UPCOMING EVENT: YETI College Fishing - 2019 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Texoma Tough, but Stabilizing

Jim Tutt preps his tackle before day one on Texoma.

As of press time, we were unable to confirm whether or not Troy Broussard has ever suffered a barnyard assault by any beast of burden. Nevertheless, his colorful metaphor bespeaks a challenging scenario facing the Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division field on Lake Texoma for this week’s finale, which is presented by Evinrude.

From Broussard’s facebook page: “Well, after three full days [of practice] on Lake Texoma, I can honestly say that I compare this to getting kicked in the face by a mule. It’s brutal.”

Allusions aside, the big Ouachita River reservoir straddling the Texas-Oklahoma border has indeed shown its persnickety side of late. Blame Mother Nature for that.

As Texas Division points leader Ray Hanselman explains, recent heavy rains jacked up the lake level, muddied the creeks and rattled the fish. With many of the Texoma bass in or near their spawning cycle, the fluctuations have interfered with their reproductive plans.

“Fishing for me has been very tough,” adds Walmart FLW Tour pro Jim Tutt. “I haven’t been getting many bites, and the ones I got were scattered. The lake got lots of rain, and that brought a lot of muddy water. The water rose about 2 to 3 feet in the last two weeks.”

As of Wednesday night, the lake was slightly less than 2 feet above normal conservation pool.

On the upside, Tutt says the lake level has stabilized and the water clarity is improving. He’s hopeful that this, plus the approaching full moon (Sunday), will accelerate the bed-fishing opportunities.

“It should be a good tournament,” he says. “I will probably ‘look’ all day.”

The week’s forecast for sunny conditions will certainly bode well for the sight-fishing game, but pro Russell Cecil points out that clear skies will close as many doors as they open.

“Fishing is better under the clouds, but the sun is moving fish up,” he observes.

Russell Cecil will start his day with a topwater.

Cecil points out that sight-fishing rarely holds up for an entire multi-day event, as fish get pressured and become profoundly uncooperative by the event’s final day. On the flipside, today’s forecast for sunny, calm conditions probably makes sight-fishing the better call.

“Today’s a great day for sight-fishing, and I’ll probably try it more today because it doesn’t look like a good overall fishing day,” he observes. “Since it has cleared up recently, when you get one of these sunny, high-pressure clear days, the fish are not nearly as likely to cooperate.

“When that sun started shining yesterday, I started seeing a lot of fry,” he adds. “When it was cloudy and windy, maybe I couldn’t see them, but also I think that fry get high in the water when that sun’s out. There are some males guarding fry.”

Cecil believes that a successful Texoma campaign will require a mix of tactics – some sight-fishing and postspawn/fry-guarding patterns. His day-one bait selection will include topwaters, flipping baits and shallow crankbaits.

Randy Sitz, who finished ninth at the last divisional event on Rayburn, says he’ll sight-fish with a Missile Baits D Bomb for most of day one, but he’s planning on moving to a postspawn pattern by the second day.

“I’ve found sight fish both up the Ouachita and down south, but what stage those fish are in will be key,” he says. “Are they just getting there, or are they done? Some of these fish are really obvious. During practice, I saw a lot of guys looking for bed fish. I’m sure a lot of these fish have already been identified, and a lot of them will be caught this morning, so sight-fishing on days two and three is going to be a challenge.”

A Missile Baits D-Bomb will be the main tool for Randy Sitz.

Once his bed-fishing game is done, Sitz says he’ll flip light Texas rigs for postspawners that suspend off the ends of deep docks and around aquatic vegetation like dollar lillies. Best bait here, he says, is a watermelon red or watermelon candy lizard with tails dipped in chartreuse.

“If you find some key areas next to the spawning coves with that type of cover, I think you can get on a good secondary pattern,” he says.

Hanselman says he’ll completely forego the bedding fish in favor of what he considers more dependable patterns.

“There are a lot of fish up, but I think there are other ways to catch them, too,” Hanselman says. “I’m going to target postspawn largemouths and maybe some smallmouths. I’ll be covering water with frogs and spinnerbaits and then some shaky heads and swimbaits on the rocks.”

Coming off back-to-back divisional victories at Lake Amistad and Sam Rayburn, Hanselman says that while Texoma’s temperamental mood certainly presents significant challenges, it also opens up the possibilities for an interesting weigh-in.

“I’m fortunate that I won the last two, but I don’t have much of a cushion for Angler of the Year points,” he says. “It’s anybody’s game. This lake is fishing tough, but it’s clearing up and it could turn on like nothing ever happened.”

 

Conditions

Sunrise: 6:40 a.m

Water temperature: 60 to 62 degrees

Air temperature at launch: 54 degrees

Forecast high: 77 degrees

Wind: NW at 5 mph

Weather: mostly sunny

 

Tournament Details

Format:

All boaters and co-anglers will compete for two days. The top 10 boaters and co-anglers based on cumulative weight after two days of competition will advance to the third and final round, with the winner determined by the heaviest cumulative three-day weight.

Presenting sponsor: Evinrude

Host: Denison Area Chamber of Commerce

Takeoff time: 6:30 a.m. CT

Takeoff location: Highport Marina, 120 Texoma Harbor Drive, Pottsboro, Texas

Weigh-in time:

Days 1 and 2: 2:30 p.m.

Day 3: 3:30 p.m.

Weigh-in location:

Days 1 and 2: Highport Marina

Day 3: Walmart, 401 N US Highway 75, Denison, Texas

More information

For complete details and updated information, visit the Rayovac FLW Series tournament page. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the Rayovac FLW Series on Facebook at Facebook.com/FLWFishing and on Twitter at Twitter.com/FLWFishing.

Tags: flw-series  lake-texoma  david-a-brown  morning-story  2015-04-30-lake-texoma 

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