Sealy Outdoors and B.A.S.S. celebrated the 29th annual Sam Rayburn Big Bass Splash event on April 19-21; the event offered $540,000 in guaranteed cash and prizes. Hosted at the Umphrey Family Pavilion, anglers and families from all over the country came to be a part of the experience and excitement.
Days One and Two provided exciting moments for this year’s event with several big bass crossing the scales, but nothing compared to the crowning of this year’s Big Bass Splash champion, Alex Finch of Lancaster, Texas. With his Day One catch, which held up for all three days, he won the crown and trophy along with a Sportsman Package consisting of 2013 Dodge Ram Truck, Triton 20XS powered by Mercury, equipped with MinnKota, Lowrance, Navionics, Power Pole, HydroWave, Healthy Battery and Tournament Saver Pro, PLUS $10,000 cash. A total package valued over $100,000! View complete results.
Twelve places were paid each hour over the course of three days with several added bonus hours that paid to 14 places with a bonus card. A total of $155,400 was paid out to hourly winners. The overall top five anglers received additional cash and prizes.
It was an excruciatingly long wait for Finch. He weighed in a 9.90-pound bass during the 8-9:00 hour on the first day of the Big Bass Splash on Sam Rayburn. Having fished several Big Bass Splash tournaments in the past, he was notably excited when he brought this fish in. Sharing the moment with founder Bob Sealy was of utmost importance. He would not even get the fish out of his boat until he knew Bob would be there to see it. It was placed on the scales, and Finch led the tournament for the next two days just waiting for the scales to close for the last time.
Sam Rayburn is well known for producing double-digit bass, and there were a lot of hooks in the water. Anything could happen.
“I found her two days before the tournament,” Finch explained. “My buddy David Tyroch and I guarded the spot until the tournament. It was in a small pocket about halfway back next to a creek. On Friday morning, we got to the spot about 5 a.m., anchored, turned off all of our electronics and just let everything get quiet and settled.”
At 6 a.m. when the tournament officially began, he threw his watermelon red 4 Fat Jack tube bait into the depths where he had seen the fish.