Lakecaster Online

Abernathy & Bryant Win Sealy Outdoors 3rd Open Team Event
By Patty Lenderman

May 18, 2003
Twin Dikes Marina, Lake Sam Rayburn

With only one tournament to go in the series, the 187 teams who came to fish the third event were cranking hard to get all the points and pounds to the scales that they could. As always, these teams came on strong with 101 teams bringing in limits for a total tournament weight of 1,542.02 pounds. It was the team of Sid Abernathy and Bob Bryant who brought in the winning stringer, total weight of 26.03 lbs. Michael and Lance Lowery brought in the big bass of the tournament, weighing 10.28 lbs! These anglers have only one more tournament to go before the championship. The date for the 4th and final event has changed from June 29th to July 13th on Toledo Bend.

The anglers came in on a beautiful morning with partly cloudy skies and a light breeze. It wasn't long before the temperatures rose to the upper 80's, reminding us that we are knocking on summer's door. By the time the teams pulled in to Twin Dikes Marina to weigh in their catch, they were all marked with the signs of getting a lot of sun throughout the day.

1st place - $10,000 - 26.03 lbs - Sid Abernathy and Bob Bryant, both of Nacogdoches, TX brought in their limit using Rapala DT-10's as well as white Stanley spinnerbaits. Both of them having fished this lake for over 30 years, they went straight to some familiar "honey holes" that they knew traditionally held big bass. Finding their fish in main lake areas, they fished flates, guts and underwater structure that had holding hydrilla in 7'-15' depths. Two of their bigger fish were caught around 8:00am, and they caught a lot of smaller fish throughout the day. The bigger bite picked back up around 2:00, and in that next hour they caught three more chunks to finish their winning stringer. This team is sponsored by Ranger Boats, Terry's Marine, Shimano Rods & Reels, Falcon Rods, Evinrude Motors, Minkota Trolling Motors, Lowrance Depth Finders, Stanley Baits and Rapala Lures.

2nd place - $4,000 - 23.65 lbs - James Ausmus and Harry Thomas, both of Alvin, TX was glad for their catch, and when they weighed in they had taken the lead. James knew that although it was a good stringer, Rayburn is known for producing better weights. "We had a good day and really enjoyed it" said James. Their kicker fish weighed in at 6.47 lbs and throughout the day they were able to cull out 6 other fish in the 3 lb range. Concentrating on lily pads in the mouths of coves, this team pitched and flipped 3/8 oz black/blue jigs as well as Texas rigged 10" red shad worms in 10-12' depths.

3rd place - $3,000 - 22.72 lbs - Dewey and Johnny Vines, a father & son team from Port Arthur and Orange have been a fishing team since Johnny was a young boy. Their teamwork paid off, taking both 3rd place overall and also 3rd place big bass with their 7.54 lb kicker. Watermelon wacky worms was the bait of choice for them, throwing on mossy humps in 5'-7' depths. Their best bite came between 10:30-12:00 and they were able to cull three times to their final weight.

4th place - $2,500 - 20.91 lbs - Bill Domingue of Sulphur, LA and Greg Pugh of Lake Charles brought in their catch which included their 6.56 lb kicker fish using Zoom watermelon lizards. They fished main lake ridges in the north lake area with hydrilla. Their best bite came early, having a limit in the boat by 7:00am and lasted until noon. After that, the bite got really tough. This team is sponsored by Champion Boats, Mercury Motors, Shimano Rods and Reels, Lake Charles Tackle and Lakes Area Marine.

5th place - $2,000 - 20.71 lbs - Curtis Fisette and Scotty Reynolds, both of Zwole, LA had a 7.26 lb kicker in their bag that helped secure their 5th place position. Slow rolling 3/4 oz chartreuse / white spinnerbaits in 12-15' depths was the key for this team. Watching for areas that had drop offs in the grass, they enjoyed a good bite from sun up until about 1:00 when the bite shut down. They caught about 4 limits. This team is sponsored by Reaction Lures and Castaway Rods.

6th place - 18.27 lbs - Lance Lowery / Michael Lowery
7th place - 16.92 lbs - Jim Moroski / RJ Petty
8th place - 16.86 lbs - Richard A. Cunningham / Richard L. Cunningham
9th place - 16.53 lbs - Mike Taylor / Ray Beck
10th place - 16.48 lbs - Mike Bono / Wade Reed

1st Place Big Bass - $750 - 10.28 lbs - Lance and Michael Lowery, both of Etoile, TX brought in a five fish limit that put them in top 10, but their big bass put them on the top of the list. They caught this lunker around 8:30am flipping watermelon worms in the grass. "I thought it was a catfish at first" Lance commented "she fought hard". They caught a lot of fish throughout the day, and was able to cull five times to their total stringer weight of 18.27 lbs.

2nd Place Big Bass - $500 - 7.59 lbs - Darrell Proffitt / George Proffitt
3rd Place Big Bass - $250 - 7.56 lbs - Dewey Vines / Johnny Vines

The date for the 4th and final Sealy Outdoors Open Team Splash 2003 event has changed, and will now be July 13, Cypress Bend Park, Toledo Bend Lake. 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 - BassMedics Rejuvenade

1st place winners Bob Bryant and Sid Abernathy weighing in 26.03 lbs

James Ausmus and Harry Thomas (n/p) secured 2nd place with 23.65 lbs
< photos by Patty Lenderman >

10.28 lbs took big bass honors, brought in by Lance and Michael Lowery

(L-R) 1st - Bob Bryant, Sid Abernathy, 2nd - James Ausmus, Harry Thomas, 3rd - Dewey & Johnny Vines, 4th - Greg Pugh, Bill Domingue, 4th - Scotty Reynolds & Curtis Fisette, Big Bass - Lance and Michael Lowery

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