The Sealy Outdoors Big Bass Splash will bring an expected more 3,000 fishermen to Lake Fork this weekend for the annual event where “amateurs win like the pros.” The big tournament is headquartered at Lake Fork Marina Friday through Sunday.
Lake Fork Marina and Wood County Industrial Commission member Ken Donahue expects a lot of folks to be in attendance. “This is the second largest bass fishing tournament in the nation. We should have at least 3,000 entrants,” Donahue said. “It annually brings a lot of people to the lake and the county. They have all kinds of drawings where people can win a variety of prizes. Sunday afternoon at weigh-in will be a huge crowd and it’s a lot of fun.”
The tournament guarantees $475,000 in cash and prizes including $171,150 in hourly payouts. There will be 15 hourly payouts beginning with the 7 to 8 a.m. hour for the 15 single heaviest bass weighed in. Each hour’s heaviest bass pays $1,500 with second paying $900, third $800, fourth $700, fifth $600, sixth $500, seventh $450, eighth $425, ninth $400, 10th $375, 11th $350, 12th $325, 13th $300, 14th $275 and 15th $250.
The grand prize winner goes home with a 2017 Triton TrX powered by Mercury, equipped with Minn Kota, Lowrance, Navionics and Power Pole, a 2017 Ram truck and $7,000 cash. Finishing second will get you a 2017 Triton ReX powered by Mercury, equipped with Minn Kota and Lowrance, a 2017 Ram truck and $2,000 cash. For third place the prize is a 2017 Triton 18 TrX powered by Mercury, equipped with Minn Kota and Lowrance plus $1,000. Fourth place takes home $4,000 cash and fifth place gets $6,000 cash.
A cash award of $5,000 will go to the first angler to bring in a bass weighing 2.50 pounds. The fisherman weighing in the heaviest bass under the slot limit for the three-day tournament will receive $5,000. In the elimination drawing all contestants are eligible to win a 2017 Triton powered by Mercury with Minn Kota and Lowrance.
The Sunday final weigh-in, announcement of the winners and open drawings will be at Lake Fork Marina. The crowd, in addition to fishermen, will reach as many as 1,500 to 3,000 so people are encouraged to take their lawn chairs and go early to get a good spot. You must be present to win in the open drawings.
WCIC is the venue sponsor and KMOO radio has hourly updates for the entire tournament. “The WCIC is proud to be a sponsor for this great annual event. Every year the tournament draws thousands of people to Wood County who use our restaurants, lodging establishments and stores,” Kiki Bettis, WCIC executive director, said. “This is a multi-million dollar tournament and one of the top ones of its kind in the nation. We have proudly supported Bob Sealey’s Big Bass Splash for many years and hope to continue to do so in the future. “
The entry fees are one day, $160; two days , $210; three days $260 and are per person. Lake Fork Marina is north of Alba just east of Highway 17 and a mile south of Farm-to-Market 515 on Wood County Road 1558.