UPCOMING EVENT: TACKLE WAREHOUSE PRO CIRCUIT - 2020 - Harris Chain of Lakes

By the Numbers: Sam Rayburn

By the Numbers: Sam Rayburn

The 2019 FLW Tour takes to the waters of Sam Rayburn Reservoir Jan. 10-13 for the opening event of the new season. Rayburn can produce some absolute giants in January, and if the weather cooperates, there’s potential for an abundance of massive bags.

We’ll break down Rayburn by the numbers for clues as to what to expect as the new Tour season launches.

 

1

Number of FLW Tour pros with more than one win at Rayburn in FLW Tour and/or Costa FLW Series events. Chris McCall has won both a Central Division (2006) and Southwestern Division (2014) Costa event on Rayburn. Of the 2019 Tour field, only six other boaters have a win at Rayburn in a previous Tour or Costa event (Bryan Thrift, Dicky Newberry, Jim Tutt, Lendell Martin Jr., Russell Cecil and Todd Castledine). Joey Cifuentes, fishing as a boater this season, also has a win as a co-angler at Rayburn.

 

5-8

Weight, in pounds and ounces, of the lake-record spotted bass caught at Rayburn, landed by Curt E. Smith on Feb. 14, 1987.

 

Highest number of top-10 finishes at Rayburn as an FLW Tour or Costa FLW Series angler by pros in the field. Chris McCall and Dicky Newberry are tied with six and will fish again in the 2019 event. Kris Wilson (not in the field) holds the all-time record with seven, and all were top-five finishes. Five of McCall’s were also top-five finishes, while Newberry has four.

 

9

Number of T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) victories on Rayburn between FLW Tour pros Newberry (6) and Castledine (3). Four other anglers have two BFL wins apiece at Rayburn.

 

9

Number of 2019 Tour pros who live within 100 miles of the marina in Brookeland, Texas, from where the tournament will launch.

 

10-14

Weight of the largest bass weighed for the Big Bass Award by an FLW Tour or Costa FLW Series angler since 1998. Jimmy Mize bagged a 10-14 in the Central Division Costa FLW Series event held there in 1998, and Ronnie Hopkins Jr. matched the feat in the Southwestern Costa in 2007.

 

11-12

Weight of the largest bass weighed for the Big Bass Award by a boater in a BFL event on Rayburn. Gerald Green bagged the 11-12 in a 1997 Cowboy Division derby. Newberry has an 11-6 to his name.

 

13

Number of 25-plus-pound bags caught in BFL competition on Rayburn. Newberry (who else?) weighed the heaviest, a 36-pound, 5-ounce sack caught in a 2013 Cowboy Division event. Hugh Cosculluela has the highest mark for a BFL co-angler on Rayburn with 26-7 in a 2017 Cowboy Division derby. He is the only co-angler with a 25-plus-pound bag to his name in BFL competition on Rayburn.

 

16-12

Weight of the lake-record largemouth caught at Rayburn. Tommy Shelton hauled in the 28 3/4-inch behemoth on May 31, 1997.

 

23

Number of events Jim Tutt has fished as an FLW Tour or Costa FLW Series angler at Rayburn, the most of any pro in the 2019 field.

 

32-12

Largest bag for a single tournament day across Costa FLW Series and FLW Tour events. Phil Marks landed five fish to bag the big limit in the 2012 FLW Tour Open on Rayburn. Kevin Lasyone came close to matching that mark with a 31-pound, 6-ounce limit last February in the Southwestern Division Costa event.

 

80

Maximum depth of Rayburn (in feet), give or take about 10 feet to account for annual fluctuations. The average depth of the lake is approximately 20 feet.

 

82

Biggest tournament total in an FLW Tour or Costa FLW Series event. Phil Marks topped out at 20 fish averaging just over 4 pounds apiece to put together an 82-pound four-day total in the 2012 FLW Tour Open. Tour pro Todd Castledine holds the record of 66-11 for a three-day event (Southwestern Costa in 2017).

 

170

Number of FLW Tour pros as the 2019 season kicks off. Seventy of those pros have never fished Rayburn in any FLW event.

 

244-8

Weight of the largest alligator gar harvested on Rayburn. Keith Riehn used a bow to bring in the lake record in 2005, though it still comes in short of the state-record alligator gar (279 pounds) caught in 1951 by Bill Valverde.

 

86,742

Approximate number of football fields that could fit into the surface area of Rayburn, which, at 114,500 acres, is the largest lake completely within Texas borders.

Tags: sam-rayburn  -chris-mccall  -flw-tour  justin-onslow  pre-tournament  2019-01-10-sam-rayburn-reservoir 

Exploring Harris with Tim Frederick

Exploring Harris with Tim Frederick

To say Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit pro Tim Frederick loves fishing in Florida would be an understatement. The Leesburg local and fifth-year Pro Circuit veteran calls the Harris Chain of Lakes home, and his only FLW win came just a bit farther south on Okeechobee in 2018. After a 22nd-place finish in the Toyota Series Southern Division opener on the St. Johns River last week, Frederick has fully turned his attention to his home bodies of water. READ MORE »

Prespawn Showdown Set for Hartwell

Prespawn Showdown Set for Hartwell

Spring can be one of the best times to launch a boat in the clear waters of Lake Hartwell. That’s why the Georgia-South Carolina border reservoir might be the perfect venue to start the Eastern Division of the Toyota Series on March 3.  READ MORE »

Village Mills’ Sharp Catches Record-Breaking 40-Pound Limit, Wins Phoenix Bass Fishing League Event on Sam Rayburn

Village Mills’ Sharp Catches Record-Breaking 40-Pound Limit, Wins Phoenix Bass Fishing League Event on Sam Rayburn

BROOKELAND, Texas – Boater Anthony Sharp of Village Mills, Texas, had a day Saturday that most bass fishing tournament anglers only dream about. Sharp brought a five-bass limit to the scale weighing 40 pounds, 6 ounces to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event at Sam Rayburn... READ MORE »

Perfect Practice Conditions at Harris

Perfect Practice Conditions at Harris

Ask Matt Becker how his practice is going for this week’s Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event presented by Bad Boy Mowers on the Harris Chain, and the Pennsylvania pro has nothing to complain about. For starters, he’s in the Sunshine State, and it’s about 80 degrees. The 50-degree swing compared to what folks back home in Finleyville, Pa., are experiencing is certainly pleasant. The fishing has also been pretty good through a day and a half of practice. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from the St. Johns

Top 10 Patterns from the St. Johns

The Toyota Series Southern Division opener on the St. Johns River potentially missed some stellar fishing opportunities. Despite being the time of year when big green fish start to move up to the banks en masse to spawn, changing weather conditions and multiple cold fronts kept fish coming and going all week, opening small windows on which pros and co-anglers needed to capitalize. READ MORE »

Sharp Blasts 40 Pounds to Win on Rayburn

Sharp Blasts 40 Pounds to Win on Rayburn

Winning a tournament is always pretty cool, but winning the way Anthony Sharp did in the second Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event in the Cowboy Division presented by A.R.E. is next-level. Weighing 40 pounds, 6 ounces of Sam Rayburn bass, the Village Mills, Texas, angler beat second place by more than 21 pounds. For the win, which was his first with FLW, Sharp took home a total of $7,000.  READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from the St. Johns

Top 10 Baits from the St. Johns

The St. Johns River was in a bit of a funk for the Toyota Series Southern Division opener. Instead of a full-on spawning slugfest, a couple cold fronts and quickly changing wind and water conditions kept fish moving in and out. The anglers chasing them had to stay on their toes. Plenty of pros did find quality fish, though, and they did so with a lot of familiar baits when it comes to late-winter fishing in Florida. Right now, it’s all about the black and blue plastics on the St. Johns. READ MORE »

Bartlett Gets Revenge on the St. Johns

Bartlett Gets Revenge on the St. Johns

Edwin Bartlett fished the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event on the St. Johns River in January, an event at which he fished as a boater and blanked after pre-practicing for five days. Today, he got his revenge. READ MORE »

Fitzgerald Finishes Strong at St. Johns

Fitzgerald Finishes Strong at St. Johns

Trevor Fitzgerald of Belleview, Fla., moved ahead one spot in the standings on the final day of competition at the St. Johns River to earn his first Toyota Series victory. His three-day catch of 57 pounds, 12 ounces earned him the win by a 6-pound margin. READ MORE »

St. Johns River Midday Update – Day 3

St. Johns River Midday Update – Day 3

Day two of the Toyota Series Southern Division opener on the St. Johns River brought more fish, bigger fish and eight bags over 20 pounds – a marked improvement over what we saw on day one. Day three could go either direction, though, as a small cold front overnight left behind bluebird skies and abundant sunshine today. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from the St. Johns River – Day 2

Top 5 Patterns from the St. Johns River – Day 2

It’s been a question of when, not if: When is the first big wave of spawners going to move up on the St. Johns River? That question may have been answered on day two of the Toyota Series Southern Division opener, as more and more anglers brought big fish across the weigh-in stage, with many of the bass coming from beds or shallow cover where fish are staging to make their big move. READ MORE »

Big Day Puts Blair Ahead at St. Johns

Big Day Puts Blair Ahead at St. Johns

Jason Blair caught 22 pounds, 3 ounces – the biggest limit of the tournament so far – to take over the lead at the Toyota Series Southern Division season opener on the St. Johns River. The West Palm Beach, Fla., pro has a two-day total of 39-15 and a 1-pound, 11-ounce lead over yesterday’s leader, Trevor Fitzgerald. READ MORE »

St. Johns River Midday Update – Day 2

St. Johns River Midday Update – Day 2

After a warm but windy day to start the Toyota Series Southern Division opener on the St. Johns River, day two brought lower temperatures, rain and a shifting wind that blew right up the chute early this morning. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from the St. Johns River – Day 1

Top 5 Patterns from the St. Johns River – Day 1

The St. Johns River is fishing tough, and while weights were down across the board on day one of the Toyota Series Southern Division opener, the top five found a way to get the job done with some impressive stringers of big Florida bass. READ MORE »

Fitzgerald in Front on St. Johns

Fitzgerald in Front on St. Johns

Trevor Fitzgerald of Belleview, Fla., took the lead on day one of the Toyota Series Southern Division opener at the St. Johns River with a five-bass limit that weighed 21 pounds, 2 ounces. Fitzgerald has previously won a Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event on the St. Johns and is in contention to make his 12th top-10 finish with FLW. READ MORE »

Timing Right for Giant Weights at Chickamauga

Timing Right for Giant Weights at Chickamauga

If it’s big bass you want, late winter and early spring are ideal times to catch them at Lake Chickamauga, which is why the 2020 Toyota Series Central Division opener is perfectly timed to be a big-bass slugfest. The tournament, which runs Feb. 27-29, could produce some of the biggest five-bass limits FLW will see all year. Just how good the fishing will be depends on the weather, and whether the region ever sees an end to the rain that’s been falling recently.  READ MORE »

St. Johns River Midday Update – Day 1

St. Johns River Midday Update – Day 1

As expected, the St. Johns River is still fishing pretty tough in the Toyota Series Southern Division opener, which kicked off this morning. The St. Johns holds plenty of good fish, but she’s not all that willing to give them up. READ MORE »

Warmer Weather Good Sign at St. Johns

Warmer Weather Good Sign at St. Johns

The cold front that moved through northeast Florida last week shut down the fishing on the St. Johns River in a big way, just as bass were starting to move up to the banks to begin spawning. With the weather that came through, many of those fish pulled back off the bank to wait for more stable conditions. Fortunately, stability arrived this week in the form of warmer weather, but it remains to be seen if those three or four days of warm, stable conditions are going to be enough to get fish back up on beds. For now, it’s safe to assume anglers are going to have to be adaptable over the next few days in the Toyota Series Southern Division opener. READ MORE »

Choo Choo Season Continues at Lewis Smith

Choo Choo Season Continues at Lewis Smith

Stop No. 2 of the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Choo Choo Division is Lewis Smith Lake. Smith is one of the best spotted bass fisheries in the east, and late winter should provide some really good fishing. READ MORE »

Previewing the St. Johns River

Previewing the St. Johns River

With the addition of new divisions on the 2020 Toyota Series schedule, Florida anglers (and anyone else hoping for a full schedule of Florida fisheries) get a trio of Sunshine State staples on the docket this year, starting with the St. Johns River on February 13. READ MORE »