UPCOMING EVENT: YETI FLW COLLEGE FISHING - 2019 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Game on

Takeoff commences Friday on Sam Rayburn Reservoir.

JASPER, Texas - Everything's bigger in Texas - except the 2011 EverStart Series Texas Division tournament on Sam Rayburn Reservoir, which has been truncated from a three-day event into two days due to inclement weather. And though many anglers were battling frozen cables, water pumps and gear onboard their bass boats at the Friday-morning start of this event, the sun was shining bright and is expected to warm the area significantly.

On with the fishing

The air temperature could reach the 50-degree mark today, and calm conditions should provide the pros and co-anglers in the 115-boat field with ample opportunity to capitalize on a classic Sam Rayburn largemouth bite. Despite water temperatures on the reservoir as low as 40 to 43 degrees, several anglers expect a strong shallow bite to accompany opportunities for staging fish in midrange depths as well as deeper fish in various areas across the lake.

Dicky Newberry of Houston, the pro winner of this event in 2008, said, "Even though it is cold, there are going to be plenty of fish, and there are going to be some big fish caught."

Newberry predicted it will take a two-day weight in the mid-40-pound range to win the tournament. He said he will likely target bass that are "committed up shallow to the grass" in 5 to 6 feet of water, but he'll need to find the right schools of fish that are feeding. He also has a couple areas in creek beds where bass are suspending in 10 to 15 feet of water, but he said many other competitors are aware of these spots.

There are countless bass tournaments held annually on this respected body of water in eastern Texas, Veteran bass pro Tommy Martin visits with fellow EverStart Series competitors and co-angler Darrell Denton before takeoff.and there are a few prominent patterns that always seem to yield results: fishing the shallow grass with lipless rattling crankbaits, running crankbaits in deeper water and fishing drop-shot rigs at even greater depths.

Legendary bass pro Tommy Martin of Hemphill, Texas, placed fourth at this event last year and notched a top-10 finish in this year's Texas Division opener on Choke Canyon. He said Thursday that the weather was worse last week, barring him from putting in much practice time on Sam Rayburn, but added he still believes certain competitors will get on fish in this event and that a limit weight of about 25 pounds won a one-day tournament here last weekend. As long as conditions on the lake remain calm enough for him to make runs anywhere, he said he has a host of both deep- and shallow-water areas.

"I'm fishing both ways; I've got two different patterns," he said. "I've fished this lake all my life ... I have a few confidence spots."

Martin hopes to "key on bigger fish" in shallow cover with a red Rat-L-Trap, but he can also fish deeper with a drop-shot, rigged with a Zoom Trick Worm in either black-emerald or green-pumpkin colors, to round out a limit of five bass.

John Moon of Brookeland, Texas - a longtime local co-angler who has made the top 10 on Sam Rayburn in a Walmart BFL event as well as netted a big-bass award here in EverStart Series competition - made Local pro John Moon and co-angler John Turner await takeoff on Sam Rayburn Reservoir.the jump to the Pro Division for this event. Though he said this is the coldest winter he has endured here for a long time, the big-bass shallow bite might be more affected by slightly lower water levels than normal than by the weather. He said he is glad to be borrowing a friend's G3 aluminum boat for this tournament to give him better access to shallow water in ditches and creeks.

Whether they are caught shallow, deep or in between, fishing fans can bet there will be some impressive Sam Rayburn bass weighed Friday after day one of competition concludes.

Event information

The full field will compete Friday and Saturday, with winners in both the Pro Division and Co-angler Division being determined Saturday by heaviest cumulative weight from both days. Pros will fish for a top award of $35,000 plus a 198VX Ranger boat with 200-horsepower outboard if Ranger Cup guidelines are met. Co-anglers will cast for a top award consisting of a Ranger 177TR with 90-horsepower outboard and $5,000 if Ranger Cup guidelines are met.

Friday and Saturday's weigh-ins are scheduled to take place at Umphrey Family Pavilion beginning at 3 p.m., and anglers will take off from the same location on the final day at 8 a.m. Umphrey Family Pavilion is located at 5438 Recreation Rd., off of Highway 255 W., Sam Rayburn, Texas. Takeoffs and weigh-Kellogg Rice Krispies Treats pro Jim Tutt warms his hands before takeoff on a chilly Sam Rayburn Reservoir.ins are free and open to the public.

The EverStart Series tournament on Sam Rayburn Reservoir is being hosted by the Jasper-Lake Sam Rayburn Chamber of Commerce.

About the EverStart Series

The EverStart Series consists of five divisions - Central, Northern, Southeast, Texas and Western. Each division consists of four tournaments, and competitors will be vying for valuable points in each division that could earn them the Strike King Angler of the Year title along with $5,000 for the pro and $2,000 for the co-angler. The top 40 pros and co-anglers from each respective division will qualify for the EverStart Series Championship that will be held on Kentucky Lake in Buchanan, Tenn., Oct. 27-30.

On the Web

For bass-fishing fans unable to attend the festivities in person, you can catch all the weigh-in action live at FLWOutdoors.com with FLW Live. Show time starts at 3 p.m. Friday, now the opening day of the tournament.
EverStart Series competitors make their way through boat check Friday at Sam Rayburn Reservoir.
Friday's conditions

Sunrise: 7:05 a.m.
Temperature: 21 degrees
Expected high temperature: 50 degrees
Water temperature at the ramp: 43 to 47 degrees
Wind: calm
Maximum humidity: 82 percent
Day's outlook: sunny with temperatures warming rapidly into the low to mid-40s; winds NW at 5 to 10 mph

Tags: patrick-baker  morning-story  2011-02-10-sam-rayburn-reservoir 

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