UPCOMING EVENT: Costa FLW Series - 2019 - Lake Champlain

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Rayburn Back on Track

Rayburn Back on Track

Day one of the Costa FLW Series event on Sam Rayburn Reservoir, which is presented by Mercury and hosted by the Jasper-Lake Sam Rayburn Area Chamber of Commerce, kicked off this morning out of the Umphrey Family Pavilion. The 202 pros and co-anglers in the field will face chilly, post-frontal conditions today as they compete for a spot in Saturday’s top-10 round.

 

Day 1 Morning Photo Gallery

 

About the Fishery

This Angelina River impoundment is largely regarded as one of the Lone Star State’s top big-bass factories. With a pair of major arms – Ayish Bayou and Mill Creek – at the southeast end, the lake reaches roughly northwest to a split between the Angelina and Attoyac rivers. Throughout its 114,500 acres, Rayburn boasts abundant shallow habitat that’s perfect for harboring prespawn and spawning bass. Flooded hackberry and willow trees punctuated by cypress trees and scattered buck brush comprise the dominant cover.

 

Current Conditions

The western edge of a severe weather system swept through the area on Monday with heavy rains and big winds. The blow continued through Tuesday, and while the forecast calls for stabilizing conditions through the weekend, much of the lake currently resembles a mocha latte.

On the positive side, the brutal west winds that blew 15 to 20 mph are supposed to subside today. Also, sunny conditions will last through the weekend, which should prompt the bass to start biting more aggressively.

“I’m expecting most of my bites in the afternoon,” says Strike King pro Phil Marks. “Once that water warms, those big fish will become more active later in the day.”

 

Tactics in Play

In all likelihood, this will be a shallow-water tournament with a mix of prespawn and spawning tactics in play.

Marks says he’ll mostly pitch a Texas-rigged Strike King Rage Bug or a Hack Attack Heavy Cover jig. The latter affords better hookups, but when dense cover prevails, the streamlined Texas rig fares best.

Walmart FLW Tour pro Jim Tutt is going straight-up prespawn. He plans to alternate between a lipless crankbait and a swim jig.

Troy “T-Roy” Broussard, a fellow Tour pro, plans to mix it up with a Carolina rig for deeper prespawners and heavy-cover flipping for spawners.

 

Critical Factors

Today’s light winds – a stark contrast to yesterday’s fierce blow – will enable anglers far more options for where they can fish. This will help competitors locate the calmer, cleaner water.

Wind strength will have an immediate effect on those intending to run north from the takeoff site at Rayburn’s lower end. When the front came through, heading north from the launch site just east of the dam would have been a tortuous run. Today offers far more manageable conditions.

 

Dock Talk

One to watch will be Ray Hanselman, the Del Rio, Texas, pro who swept last year’s Southwestern Division with wins on Lake Amistad, Sam Rayburn and Lake Texoma before topping the Costa FLW Series Championship on the Ohio River. Hanselman reports an abbreviated practice as a result of a flu bug. He’ll certainly have a steep road to climb to defend his title.

Anglers are cautiously optimistic about the weather. On one hand, lighter winds are a logistical advantage, but the clear “bluebird” skies and high pressure of a post-frontal scenario are always challenging.

Broussard says that’s not necessarily a dooming scenario. He had been on a good prespawn bite in deeper water prior to the weather. With today’s conditions, he says he might focus more on the fish that will seek shelter from the bright skies by tucking tightly into cover.

 

Tournament Details

Format: All 202 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.

Takeoff Time: 7 a.m.

Takeoff Location: Umphrey Family Pavilion, 5438 RR 255, Brookeland, TX 75931

Weigh-In Time: Days 1 and 2 at 3 p.m.; Day 3 at 3 p.m.

Weigh-In Location: Umphrey Family Pavilion, 5438 RR 255, Brookeland, TX 75931

 

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Tags: sam-rayburn  flw-series  david-a-brown  morning-story  2016-02-25-sam-rayburn-reservoir 

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