UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Lake Eufaula

Rambo draws first blood

Rambo draws first blood
Cory Rambo of Orange, Texas, leads the Pro Division after day one of American Fishing Series Texas Division action on Sam Rayburn Reservoir with a limit of bass weighing 16 pounds, 2 ounces.

JASPER, Texas - All 294 American Fishing Series anglers battled the elements Thursday on Sam Rayburn Reservoir, but pro Cory Rambo fired the opening salvo on day one with a limit of bass weighing 16 pounds, 2 ounces.

The Orange, Texas, native will carry a 1-ounce lead into the second day of competition in the second Texas Division tournament of the year, and he fought tooth and nail for every ounce.

"It was a struggle," Rambo said. "I lost a 4-pounder right out of the box this morning, so that got me down ... and I missed five bites. But my co-angler (Daren Scott) was catchin' `em, and then I started bringing them in and finally passed him up."

The two fishermen plucked roughly one keeper per hour from the mid-lake area of Sam Rayburn, and Rambo reported catching his limit by fishing ledges in 15 to 25 feet of water with a Carolina rig. Understandably, he was reticent to divulge much more than that about his pattern.

"It was slow today," he said. "I scratched out five."

Rambo is likely to return Friday to the half-dozen spots where he found his fish today, but said he has other areas to try as well if he cannot repeat his success. Despite the tricky bite and rough fishing conditions - which included constant rain, cool temperatures and winds gusting to 26 mph in the morning - Rambo has gained confidence heading into day two.

When asked how he liked his chances to do well again tomorrow, he smiled and said, "I think they're pretty good."

Rambo is fishing the third event of his FLW Outdoors career this week, having competed in the American Fishing Series on Sam Rayburn in three consecutive years. He notched a seventh-place finish here in 2008, and he is poised to improve upon that record if he continues to put up numbers like today.

Second-place pro Tommy Durham weighed 16-1 on day one.Durham bulls his way into second

Tommy Durham is no stranger to success when it comes to tournament bass fishing in Texas. The pro from Whitney, Texas, has amassed four top-10 finishes in FLW Outdoors competition, including two wins and an eighth-place finish on the bygone Texas Tournament Trail as well as an eighth-place AFS finish on Sam Rayburn a few years ago.

With only six hours of practice time before this week's three-day event, Durham still managed to get eight bites today, including "a few bites deep," that translated into five keeper bass weighing 16-1. Only an ounce out of the lead, Durham is clearly in contention to add another Texas trophy to his case.

"We stayed in one area for several hours," Durham said of his mid-lake honeyhole, where he fished on the outside of grass lines with everything from Texas rigs to Carolina rigs to Senkos and more. "I only used one of my spots today, so we'll see."

It's probably a safe bet that Durham's back-up areas also hold healthy largemouths, so he'll be one to watch as the tournament progresses.

After day one on Sam Rayburn, third place belonged to pro Cody Woods, who weighed a limit of bass for 15-11.Woods throws sticks for third

Pro Cody Woods of Jacksonville, Texas, was "throwing a stickbait" along grass lines in the mid-lake area today to catch his 15-11 limit for third place. He said it's not about the color of the bait, but the frequency of his casts.

"They're just roaming," he said. "You just kind of fan-cast, and one of `em will come up and get it. It's been like this most of the week."

Woods is one of the few pros to give a good review of his prefishing time on Sam Rayburn.

"It's held out for the last 10 days," he said of his pattern, "so maybe it'll hold up."

Pro Mike Moody sits in fourth place with 13-15 after day one.Moody happy with fourth

After a difficult practice period, Mike Moody was tickled to sack five bass weighing 13-15 for fourth place on day one. The Alba, Texas, pro said all of his fish "came out of 13 to 15" feet of water in a 100-yard stretch in the northwest part of the lake.

"It was unbelievable," he said. "We never moved the boat all day."

Moody caught his limit over a four-hour period, beginning around 10:30 a.m., fishing a Carolina rig along grass lines, over points and at the edge of a creek.

Caka in fifth

Pro Keith Caka held the fifth-place position after day one with 13-11.Pro Keith Caka of Huntsville, Texas, fished shallow - 2 to 5 feet of water - in the south end of the reservoir near Buck Bay to put together his fifth-place limit weighing 13-11. He fished "fast-moving baits" to coax eight bites on the day, landing his last keeper largemouth with about five minutes of fishing time left.

Caka said he found his bountiful spot in the waning hours of his last practice day.

"On Monday I had three bites, Tuesday I had zero, and yesterday I found this area where I caught these," he said.

Rest of the best

Rounding out the top 10 pros competing in the AFS Texas Division event on Sam Rayburn Reservoir:

6th: Dillon Lee of Mount Pleasant, Texas, three bass, 13-10
7th: Cole Garrett of Winnfield, La., five bass, 13-6
8th: Nick Aber of Piedmont, Okla., five bass, 12-12
9th: Buz Craft of Vidalia, La., four bass, 12-3
10th: Ricky D. Scott of Van Buren, Ark., four bass, 12-0

The Pro Division Big Bass award and $294 went to Lee, who reeled in a 7-15 kicker.

Co-angler Clint May of La Porte, Texas, leads his division on day one of the American Fishing Series event on Sam Rayburn Reservoir with three bass weighing 15-4.May's day

Clint May of La Porte, Texas, only needed three bass to lead the Co-angler Division after day one. But the trio was comprised of whoppers, and they weighed in at a stout 15 pounds, 4 ounces. May will carry a 2-pound, 14-ounce lead into the second day of AFS Texas Division competition on Sam Rayburn Reservoir.

May covered both ends of the spectrum from the back of the boat, catching all three of his quality largemouths on either a Carolina rig or a Rat-L-Trap. Though the Rat-L-Trap has become synonymous with success on Sam Rayburn, many predicted that the cold water temperatures would shut down that pattern, at least for the wet, windy opening day of this event.

"It's hard," he said of landing his catch in tough fishing conditions, admitting that he missed two other fish. "I got lucky and caught a couple of good bites."

May fished with pro partner Nick Aber (8th), who said they stuck to the mid-lake area, not far from the takeoff point at Umphrey Family Pavilion northwest of Jasper, Texas. May caught his biggest bass in the afternoon.

"We fished one area and never left," May said. "It was a bite here and a bite there. You just keep fishing all day."

Bo Standley caught a monster Sam Rayburn bass weighing 10-3 that earned the Big Bass award in the Co-angler Division on day one and helped usher him into second place.Standley lands lunker for second

Like May, the Co-angler Division's runner-up on day one didn't need a limit to land near the top of the leaderboard - he just needed a Sam Rayburn monster. Bo Standley of Silsbee, Texas, blew away the entire field when it came to landing a lunker; his 10-3 beast netted the Big Bass award worth $196 and anchored his two-bass catch for a total day-one weight of 12-6.

Rest of the best

Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers on day one of the AFS Texas Division event on Sam Rayburn Reservoir:

3rd: Kenneth Pellerin of Pasadena, Texas, five bass, 11-7
4th: Michael E. Taylor of Sam Rayburn, Texas, five bass, 10-10
5th: Danny Cherry of Kountze, Texas, five bass, 10-6
6th: James "Bob" McKeithen of Baton Rouge, La., five bass, 9-6
7th: Bill Bean of Eufaula, Okla., five bass, 8-10
8th: Daren Scott of Fort Worth, Texas, four bass, 7-14
9th: Rusty Harvey of Nederland, Texas, three bass, 7-10
10th: Philip Henderson of Pineville, La., two bass, 7-9

Day two of the FLW American Fishing Series Texas Division tournament on Sam Rayburn Reservoir will resume Friday at 7 a.m. when anglers take off from Umphrey Family Pavilion, located at 5438 Rural Route 255 West in Sam Rayburn, Texas.

Tags: patrick-baker  headline-story  2010-02-04-sam-rayburn-reservoir 

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