Beautiful weather greeted anglers this morning for the start of the Sealy Outdoors Big Bass Splash on Toledo Bend Reservoir.  Just a few weeks ago, stormy weather and a strong cold front made for tough fishing on Lake Sam Rayburn for the Big Bass Splash there.  But, today, it was clear skies, light winds and temperatures pushing 80 by the afternoon.

The first bass of the day tipped the scales at 3.13, and just a few minutes after that, Melanie Pikes of Houston scored one for the ladies with a fish weighing 6.80 pounds. The biggest fish of the day belonged to Steven Ruschmeier of Slidell, Louisiana.  His 9.87 bass is in the lead going into day number two on Saturday.

The first $5,000 exact weight bass was brought in by Mitchell Chapman of Lafayette. When the scale locked in at 4.00, he was a bit perplexed at the attention he was getting.  Officials had to explain to him that he was about to be $5,000 richer.  The second exact weight fish was brought in just a few minutes later as Greg Ener of Hudson, Texas claimed five grand for his 3.00 bass.  No one hit the exact weight 5-pounder, so that $5,000 will be given away on Sunday through a drawing of all registered anglers.

Here's the overall top five after the first day of fishing as well as a few photos of day one:

  1. Steven Ruschmeier, Slidell, LA - 9.87
  2. John Bowen, Hemphill, TX - 9.54
  3. Danny Lashley, Boyce, LA - 8.87
  4. Robert Hurst, Oxford, AL - 8.44
  5. Harvey Sharp, Hemphill, TX - 8.44

2021 Big Bass Splash Toledo Bend - Day One