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Big Sam pumps out Big Bass at the Rayburn Oilmen's Classic
By Patty Lenderman

The 8th annual Rayburn Oilmen's Classic brought 150 teams to the scales at Twin Dikes Park Feb 28 & March 1, 2003. This event is open to any person whose annual income is directly derived from being employed or engaged in the exploration, production and/or servicing of oil & gas wells. Thirty seven places were paid on a two day total weight plus three big bass places each day and also a smallest bass check was issued. The lake is rising with the tributaries still pouring into Big Sam and the anglers reported that it rose more than a foot from the start to the finish of this two day event. Overcast skies but calm cool weather greeted these fishermen who had to put their angling know how together to get to and stay on these fish.

1st - 32.61 lbs - Russell Girouard (Hughes Christensen) and Rod Bazer (Chevron-Texaco) took first place with less than ½ lb to spare. Using Yamamoto Senko's in watermelon fished wacky style, they found grassy coves to be holding biting bass. Even though the fish have been being caught shallower, with the rising water conditions this team found them in 15' depths and said it was a tough bite. Their 7.74 lb kicker fish was caught around 11:00.

2nd - 32.25 lbs - Tony Latiolais (Soloco) and Bill Pierce (Pierce Construction) just missed first place overall, but did land day 2 big bass with their kicker weighing in at 9.37 lbs. 8" watermelon-red Zoom lizards was the key for this team fished off of grassy main lake points in 8' depths. Their initial limit was caught by about 9:00 but were only able to cull three times throughout the rest of their day. Their big bass bite came in at 10:30 "We had a great time" they said when asked how their tournament went for them overall.

Overall standings:
1st place - $1,000 - 32.61 lbs - Russell Girouard / Rod Bazer
2nd place - $ 900 - 32.25 lbs - Tony Latiolais / Bill Pierce
3rd place - $ 800 - 31.21 lbs - Clay West / Kirk Leleux
4th place - $ 400 - 29.64 lbs - Ronnie Bergeron / David Thibodaux
5th place - $ 400 - 29.12 lbs - Jamie Polk / Craig Gary

Big Bass day 1 - $ 500 - 9.62 lbs - Neal Duncan
Big Bass day 2 - $ 500 - 9.37 lbs - Bill Pierce

The Board of Directors of the Rayburn Oilmen's Classic would like to thank the participants of their 8th annual tournament. This tournament was formed to benefit the Acadiana Youth, Inc. and the Jasper Abused Children's Shelter. Their goal each year will be to raise funds for this cause, along with making this tournament a great success. "Whether you 'Hook It' with a callaway or a cast-a-way, we hope that you and your family enjoy the weekend. As we say in Cajun Country 'Pass a Good Time'" - Preston Vincent, President

All bass were live released in the Shimano Catch & Release boat. For more information on Oilmen bass tournament events, please call tournament coordinator Charlotte Comeaux at 337-896-2288 or email at ccc32652@aol.com . The next Oilmen's event is the Texas Oilmen's Bass Invitational March 21-22 on Toledo Bend.

Sponsors include: Cajun Outboards - Ocean Runner Marine, Inc. - Dutch - Dolphin Compactors - Louisiana Pipeline & Construction - Huval Trucking - Petroleum Solutions - Stratos Broadband - New Tech Engineering - IPS Saber Energy - Schlumberger - OCS - BLR/LPC Companies - Arnco Technology - Owen Oil Tools - ASCO - Weatherford - Ocean Runner Marine - G & L Well Service - Rayburn Country Club - FMC - Wood Group Production Services - Batteries Included Media Service - Integrated Production Services


1st Place winners Rod Bazer and Russell Girouard (n/p) with their 7.74 lb kicker fish

Tony Latiolas & Bill Pierce took a tight 2nd place finish overall, but secured 1st place day 2 big bass with this 9.37 lb kicker"
< photos by Patty Lenderman >

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