Lakecaster Online

21st Annual Oilman's Bass Classic
By Patty Lenderman

What an exciting weekend at Cypress Bend Park on Toledo Bend September 5th & 6th. For the twenty first year in a row the Oilmen held their Bass Classic and this year had 650 participating teams. A great payout of $82,125.00 divided into two hundred overall places and ten big bass places per day. To help get all those fish back to the water as quickly as possible, the Negreet High School Cheerleaders came to earn money for their uniforms.

As always, each day of the event there was plenty of good cajun cooking for everyone present to enjoy. From the anglers to the workers, everyone had a good time. Each year they make a donation to the Toledo Bend Lake association for the restocking program, and this year a check for $1,500 was awarded to them. Another sizeable donation to a children's hospital or other deserving charity is also made each year. The Oilmen's organization is noted for giving back to the communities they represent and enjoy.

Day one started out with partly cloudy skies and temps in the 80's for most of the day which proved to be a working weather scenario for the anglers. Leading the pack for the first day were:

Top 5 Day 1 leaders:
1st 17.02 lbs John Girouard / Paul Farr
2nd 16.07 lbs Kenneth Arceneaux / Thomas Carpenter
3rd 15.50 lbs Steve Gifford / James Bennet
4th 15.40 lbs Travis Bergeron / Glenn Allemand
5th 14.61 lbs Eric Leger / Scott Deshotel

Top 5 Big Bass Leaders Day 1
1st 9.01 lbs Ralph Decill
2nd 7.43 lbs Edwin Howell
3rd 7.35 lbs Bobby Buller
4th 7.18 lbs Kenneth Arceneaux
5th 7.01 lbs John Girouard

It wasn't just bass that was brought to the weigh in site. A 63 year old woman and her husband toted in a tagged alligator that measured over 12 feet! What an exciting day.

Day two came with a high pressure cool front that was great to be outdoors in, but the blue bird skies put a damper on the catching end. Most of the anglers stuck to the same top water patterns and jig fishing that worked for them the day before, but couldn't get the fish to cooperate near as well as the first day. Most reported a good early morning bite until about 8:00am, then only scattered bites after that. A variety of baits, ranging from chug bugs and buzz baits to Senko's and jigs were used. Four to eight foot depths with scattered grass was a common denominator for most anglers, while a few found their fish in up to 10' depths in scattered timber. In the end, it was just a matter of hundredths of ounces that separated each place.

Overall Top 10:
1st 25.81 lbs $3,000 Bucky Crowsen / Bret Rogers
2nd 25.74 lbs $2,500 Travis Bergeron / Glenn Allemand
3rd 25.69 lbs $1,750 Eric Leger / Scott Deshotel
4th 25.32 lbs $1,250 James Kiser / Mike Mahan
5th 25.09 lbs $1,000 Steve Gifford / James Bennett
6th 24.96 lbs $ 900 Charlie Woods / Harley Wilson
7th 24.10 lbs $ 800 Joe Russell / David Theriot
8th 23.10 lbs $ 700 Kevin Macumber / Joe Bigler
9th 22.50 lbs $ 600 John Girouard / Paul Farr
10th 22.48 lbs $ 500 Scott Moore / Ray Neslony
Day 2 Top 5 Big Bass:
1st 6.85 lbs Kirk Headley
2nd 5.77 lbs Jerry Huntley
3rd 5.59 lbs Anthony Kyzar
4th 5.19 lbs Jerry White
5th 5.03 lbs Kevin Baxter

To be eligible to fish in the Oilmen's events, a person must be employed full time with their primary annual income being derived from being directly employed or engaged in the exploration, drilling, production, and or servicing of oil and gas wells.

Dave Concienne of Bass 'n Bucks brought his live release barge teamed up with the Sabine River Authority and their Shimano live release barge to take the fish back out into the waters of Toledo Bend for live release.

"A special thanks for all the past board members and sponsors that worked so hard to start this grand tournament. We want to thank you, the participants and sponsors, for making our Oilmen's Bass Classic the OLDEST Oil and Gas industry bass tournament. Also, we recognize that without the help of volunteer workers and the cooperation from the Sabine River Authority and Cypress Bend Resort personnel, that this tournament would not be what it is today. We have had 20 great years and we recognize that without the help of the past board of directors this tournament would not be the success it is today. The generous support of our sponsors has allowed us to provide the participants with two days of outstanding fishing, fun, and entertainment. Again, thanks for all the hard work and congratualations to all involved in helping make it to 21 years." - Kenneth Crouch, Pres. & Richard Hoss, VP Oilman's Bass Classic

For more information on this and other Oilmen's events, click to www.oilmensbassclassic.com.


Ralph Decell brought in the big bass of the tournament on day 1, weighing in at 9.01 lbs

Tipping the scales at 6.85 lbs, Kirk Headley reeled in the top big bass slot for day two
< photos by Donald Gervais>

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