|Turkey Creek tournament deemed a success|
The first annual Turkey Creek Big Bass Splash fishing tournament drew 95 contestants according to tournament director Allen Butler, who saw the Saturday event as the beginning of Turkey Creek becoming a premier fishing destination.
"Turkey Creek, day in and day out, is one of the best fisheries in Louisiana," said Butler, "and I've fished in a lot of states."
With the majority of tournament fishermen coming from outside of Franklin Parish, Butler said the lake's reputation will only grow with time.
"All the fishermen I talked to said they had a great time," Butler said. "The fishing was good and they'll keep coming back."
The $1,500 overall winner was a 5.70-pounder caught by Ernie Heckford of Monroe. Heckford's catch also won the 9 a.m. hourly drawing, bringing in an additional $450.
"This was an hourly payout tournament," Butler said. "We paid out $1,000 an hour."
The Franklin Parish Police Jury hosted the event, the first of its kind at the new Turkey Creek RV Park.
Police jury president Harvey Ray Guimbellot said other than being, "hot, hot, hot, I enjoyed it and it looked like the fishermen enjoyed it too."
"This being the first one, there's a lot of stuff we have to work out," Guimbellot said. "It's shallow at the boat landing and we're going to take a back hoe down there."
Butler said the nooks and crannies where boats can't reach are prime habitat for many fish, not only bass.
"It's a natural body of water and the food chain is great. The fish are healthy and in good shape," Butler said.
Although most of the bass were around 2 pounds, Butler said there were some 6 pounds and over in the lake.
"They just didn't catch them this time," he said.
The following is a list of the overall winners and the hourly winners.
1st place – Ernie Heckford, Monroe, 5.70 lbs., $1,500
2nd place – Tim Musgrove, Bastrop – 5.23 lbs., $725
3rd place – Larry Voorhees, 5.06 lbs., $400
4th place – Dennis Bratten, Monroe, 4.90 lbs., $300
5th place – John Abrams, Columbia, 4.89 lbs., $200.
Payouts were: 1st - $450; 2nd - $300; 3rd - $150; 4th - $100.
8 a.m. - Tim Musgrove, 5.23; Larry Voorhees, 3.80; Greg Hill, 3.30; Todd Musgrove, 2.54
9 a.m. - Ernie Heckford, 5.70; Thomas Bailey, 3.91; Danny Jones; 3.74; Jeb Guice, 3.53
10 a.m. - Larry Voorhees, 5.06; Dennis Bratton, 4.90; Jason Comeaux, 4.39; Brandon Dunn, 3.42
11 a.m. - John Abrams, 4.89; Frank Fulmer, 4.48; Galen Collins, 4.43; Doyle Little, 4.29
Noon - Derron Enterkin, 4.77; Grady Rhinehart, 4.14; Bobby Powell, 3.73; William Hatton, 3.61
1 p.m. - Chris Wilson, 3.52; Bobby Powell, 3.50; Keith Fulmer, 3.26; Greg Musgrove, 3.13
2 p.m. - William Hatton, 4.82; Richie Dickey, 3.80; Greg Musgrove, 3.40; Ken Phillips, 3.25
3 p.m. - Joe Guzman, 3.84; Greg Duke, 3.18; Danny Jones, 3.13, Jeremy Young, 3.12.
Sponsors supporting the event include; Franklin Parish Tourism Commission, Street Insurance Agency, Winnsboro State Bank, Bobby's Restaurant , Crawdad hole, Delta Glass/Winnsboro Car Wash, Rep. Noble Ellington, Franklin Medical Center, Franklin State Bank, McCarney Oil, Progressive Bank, Rickey Womack/Farm Bureau, Robinson's Auto Supply, Sonic Drive Inn, Sullivan's Vet Clinic, Winnsboro-Franklin Chamber of Commerce, Citizens Progressive Bank, C'Mere Dear, Cuave Insurance Agency, David's Sewer and Drain, Delta Fuel, Fred Fudickar, G & J Jones Trak, Gowan and Talley Vet Clinic, Guice Insurance Agency, Habit Hut Sporting Goods, Interstate Buick-Pontiac-GMC, Jessie's Steak and Seafood, K & S Drugs, Kiper Ace Hardware, Mike's Gun Shop/Earl's Pawn Shop, Nelson Tractor Co., Rick's Best Stop, Sen. Neil Riser, Ronnie's Service Center, Smokers Paradise, Stewart's Convenience Store, Sullivan Feed/Western Wear, Superior Tire, Waller-Singer Chevrolet, Winnsboro Sports, Doug Moore/Moore's Jewelry, Wal-Mart.