UPCOMING EVENT: Costa FLW Series - 2019 - Lake Mead

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Guy Goes The Distance on Rayburn

Compared to his first two days’ limits of 25 pounds, 8 ounces and 24 pounds, 4 ounces; Ricky Guy was clearly disappointed with the 11-7 bag he weighed on the final day of the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division tournament on Sam Rayburn Reservoir presented by Mercury. But when the final tallies were stated, his three-day total of 61-3 carried the Humble, Texas, pro across the finish line with a 1-11 margin of victory and earned him a cool $95,300 for his efforts.

Day one saw Guy catch all of his fish on a 1/2-ounce Bill Lewis Rat-L-Trap. The next day, flipping bushes with a Texas-rigged Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver did the trick. Both days, he anchored his bag with a kicker of 8-plus pounds.

Guy tried to get the Trap bite going again in the final round, but when his first fish measured a paltry 14 inches, he shifted gears and stuck his nose in the bushes.

“I just wasn’t feeling (the Trap bite), so I said I’ll live or die by flipping,” Guy recalls. “That’s what I did. I went flipping and I’ll tell you, I worked for that 11-7.

“It was tough. I didn’t get a lot of bites and I lost a fish that I thought would help.”

Guy flipped with a 3/16- and a 1/2-ounce weight depending on the cover density and fish positioning. Guy surmises that during the chilly mornings, fish were huddled tight to the cover for warmth, but when the midday sun increased the water temperature, he’d find the fish on the fronts of the bushes in spawning positions.

“I think the slower falling rig helped trigger a few more bites,” Guy says.

Today, Guy experienced his best action around 11:30 when the combination of rising water temperature and a southerly breeze seemed to stimulate the fish.

“I think the wind blowing on that bank really helped,” says Guy. “We were fishing a calm area and it wasn’t working. The wind, I think, triggered them a little bit.”

A severe storm that swept across the Gulf states whipped the lake with strong winds and brought the dreaded bluebird conditions common to a passing cold front. Any win merits respect, but prevailing during a week marred by conditions of that nature deserves bonus props.

Starkly contrasting the balmy big-fish bonanza that Rayburn had been hosting prior to the blow, the entire tournament saw anglers having to adjust to the impacts of a changing weather profile.

For Guy, that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. He simply did his best to adjust as the fish responded to the front’s passing. True to form, these hardy Texas fish definitely react to cold fronts, but they show remarkable resilience.

“Right now, you have a lot of fish wanting to bed,” Guy states. “The first day when I caught them on a Rat-L-Trap, they had just pulled off the beds and got in the middle of creeks. That’s where I caught them — in the middle of the creeks.

“The next day, I don’t believe those fish ever left. I believe those fish were on a bed. I looked at them after I caught them and they were bloody (from nest clearing).

“I think I just caught the females (on day two) and what I caught today, was the bucks (male bass). I don’t think any females replenished on my spots.”

Everyone knows the lake’s stocked Florida strain largemouth bass can be terribly sensitive to weather changes; but they’re also a stubborn critter. As Guy notes, once the fish make their shoreward movement, they’re not going to change their minds.

They do, however, react to meteorological fluctuations and according to Guy that’s what gave him the opportunity to surge ahead the first two days.

“I watched the weather and knew it was going to get cold,” the Texas pro notes. “At the beginning of practice, the fish weren’t on the Rat-L-Trap very well because it had gotten too warm. But as I saw that weather changing, I started pushing that Rat-L-Trap a little more because I figured it would come to that.

“It did work the first day and then the second day, I didn’t catch them very well on a Rat-L-Trap, so I went and flipped for committed fish.”

Guy started each day checking a few key spots in Caney Creek and Veach Basin before committing the rest of his time to the brush and flooded trees north of the 147 Bridge. In that upper lake region, Guy mostly fished a sprawling area known as The Canyons, next to the Angelina River, which was dammed in the late 1950’s to form this east Texas impoundment. When he needed a change of pace, Guy also fished spots just inside the river.

After praising Rayburn’s stellar fishery, Guy dedicated his victory to the memory of his son Kevin who died a year ago at age 28.

Top 10 pros

1. Ricky Guy – Humble, Texas – 61-03 (15) – $95,300

2. Lendell Martin Jr. – Nacogdoches, Texas – 59-08 (15) – $20,500

3. Cory Rambo – Orange, Texas – 55-07 (15) – $14,500

4. Kris Wilson – Montgomery, Texas – 55-01 (15) – $12,500

5. Chris McCall – Brookeland, Texas – 53-14 (15) – $11,500

6. James Caldemeyer – Gilmer, Texas – 53-03 (15) – $8,000

7. Joel Baker – Talala, Okla. – 53-03 (15) – $9,250

8. Russell Cecil – Willis, Texas – 50-14 (15) – $7,000

9. Brandon Mosley – Choctaw, Okla. – 50-06 (15) – $6,000

10. Kyle Cortiana – Tulsa, Okla. – 48-14 (15) – $4,500

Complete results

Tags: ricky-guy  david-a-brown  headline-story  2016-02-25-sam-rayburn-reservoir 

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