FLW Tour Recap: Sam Rayburn Reservoir

Kellogg's Frosted Flakes pro Dave Lefebre was part of a 3-way split for fourth place.

(Editor's note: Veteran bass pro Dave Lefebre has agreed to take time to share his insights into each FLW Tour event of the 2012 season. After every event, Lefebre will give his thoughts on tournament strategy, winning techniques and other behind-the-scenes stories/information that is compelling to our readers. The following blog represents his ninth installment of the season. Lefebre ultimately finished the Sam Rayburn event in 14th place with a three-day total of 35 pounds, 10 ounces and took home over $8,700 in winnings). It has been an exciting season on the 2012 Walmart FLW Tour and finally getting to visit the famous Sam Rayburn was a perfect ending. Strangely, I'd never seen Rayburn in my 12 years as a professional. Standing next to the water before practice began was humbling to me. This is where our sport began and so many historic tournaments have been held there that I was in awe just being there. Thankfully, I think for me, the fishing was "off" according to Rayburn standards and I was able to nickel and dime a nearly 12-pound average all the way to 14th place. I ended the year ranked third overall (tied for 2nd in points) in the AOY standings and qualified to fish next year's Forrest Wood Cup on the Red River. This was an important goal of mine, as always, so the stress level was quite high all week. I'm relieved that it is all over and I'm now looking forward to some rest ... and then 2013! As far as the tournament was concerned, I noticed that fish were scattered on Big Sam and, as a result, several techniques were utilized successfully. I fished both deep (25-30 feet) and shallow (2-4 feet) throughout the event, but my bigger fish were caught way out offshore with a jig. The shad were everywhere out in that 25-foot range and when they were set up close to the brush piles and standing timber, I was able to get bit. Unfortunately, as the tournament progressed, the deeper shad thinned out a lot and finding the right brush at the right time was more challenging than I thought it would be. I was literally idling over each pile I found in practice and if there was no bait I'd move to the next one. If there was some bait, I would jump up on the front deck and cast right over the motor. If I didn't get bit on the first cast I would again move on to the next one. The first day they bit great out deep early, but the next two days I had to go shallow to get a quick limit before spending the rest of the day off the bank with the jig. My jig was a 9/16-ounce Tabu Open Water Series in green pumpkin/orange with a Yamamoto 5-inch pro double-tail grub in green pumpkin. I used a long rod (Dobyn's 784) as I always do for fishing deep. My shallow fish were caught on a Rapala Clackin' Crank 55 and a generic paddle-tail worm. This is the third FLW Tour Open in a row that the Clackin' Crank played a major role and it is quickly becoming one of my favorite little square-bills. Parrot and Helsinki Shad both worked for me, with the Parrot being the deal in the morning and the Helsinki, which looks like sexy shad, working better when the sun came out. I threw these on a Dobyn's 705 CB glass rod, which is the best 7-foot crankbait rod on the market ... period. This was the last of my five weeks on the road solo without my family and I couldn't have spent it in a better place. Many of us stayed at Jackson Hill Marina, which was just across the lake from our official takeoff area. We were treated like royalty and fed every morning and evening. We hung out in the lodge every night until 9 p.m. or so and were even served the best peanut butter pie on the planet. It was an awesome week and I want to specially thank Terry, Connie, and Dana for their extreme hospitality. Due to our unique accommodations, I had the opportunity to spend more time than usual with my fellow competitors during the week and it was kind of cool hearing the different ways everyone was having success. From what I was told, frogs in the lily pads played a big part for some guys. Other shallow-water guys were flipping the matted grass with 1- and 11/2-ounce weights. I know that weightless Senkos, ChatterBaits, spinnerbaits, and swimming jigs also worked well on the outer edges of the grass. I told three guys about the paddle-tail I was using in the grass and each of them weighed key fish on it and all got big checks because of it - one even made the cut with it. Basically, everything that works in Florida was productive this week in Texas. The deep fish were caught on jigs, big worms and deep DT crankbaits. The best colors in lower light conditions were chartreuse with a blue back and then any shad color during the rest of the day. It seemed as though the best big-worm color was something like Plum or Junebug. Most of the best bags were caught in the mid-section of the lake as expected. I didn't hear of anyone smashing them way up in the rivers or creeks, or next to the dam. The area from Veach Basin to the Canyons was most productive. I stayed in the area from The Canyons to Harvey's Creek and never even saw any more of the lake and didn't have anyone in my way all week long. This lake is enormous, it's loaded with big bass, it has great accommodations and I really hope we make it a regular Tour stop from now on. I know I'm looking forward to going back to Sam Rayburn again! I've truly enjoyed doing the FLW Tour re-caps all season and now look forward to 2013. So until next February, good ice-fishing everybody! To read more about Dave's life on the road, check out On Tour With Dave and Anne, sponsored by Chevy. Throughout the 2012 FLW Tour season, Dave and his wife, Anne will be keeping a detailed blog of their experiences while traveling the country in their Chevy Trucks.

Tags: blog  dave-lefebre 

/tips/2015-05-06-blog-make-a-plan-and-work-the-plan-

Blog: Make a Plan and Work the Plan

I’m not going to sugarcoat it: I’m bombarded with an array of emotions and a new to-do list every day. I’m not good enough. I don’t have the money. Make a Facebook post. Call mom. I don’t have enough time. I’m too tired. I’ll be treated poorly. Rig rods. Do sponsor work. People won’t like me. My son will miss me. I’ll miss my family. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-04-24-blog-east-vs-west

Blog: East vs. West

I’m not going to say the West is better than the East, or vice-versa. However, I am going to say that where fishing is concerned, there are some distinct differences between the two. The list is long and I’m sure that you can think of many additional differences, but here are a few things I have found that separates the two locales. For the purposes of this blog, let’s make the dividing line the Mississippi River although I think we should include Texas with the East. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-04-21-blog-the-bucket-list

Blog: The Bucket List

I lived my first 25 years in the Midwest, and I used to get horrible cabin fever this time of year. Sitting in front of a television and watching Jimmy, Hank, Roland and Bill catch monster bass on a spinnerbait on every single cast only made it worse. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-04-14-blog-back-in-the-groove

Blog: Back in the Groove

It feels good to be in full swing of the tournament season again. We just finished the second stop of the Walmart FLW Tour on Lewis Smith Lake, and it was an excellent event. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-04-14-5-pivotal-moments-in-my-career

5 Pivotal Moments in my Career

The FLW College Fishing Open on Kentucky Lake marked the beginning of my senior campaign. While it was great to get on some open water for the first time in months (though we didn’t finish very well), it also had me looking back at five events that, more than any others, led me to this point. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-04-14-a-year-of-new-firsts

A Year of New Firsts

There are a lot of firsts in my life now: my first full year on the Walmart FLW Tour, the first time not to fish any full B.A.S.S. circuit in many years, the first time to fish with co-anglers in a long while, the first time to compete at Beaver Lake, and so on. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-04-10-up-then-down-again

Up, Then Down Again

The highs and lows in this sport are amazing. They are amazing and sometimes hard to deal with. Sometimes you just have to test yourself on how thick your skin really is. For example, consider my highs and lows in the last few months. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-04-07-sweet-home-alabama

Sweet Home Alabama

Hey everyone, I'm just getting back and caught up from the second stop of the Walmart FLW Tour at Lewis Smith Lake. The lake was fishing like never before, and all the fish have grown up quickly on those blueback herring. Now that I've been back home a week and watched all the videos and read all the articles about the top 10 anglers I can say I have zero regrets! READ MORE »

/tips/2015-04-02-when-everything-comes-together

When Everything Comes Together

Dave Lefebre describes what baits and techniques he used to win the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lewis Smith Lake in this week's blog. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-29-lefebre-wins-walmart-flw-tour-on-lewis-smith-lake-presented-by-evinrude

Lefebre Wins Walmart FLW Tour On Lewis Smith Lake Presented By Evinrude

JASPER, Ala. (March 29, 2015) – FLW Tour pro Dave Lefebre of Erie, Pennsylvania, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Sunday weighing 19 pounds, 5 ounces to win the Walmart FLW Tour at Lewis Smith Lake presented by Evinrude. Lefebre’s four-day total of 20 bass weighing 65-5 gave him a 1-pound, 14-ounce margin of victory over second place pro... READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-29-lefebre-lands-on-top

Lefebre Lands on Top

He left the dock this morning in 7th place, eight and a half pounds off the lead. And when he returned this afternoon, Dave Lefebre shocked the weigh-in crowd with a come-from-behind Walmart FLW Tour win that left his competitors shell-shocked. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-03-18-expect-change-and-adapt-to-it

Expect Change and Adapt to It

Ish Monroe explains how to adapt to changing conditions and recommends to always fish your strengths in this weeks blog. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-03-17-so-you-want-to-be-a-co-angler-

So You Want to be a Co-Angler?

First and foremost, I know I’m fishing the tournament as a co-angler and I make sure that I not only stay out of my pro’s way, but I do what I can to assist him throughout the day. This starts at the ramp with assisting him with the launch where possible. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-03-16-a-30-piece-puzzle-with-four-pieces-missing

A 30-Piece Puzzle with Four Pieces Missing

The whole time I was down in Florida during the FLW Tour opener on Lake Toho I felt like I was trying to put together a 30-piece puzzle with four pieces missing. The weather was right, the water temperature was right, the thousands of acres of vegetation looked right, but one thing was wrong: the fish! READ MORE »

/tips/2015-03-12-a-clean-slate

A Clean Slate

The 2015 season opener of the Walmart FLW Tour wasn’t at Okeechobee, as in recent years, but at Lake Toho in central Florida. I was excited about the change, and even more pumped to start a fresh new season after blowing my motor on day one of the first event last year. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-11-lefebre-signs-with-quigley-4x4

Lefebre Signs with Quigley 4x4

Quigley Motor Company, manufacturer of four-wheel-drive conversions for Ford, General Motors and Nissan, announces its yearlong sponsorship with top-ranked professional angler Dave Lefebre. As part of the sponsorship agreement, Lefebre and his family will travel the Walmart FLW Tour in a Quigley 4x4 Van. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-02-27-toho-bound

Toho Bound

You have to understand that having home field advantage in fishing is the absolute worst. There are so many demons; you have too much information, you start fishing the lake’s history – it goes on and on and it’s very hard for a professional angler to mentally break that barrier. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-02-25-3-thoughts-on-toho

3 Thoughts on Toho

I was without power for three days after the first storm, but it snowed again this weekend and there is supposed to be more weather on the way. Suffice to say, I can’t get to Florida and Lake Toho fast enough. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-02-20-east-to-west

East to West

As a tournament angler, I realize that a primary aspect of my job is to be able to catch fish anywhere, in all types of fisheries, under a variety of conditions. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-02-12-from-swamp-pro-to-bass-pro

From Swamp Pro to Bass Pro

When most people hear the name “T-Roy Broussard,” they think of me as the Texan in the big green airboat on the reality television show Swamp People. Three years ago I was introduced to households across the world as a burly alligator hunter that made a living off of the land. READ MORE »