UPCOMING EVENT: T-H Marine BFL - 2019 - Lake Okeechobee


Sam Rayburn Day 1 Coverage

Sam George

Quick Links

Live leaderboard – click here

Lake Tour – click here

Tournament Details – click here

Sam Rayburn By the Numbers – click here

Water level details – click here

Marshal Photo Gallery – click here


1:50 p.m. Closing it down

David Dudley’s Marshal just reported he has 20+ pounds in his livewell. Unofficially, that puts the Polaris pro in the top 10. We’ve had a large amount of anglers making smaller culls – most of these pros are in the 10 to 14 pound limit range.

At that, we are going to close down the blog and live leaderboard for the day. It has been quite the opening day with massive amounts of fish caught along with some true giants. You will be able to watch the live weigh-in on flwfishing.com at 3 p.m. CT. We’re likely to have a few surprise bags cross the stage from anglers who fished out of cell phone reception all day so make sure to tune in.


12:50 p.m. - George with a giant

FLW Tour rookie Sam George is going to be tipping the scales this afternoon with the bag he’s working on. He caught an 8+ pounder not long ago while fishing some offshore structure. It sounds like not one single technique is putting fish in the boat, rather he using his entire offshore arsenal to target these deeper fish.

The bite is definitely slowing down for most on Rayburn. Our Marshals are reporting that the lake is all but glass since the wind died down. We are also hearing that the temperature is starting to warm up quick. Look for the field to make some adjustments to match the changing conditions as the afternoon wears on.


12:15 p.m. - Osborne

Jordan Osborne is making moves up the leaderboard. He just gained 5 pounds on back-to-back culls and now has at least a 20-pound limit. He is doing his damage on traditional offshore techniques.

Up on the bank John Cox is still looking to upgrade his 13-pound total. John caught a 4 1/2 pounder earlier today so we know there are fish to be had up shallow. James Niggemeyer is also burning shallow cover and has a 11-1/2 pound limit. As the sun gets higher the shallow-water guys should have more action.

Overall, the 1 to 2-pound fish seem to be biting all over the lake. If you check out the Live Leaderboard you will these fish in a lot of the pro’s limits. A few kickers here and there will be the difference between ending the day middle of the pack or towards the top.


11:00 a.m. - Thrift, Bolton

It looks like Bryan Thrift is doing Bryan Thrift things. We just had a report that he was culling out 3 pounders and has a limit around 19 pounds. Historically, Thrift’s total weight always ends up being a few pounds more than reported so it would not be surprising if he has already surpassed the 20-pound mark.

Elsewhere, Terry Bolton has been hammering the fish but has yet to find the giants that Rayburn is known for. The Kentucky pro has a limit worth about 13 pounds and is catching 1 to 2 pounders at will on his moving baits. When we asked him how he’s doing he said, “It’s a grind, man. Just one of them deals.”

11:05 Update: LeBrun just extended his unofficial lead with a small cull. His smallest fish at the moment is about 3 1/2 pounds. 


10:25 a.m. - LeBrun!

Last year’s T-H Marine BFL All-American champion Nick LeBrun smacked them this morning. His Marshal just reported Nick having an estimated 24-pound limit. With a start like this LeBrun should certainly see himself near the top of the leaderboard at the end of the day.

Other than that, we are still seeing a bunch of fish caught. The leaderboard is jam packed of pros with 9 to 15-pound limits. A 7+ pounder will do big things for these guys stuck in the middle of the pack.


9:45 a.m. - Fulps takes over

Derek Fulps just landed back-to-back six pounders to finish out his limit and take the lead. With two-big ones in the livewell he certainly could be working on a giant bag as the day goes on. Sam George, Chad Warren and Scott Martin are right behind Felps on the leaderboard. If any of those anglers catches another giant they would most likely take over first place.

Cody Kelly just stuck his second keeper, which happened to be a 7 1/2 -pounder.

In general, a ton of fish are being caught on Sam Rayburn this morning. We have nearly 40 limits reported from the Marshals so far. The Marshals are seeing fish caught from the bank all the way out to deep structure. We should see patterns slowly develop as the day progresses.


8:43 a.m. - The giants are falling

There's been a rash of big ol' bass caught in the last hour. Scott Martin landed a potential 9-pounder. Wes Logan caught a 6. Billy Shelton caught a 7. Sam George has a 7 1/2 and a 5 1/2. And Chad Warren, the unofficial leader, also caught an 8-pounder. Warren has about 19 pounds right now. It looks like the big girls are out this morning, and the Tour pros came to play.

It's still a mix of baits in use right now, but spinnerbaits and Carolina rigs are easily the most popular. 


7:55 a.m. - Lots of updates coming in

For the first time ever, FLW Tour pros are fishing with marshals instead of co-anglers, and the marshals are doing their job well. There's been a constant stream up updates coming in off the water. The best place to see the up-to-date weight estimates is at the Live Leaderboard link at the top of this article. 

Right now, Matt Becker has the hot hand. The 2018 FLW Tour Rookie of the Year has landed three nice keepers for a total weight of just shy of 6 pounds. That doesn't sound like a lot, but getting a limit in the boat early would be a huge start to this derby.

Mostly pros are throwing spinnerbaits in the shallow cover and jerkbaits all around. The Carolina rig is also getting a lot of play out deep.


7:30 a.m. – The 2019 FLW Tour season has begun

After three days of practice marked by flip-flop weather and mostly stable conditions, the 2019 FLW Tour season got underway on Sam Rayburn Reservoir today in the grips of a cold front. The temperature at takeoff was in the mid-30s, and the forecast high is just 58 degrees.

That’s just one of the stories Mother Nature has laid out for us this week. Rayburn is currently about 9 1/2 feet high, and the water data website for the Fort Worth District of the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers shows that the dam is not releasing any water, so the high water is sticking around.

Thousands of acres of trees and brush are flooded. A resourceful angler can get nearly a mile deep in the flooded timber in some places.

The resulting fishing patterns, by all accounts, vary greatly from the norm for this time of year. Instead of grass that’s a couple feet under the surface and primed for fishing with a lipless crankbait, most of the green stuff is 10 or more feet deep. Deep cranks and Carolina rigs have been the go-tos for offshore fishing in practice, while Texas rigs, spinnerbaits and even frogs have been tossed around up shallow.

Whether aggressive tactics continue to play in the midst of the cool-down is yet to be determined, but one thing’s for sure: Mother Nature has issued a major challenge to the world’s best bass anglers this week on Sam Rayburn.



Temperature at takeoff: 34 degrees

Forecast high: 58 degrees

Sky: sunny early, with clouds developing throughout the day

Precipitation: 0 percent chance of rain

Wind: ENE at 5 mph


Tournament Details

Presented by Polaris

Hosted by Jasper County Development District

Takeoff: 7:15 a.m. CT at Umphrey Family Pavilion, 5438 RR 255, Brookeland, TX

Weigh-in: Days 1 and 2 at 3 p.m. CT; Days 3 and 4 at 4 p.m. CT at Umphrey Family Pavilion

FLW Expo: 2 p.m. CT through the end of weigh-in at Umphrey Family Pavilion

FLW Live: 6:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. CT

Tags: flw-communications  co-angler-headline  2019-01-10-sam-rayburn-reservoir 


Beight Rings in Marshal Program in Big Way

Timmy Beight won the FLW Tour Sam Rayburn Marshal prize after marshaling for Jordan Osborne and Terry Bolton. READ MORE »


Top 10 Patterns from Sam Rayburn

Fishing crankbaits, Carolina rigs and drop-shots around flooded hydrilla for Sam Rayburn Reservoir largemouths dominated the top 10 at the FLW Tour opener. Check out the top 10 patterns feature to learn more about effective patterns for working grass. READ MORE »


Top 10 Baits from Sam Rayburn

Fishing deep-diving crankbait, dragging Carolina rigs and working finesse baits such as drop-shots were the keys to success at the FLW Tour opener at Sam Rayburn. Here are the bass-fishing baits that the top pros used. READ MORE »


Bolton Hangs On

With a 17-pound, 6-ounce bag on day four of the FLW Tour opener on Sam Rayburn, which was presented by Polaris, the 24-year Tour veteran did something he’s been within ounces of doing so many times before: He won. He won his first Tour event, and he did it despite a handful of tremendous anglers — including standout rookie Nick LeBrun and the best angler on the planet, Bryan Thrift — breathing down his neck in a furious effort to outpace the Benton, Ky., pro. READ MORE »


Sam Rayburn Day 4 Coverage

Complete coverage of day four at the 2019 FLW Tour event presented by Polaris on Sam Rayburn Reservoir in Brookeland, Texas. READ MORE »


Kentucky's Bolton Wins FLW Tour at Sam Rayburn Reservoir presented by Polaris

BROOKELAND, Texas – After fishing the FLW Tour for 23 years, competing in his 168th career event, Rapala pro Terry Bolton of Benton, Kentucky, finally got it done. Bolton earned his first career victory in a dramatic final-day weigh-in Monday at the FLW Tour at Sam Rayburn Reservoir presented by Polaris after bringing a five-bass limit totaling 17 pounds, 6 ounces to the scale. Bolton’s... READ MORE »


Day 4 on Sam Rayburn Postponed

FLW officials have postponed the final day of the FLW Tour opener presented by Polaris on Sam Rayburn. The top 10 anglers slated to finish the event Sunday will instead fish Monday to close out the tournament. READ MORE »


Day Four of FLW Tour at Sam Rayburn Reservoir Postponed due to Inclement Weather

BROOKELAND, Texas – Sunday’s Day Four of the FLW Tour at Sam Rayburn Reservoir presented Polaris has been postponed due to inclement weather. The top 10 anglers scheduled to fish the final day of competition will now compete Monday to close out the season-opening tournament.... READ MORE »


Bolton Bearing Down on First Tour W

Day three of the FLW Tour presented by Polaris on Sam Rayburn was tougher overall, but Terry Bolton still put 19 pounds, 10 ounces in the boat to boost his leading total to 73-13. Behind him, Nick LeBrun gained some ground, edging to within 5 pounds of the lead, weighing 20-13 for a 69-1 total. Going into the final day, Bolton, LeBrun and Bryan Thrift have all tallied more than 68 pounds, and they’ll be shooting it out in Texas for the win. READ MORE »


Kentucky’s Bolton Holds Lead on Day Three of FLW Tour at Sam Rayburn Reservoir presented by Polaris

BROOKELAND, Texas – It was more of the same Saturday on Day Three of the FLW Tour at Sam Rayburn Reservoir presented Polaris – big limits, big bass and big smiles from tournament leader Rapala pro Terry Bolton of Benton, Kentucky. Bolton weighed a solid five-bass limit totaling 19 pounds, 10 ounces to maintain his lead heading into Championship Sunday in the tournament... READ MORE »


Sam Rayburn Day 3 Coverage

Complete coverage of day three at the 2019 FLW Tour event presented by Polaris on Sam Rayburn Reservoir in Brookeland, Texas. READ MORE »


Bolton Busts 33-9 on Big Sam

Terry “Blade” Bolton can catch ‘em, of that there’s no doubt, and recently he’s threatened for his first FLW Tour win, but he may have his best shot yet in the FLW Tour opener presented by Polaris on Sam Rayburn. After weighing a whopping 33 pounds, 9 ounces on day two, Bolton took the lead with a 54-3 total. In second, Nick LeBrun followed up his 29-pound day one with 19-2 for a 48-4 total – just shy of 6 pounds behind Bolton. READ MORE »


Kentucky’s Bolton Vaults into Lead after Day Two of FLW Tour at Sam Rayburn Reservoir presented by Polaris

BROOKELAND, Texas – Rapala pro Terry Bolton of Benton, Kentucky, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Friday weighing 33 pounds, 9 ounces, to vault to the top of the leaderboard on Day Two of the FLW Tour at Sam Rayburn Reservoir presented Polaris after starting the day in 10th place. Bolton’s two day total of 10 bass weighing 54-3 will give him a 5-pound, 15-ounce... READ MORE »


Sam Rayburn Day 2 Coverage

Complete coverage of day two at the 2019 FLW Tour event presented by Polaris on Sam Rayburn Reservoir in Brookeland, Texas. READ MORE »


LeBrun Drops 29 on Rayburn

Winner of the T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) All-American in 2018, Nick LeBrun started his FLW Tour career in style, smashing a personal-best bag of 29 pounds, 2 ounces for the lead. Overall, the fishing on day one of the FLW Tour presented by Polaris on Sam Rayburn was excellent, with plenty of limits and 10 bags over 20 pounds. Close behind LeBrun is Sam George, another rookie, who put a whopping 28-5 in the boat to start things off. Behind them, Chad Warren and Jordan Osborne both topped 25 pounds. READ MORE »


Rookie LeBrun Catches 29-Pound Limit, Leads Day One of FLW Tour at Sam Rayburn Reservoir presented by Polaris

BROOKELAND, Texas – Louisiana pro Nick LeBrun – fishing in his first career regular-season FLW Tour event – brought a massive 29-pound, 2-ounce five-bass limit to the scale Thursday to vault to the top of the leaderboard after Day One of the FLW Tour at Sam Rayburn Reservoir presented Polaris. Fellow rookie Sam George of Athens, Alabama, sits in second place with five... READ MORE »


Sam Rayburn Day 1 Coverage

Complete coverage of the 2019 FLW Tour event presented by Polaris on Sam Rayburn Reservoir in Brookeland, Texas. READ MORE »


Cecil’s Final Morning of Practice

Russell Cecil is one of a number of standout Texas anglers fishing the FLW Tour opener this week on Sam Rayburn. After a lackluster rookie campaign in 2018, fishing near home is a great opportunity for the Willis, Texas, pro to get the year started off strong. Though the conditions are far from normal, a few hours on the final day of practice reveal that Cecil certainly has a read on the bass. READ MORE »


FLW Live Schedule for Sam Rayburn

The 2019 FLW Live seasons kicks off on the big bass factory of Sam Rayburn Reservoir in Brookeland, Texas. Watch your favorite stars such as Scott Martin and Bryan Thrift weigh-in at the FLW Tour season opener, and then follow the weekend action live with the top pros. READ MORE »


Evinrude Extends FLW Sponsorship, Named Presenting Sponsor for Five FLW Events in 2019

MINNEAPOLIS – Fishing League Worldwide (FLW), the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, announced today a sponsorship renewal with Evinrude for the 2019 season, marking... READ MORE »