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Lake life

McWinner!

How can you pay money to enter a bass tournament, not even catch a fish and still be a winner?

Enter the annual Ronald McDonald House Big Bass Tournament set for May 18 & 19 on the Ouachita River, that’s how.

Here’s how you win:  First, even if you don’t catch a fish, you are a winner because all the proceeds benefit the Northeast Louisiana Ronald McDonald House, which provides economic housing for people with loved ones in local hospitals. A great cause! Second, you can win because there are dozens of prizes, including a grand prizebigbass_logo of $10,000 to be awarded to the angler who lands the largest bass of the tournament. The tournament offers additional cash prizes for the second and third largest bass as well as hourly prizes for the largest fish during that weigh-in period. The first lucky person to reel in a bass that weighs exactly 6.00 pounds will win $10,000. Fishing times will last from daylight until 3 p.m. both days. Awards will be presented at Lazzare Park at 3:30 p.m. May 19.

Early registration for the Big Bass Tournament will last throughout May 11. Early registration entry fees are $85 per person, per day or $150 per person for both days. After May 11, entry fees increase to $95 per person, per day or $170 per person for both days. Those interested in registering for the tournament may do so at The Honey Hole, Toledo Tackle, the Ronald McDonald House or online at www.bayou.com/rmh. You can also register at Lazzare Park on Thursday, May 16, and Friday, May 17.

The folks that organize and put on this tournament are always adding new wrinkles, too. This year kids have a chance to win, too. The Ronald McDonald House teamed up with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to host a tournament for kids up to 15 years old May 18 at the Forsythe Point Recreation Area from 7 – 11 a.m.  The Wildlife and Fisheries stocked the ponds for the tournament, and participants can win first, second and third place prizes in a bass category, a bream category and an other fish category. The first 50 registrants will receive a free rod and reel.

Last year's winner!

Last year’s winner!

Last year, Tom Terregrossa caught a 5.99-pound bass during the early hours of the tournament, but had to wait the majority of Saturday and all day Sunday before he learned that he had won the grand prize of $10,000 in the held on the Ouachita River this past weekend. He almost won more. If Torregrossa’s bass would have weighed exactly 6.00-pounds he would have brought home an additional $10,000.” The second place winner of $2,500 was Ryan Hanson who caught a 5.43-pound bass while third place went to Phillip Deal who won $1,000 for his 4.74 pound bass.

So what are you McWaiting for? Get signed up!

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