Lakecaster Online

Rogers and Petty win the Sealy Outdoors Team Splash Season Kick-off
By Patty Lenderman

Super Bowl Sunday marked the season opener for the Sealy Outdoor Team Splash. The first of four events, each with a guaranteed purse of $62,000 in cash awards, 247 teams came to the waters of Toledo Bend. It was a hit or miss event, with hardly any two teams reported using the same lures. Ultimately, Bill Rogers and R J Petty won the event with more than 7 pounds over second place.

It was a gorgeous day to be out on the lake. The morning started out with very chilly temperatures in the 30's, and Bob Sealy launched out the seven flights in only 16 minutes from Cypress Bend Marina for these anglers to race to their fishing holes. Throughout the day the temps rose to almost 70 degrees, and these contenders were battling for one of the 30 places being paid.

As the teams came in, flights 10 minutes apart starting at 3:00 and ending at 4:00, the scales were kept busy with the catches being brought in. It wasn't long before the team of Rogers and Petty brought their sack to the scales, weighing their big basses - two over 8 lbs! Their biggest of the two weighed in at 8.59 lbs, taking big bass overall, earning them a check for $1,000. Setting the rest of their bass on the scales to round out their total weight, the scales tipped at a whopping 27.89 lbs, securing their $12,000 first place win. "We caught our first limit by 9:00" Bill reported. "We caught all of our fish on Mr. Blitz spinnerbaits. White with double willow chrome blades in 4-5' depths. We were on the south end in the back of a grassy cove and it was really muddy. R J hadn't caught any keepers yet at noon, and I had brought lunch for us. I told him he couldn't have any until he put a keeper in the boat. Right after that he caught our first 8 lb'r and I gave him a Nutty Buddy. 10 minutes after that I put our second 8 lb'r in the boat. The bite quit for us around 1:00." This team is sponsored by Dawson Marine and Advertising Visuals.

Second place with a $6,000 check was brought in by Dusty Anders and Shane Lurry. They rocked the scales with their 20.72 lb limit, and they also brought in the second place big bass, weighing her in at 8.22 lbs. "We had a really good day. Everything went right and we didn't lose any. We caught our first limit in 45 minutes, but were able to cull all of those. Our big bass came in at 11:30" they reported. Fishing black/blue ½ ounce cajun jigs, they found their bass along 10'-12' ridges in the stumps. They caught about 10 keepers throughout the day, culling to their final weight. While pre-fishing on Saturday, they landed a 13 pounder that they brought to Toledo Town and Tackle to enter it into the lunker program.

Martin Elshout and Mark Price seized 3rd place with 19.28 lbs, which included their 7.55 lb kicker. They started out fishing jigs to no avail, then switched to a carolina rigged watermelon lizard. They used a 3/4 oz. weight and a 4 ft leader on their rig, throwing in 7'-20' depths in the 1215 area. They found their fish concentrated on secondary points and ridges, and had their first limit in the boat by 8:30. Catching about 20 keepers they were able to cull all of their initial limit and reported that their best bite came around 2:00.

Rounding out the top 10 overall:
1st - $12,000 - 27.89 lbs - Bill Rogers & R J Petty
2nd - $ 6,000 - 20.72 lbs - Dusty Anders & Shane Lurry
3rd - $ 4,000 - 19.28 lbs - Martin Elshout & Mark Price
4th - $ 3,500 - 19.16 lbs - Eddie Rhea & Steve Rhea
5th - $3,000 - 18.10 lbs - David Fox & Richard Wilson
6th - $ 2,500 - 17.22 lbs - Sammy Atchison & Kris Wilson
7th - $ 2,300 - 17.00 lbs - William Dowden & Clayton Hildebrandt
8th - $ 2,200 - 16.85 lbs - Sam Burgay & Mark Herron
9th - $ 2,100 - 16.76 lbs - Michael Hobbs & Ricky Hobbs
10th -$ 2,000 - 16.29 lbs - Robert Byrd & Robert Byrd Jr.

Top 3 big bass:
1st - $1,000 -8.59 lbs - Bill Rogers & R J Petty
2nd - $ 700 -8.22 lbs - Dusty Anders & Shane Lurry
3rd - $500 - 7.55 lbs - Martin Elshout & Mark Price

The next Sealy Outdoors Team Splash event is scheduled for February 22 on Lake Sam Rayburn. Whether you can fish all of the events or just one, it is open for anyone who would like to compete for these cash prizes. 30 places are paid per event, and 30th place receives $700 in winnings, it is only $250 per team to enter.

Also mark your calendars for the upcoming 20th Anniversary of the McDonald's Big Bass Splash on Sam Rayburn April 16, 17 & 18. This event has a record breaking $500,000 payout, with $244,800 in hourly paybacks. It will be a block party like none other including entertainment by country music artist Neal McCoy. Bass fishing legend Jimmy Houston will be there and there will be concessions, games and activities for the whole family to enjoy.

Thank you to the Sabine River Authority of Louisiana for providing the weigh in site at Cypress Bend and the Shimano Live Release Barge.

Tournament sponsors include: Triton, Mercury, Vexlar, MinnKota, Berkley, Wave Worms, Acadamy, Easy View Tackle Systems, Costa Del Mar, Shimano, Pure Fishing, Port-A-Cool, Polar Eyes, Bass Medics Rejuvenade, Dawson Marine, Toledo Town USA, Needmore Tackle & Latch Oil Inc.

1st place team of Rogers & Petty hoist their limit of 27.89 lbs with the help of Bob Sealy. Their 8.59 lb kicker also took 1st place big bass honors

Dusty Anders and Shane Lurry brought in the 2nd place stringer of 20.72 lbs, also seizing 2nd place big bass honors with their 8.22 lb kicker
< photos by Patty Lenderman >

3rd place was won by Martin Elshout & Mark Price with 19.28 lbs, also having the 3rd place big bass at 7.55 lbs

4th place winners with 19.16 lbs were the father / son team of Eddie and Steve Rhea

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