin Peak
5th - 24.64 lbs - $2,000 - John Mitchell & Jeff Tall

Big Bass:
1st - 10.40 lbs - $750 - Darren Duhon & Chris Gallender
2nd - 9.92 lbs - $500 - John Gunnels & Dicky Newberry
3rd - 9.22 lbs - $250 - Bruce Brown & Bo Keith

The next Sealy Outdoors Open Team Splash event will be May 18 at Twin Dikes Marina, Lake Sam Rayburn. Every event has a guaranteed payback of $46,500.00. If you would like further information please contact Sealy Outdoors at 888-698-2591, email or visit their website at

Sponsors: Triton Boats - Mercury Outboards - Layton Recreational Vehicles - Polaris - Shimano - Dodge (Weaver Motors Kirbyville, TX) - Vexilar Inc. - Pure Fishing - Berkley - Academy Sports & Outdoors - AC Delco - Polar Eyes - Wave Worms - Minn Kota - Port A Cool - Texas Fish & Game magazine

1st place - Dicky Newberry & John Gunnels with their record setting 38.30 lb limit, also earning 2nd place big bass honors with their 9.92 lb kickder

Billy Billeaud & Brooke Morrison captured 2nd place with 28.10 lbs
< photos by Patty Lenderman >

Scott David secured 3rd place with 25.92 lbs

Big Bass of the tournament weighed in at 10.40 lbs, brought in by Darren Duhon and Chris Gallender

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