UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Cool dudes

Cool dudes
Teams prepare for takeoff on day two of the Texas Regional Championship on Sam Rayburn.

NACAGDOCHES, Texas - Fall's first significant cold front has arrived at Sam Rayburn lake and day two of the FLW National Guard College Fishing Series Texas Regional Championship saw 20 teams leave the dock at Cassels-Boykin Park bundled in sweatshirts, jackets, face masks and optimism.

No doubt, high pressure, bright skies, and air temperatures that dropped about 15 degrees overnight present challenging post-frontal conditions. However, Rayburn showed its big-fish potential on day one with lots of quality keepers and several 5-plus pounders - including one that went 7-plus. Tripp Elliott of 10th place Oklahoma State caught that one on a Texas-rigged Strike King Rage Craw. He'll flip that same bait today.

Another big difference from day one is less wind. The 15- to 20-mph stuff that churned the lakeOklahoma State yesterday drops to a mere 5-7 today. On one hand, that means less wave action to churn the shorelines, position baitfish and make that shallow bite a safe bet. Ryan Watkins and Blaze Platt of Stephen F. Austin grabbed an early day one limit by working hollow belly swimbaits shallow. That game might be less productive today, so they may have to adjust.

Danny Iles and Matt Morrison of Lamar University lead the field with 17-14. Yesterday, they worked hydrilla beds and a few lily pad spots. In yesterday's windy conditions, spinnerbaits produced several of their fish - including Morrison's pair of 5-pounders. Iles said he and his partner will fish their War Eagle spinnerbaits again today, only they're switching from double willow blades to double Indiana blades to produce more vibration in hopes of enticing bass that are likely to be somewhat lethargic in today's conditions.

On day one, Iles said the high winds eliminated their intended pattern of throwing weightless Texas-rigged stick worms. Today will allow more presentation diversity.

Tournament leaders Matt Morrison and Danny Iles of Lamar University dressed warmly for a chilly day two."These conditions are going to allow us to do what we wanted to do yesterday," Iles said. "We're still going to throw a spinnerbait and a crankbait and we'll be able to fish those a little more effectively. With the wind yesterday, it was hard to cast and hard to position the boat."

Iles is looking for his better action after noon. "Most of the time on Rayburn they bite early, but yesterday they bit late. I'm kind of expecting that again today."

Watkins and Platt caught good fish to fill out a team limit on day one and Watkins said he's confident that he and Platt have put themselves in position to make a strong run at the top spot. Of the hometown advantage, Platt said the main benefit comes from understanding the navigational considerations of a reservoir lake during its lower stages. (Rayburn presently stands about 8 1/2 feet below full pool.)

"Being local, we have the benefit of knowing where we can and can't run," Platt said. "That helps us because some of the other teams have to take it easy and look where they're running to make sureSpinnerbaits will likely be one of the productive baits for day two. they don't hit stumps or anything underwater. Worse than stumps, there are underwater points sticking out 100 yards into the main lake. They'll get you bad if you don't know where they are."


Angelo State's Josh Seale and Austin Adcock caught only four keepers on day one, but they found quality fish - big enough for a fourth place effort of 13-15. Shaky heads produced three of their fish and Adcock said they'll use this same tactic again today, with one major change.

"We're going to fish heavier shaky heads today and barely move them," he said. "We used 3/16 ounce yesterday and we're going to a full ¼-ounce Spot Remover shaky head today. I think the fish are going to be sluggish today with the high pressure.

"We're going to fish it between four and 12 feet around timber and lily pads. We're also going to throw a heavy Carolina rig off a deep ledge. We're going to fish one or two spots all day and just try to scratch out a limit."

Tournament logistics

The top five FLW College Fishing teams from each of the four regular-season Texas Division Stephen F. Austintournaments gained automatic entry into the 2010 Texas Regional Championship at Stephen F. Austin State University. During the three-day regional event, 20 two-man collegiate angling teams will compete for a top award of $50,000 to be split evenly between the school and its bass fishing club.

The top five teams from each regional advance to the national championship where the first-place team will win $100,000 with $50,000 of that for their school and $25,000 cash and a Ranger 177TR bass boat for their fishing club. The winning team at the national championship will qualify for the prestigious 2010 Forrest Wood Cup.

FLW Outdoors provides boats and drivers for each competing team along with travel allowances. All participants must be registered, full-time undergraduate students at a four-year college or university and members of a fishing club recognized by their college or university.

Anglers will take off from Cassels-Boykin Park located at FM Road 3123 in Zavalla, Texas, at 7:30 a.m.Upsizing their shaky heads to 1/4-ounce will be the strategy for fourth place Angelo State each morning. Weigh-ins will be held at Stephen F. Austin State University - Homer Bryce Stadium. Friday's weigh-ins will begin at 4 p.m. and Saturday's final weigh-in will begin at 5 p.m. Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.

Stephen F. Austin State University will also be hosting a College Fishing Festival throughout the three-day tournament. Students and fishing fans alike will be treated to live music, the National Guard Warrior Challenge, a Ranger Boat simulator, tailgate games, a sports zone along with contests for cash and several prize giveaways. The festival will take place at Stephen F. Austin State University - Homer Bryce Stadium from 2-4 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 11 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturday.

A National Guard Soldier Appreciation Tournament will also be held Saturday. Takeoff will be at 8 a.m. at Cassels-Boykin Park and weigh-in will be at 1:30 p.m. at Homer Bryce Stadium.

Qualified teams include Angelo State, Baylor University, LSU, LSU-Shreveport, Lamar University, Oklahoma State University, Rice University, Stephen F. Austin, Tarleton State, Texas A&M, Texas A&M-Zach Sears and Brandon Dickenson of the University of North Texas start the day in third place.  Corpus Christi, Texas A&M-Kingsville, University of Louisiana-Lafayette, University of North Texas, University of Oklahoma, and University of Texas-Tyler.

Friday's conditions:

Sunrise: 7:32 a.m.
Temperature at takeoff: 39 degrees
Expected high temperature: 72 degrees
Water temperature: 76 degrees
Wind: from the Northeast at 5-7 mph
Max. Humidity: 20 percent
Day's outlook: Sunny

Tags: david-a-brown  morning-story  2010-10-28-texas-regional-sam-rayburn 

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