UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - Lake Wylie

Wilson Wins Big on Rayburn

Wilson Wins Big on Rayburn
Kris Wilson

Yesterday afternoon, Kris Wilson was starting to show a tad bit of doubt in the pattern that had landed him in the lead for two days at the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event presented by Mercury on Sam Rayburn Reservoir. He was worried that his fish were leaving, or that they might not set up on his offshore spots in a way that he’d be able to continue his streak of 20-plus-pound bags.

All uncertainty left him today when Wilson pulled into his starting spot, saw that the waters were calm and the bass were there, and he quickly put a couple of 5-pounders in the boat. As the day went on, Wilson pounded out another big limit – 24 pounds, 1 ounce – to replace his doubt with a no-doubter of a win by a margin of 13 pounds, 15 ounces. His three-day total was 72-8. 

Complete results

Top 10 patterns 

Wilson, who works as a pipeline controller, is a regular contender here on Sam Rayburn. He says this year the fishing in early summer has been totally different than normal. By now, the bass are usually already set up on the main lake in 20 to 25 feet. However, due to high water this spring and summer, there’s a ton of brush, cypress trees and other shallow cover still in the water, and all that cover has delayed the transition from shallow to deep.

Wilson actually started out his practice looking for a bite in the brush.

“I came over here kind of expecting all the fish to be in the bushes with the water high,” he says. “I started out doing some flipping. I was catching some pretty good fish.”

As practice went on and Wilson expanded his search, he eventually realized the shallow bite might actually be petering out.

“I ended up kind of driving across a couple schools of fish I saw on my graph, so I started catching some 2- and 3-pounders. A lot of the fish I was catching in the bushes were small. I could get an occasional 4-pounder. I just kind of kept working more and more out. It evolved as the week went on. I think more fish were moving out. I think that was the whole key is I had fish coming to me all week.”

Though the water is still high at Rayburn, it’s been on a steady fall since practice started. A lot of the fish that were up in the far reaches of the floodwater have been moving out to brush on the edges. Others are trickling onto deep main-lake structure already. 

But Wilson figured out that many of the bigger bass are still in between both extremes. He caught his fish on a series of hard-bottom spots near the mouths of large creeks where bass were stopping off on their way from the brush and wood to the main lake.

The primary spot where he started each morning produced 10 of the 15 keepers that Wilson brought to weigh-in this week. 

“I think it was definitely replenishing is one big deal,” says Wilson of the productiveness of that spot. “Fish were coming out, and it had a couple bream beds around and some stumps – a tree line with an isolated patch of stumps right next to the bream beds. It was probably 12 to 15 feet deep, and that’s where most of the bigger ones were. It seemed like they were hanging around the stumps on that hard-bottom drop.”

To catch his fish on that spot as well as a few other hard-bottom points – places where he caught key afternoon kickers each day – Wilson dragged a Carolina-rigged red bug creature bait that resembles a Zoom Brush Hog. It’s a bait poured by his tournament partner, Harold Moore.

Wilson kept his eyes on his forward-looking sonar and cast to wherever he saw the fish set up in front of him.

“I could see the fish moving around,” he says. “There’d be little groups of them.” 

In addition to the Carolina-rig pattern, Wilson also used a homemade red bug ribbontail worm on a Texas rig. He fished it on a couple of different spots, but they also had the necessary hard bottom substrate.

“I had a couple stretches of hay grass that had some underwater bushes in front of the hay that I caught some pretty good fish off of,” he says. “I was Just throwing a Texas rig on those. The bushes were in 5 feet or so.”

Wilson’s doubt coming into today stemmed from the way the bass were set up on his starting spot yesterday. They weren’t grouped together as much but were roaming due to the heavy winds pushing waves across the surface. 

“I think yesterday those rollers coming in there is what messed it up,” he says. “Today, when I got in there and it was calm, I knew I was going to catch them. I told him [co-angler Zack Freeman], it was going to be on when we pulled up.”

He was right. More than anyone else, Wilson did the best job of dialing in on the fish in their transition during what has been a very unusual month of June on Rayburn. While other pros gave it a shot in the bushes or by fishing out in typical summertime zones, Wilson worked the in between for one of the more impressive wins of the season.

 

Top 10 pros

1. Kris Wilson – Montgomery, Texas – 72-8 (15) – $37,586

2. Josh Bensema – Willis, Texas – 58-9 (15) – $13,910

3. Justin Morton – Etoile, Texas – 50-0 (15) – $10,692

4. Cole Moore – Anacoco, La. – 47-6 (15) – $8,910

5. Albert Collins – Nacogdoches, Texas – 47-1 (15) – $8,019

6. Cory Rambo – Orange, Texas – 46-15 (15) – $7,128

7. Dicky Newberry – Houston, Texas – 44-0 (15) – $6,237

8. Matt Pangrac – Broken Arrow, Okla. – 43-0 (15) – $5,346

9. Bob Vote – Kingwood, Texas – 41-3 (15) – $4,455

10. Eric Wright – Balch Springs, Texas – 40-15 (15) – $3,812

Complete results

Tags: sam-rayburn  -carolina-rig  -texas-rig  curtis-niedermier  headline-story  2019-06-13-lake-sam-rayburn 

Nixon Eyeing Early June Return

Nixon Eyeing Early June Return

You couldn’t choose just one word to describe Larry Nixon’s professional fishing career. But right now, if you had to try, the most applicable word might be “resiliency.” READ MORE »

10 Pro Circuit Highlights So Far

10 Pro Circuit Highlights So Far

We’re almost halfway through the 2020 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit schedule, which means we’re far enough along now for a little retrospective on what’s happened thus far. READ MORE »

Sight-Fishing with Swimbaits

Sight-Fishing with Swimbaits

Ron Nelson, the Pro Circuit Angler of the Year leader and a renowned sight-fisherman, used a Keitech Swing Impact FAT for blind-fishing and sight-fishing at Martin and earned a runner-up finish. California’s Kevin Hugo took seventh at Lake Havasu and caught some of his biggest bass sight-fishing with a Little Creeper All American Trash Fish or Sunfish. Though the reasons why they settled on swimbaits varied, both pros can offer valuable lessons for any angler tackling a spawning scenario. READ MORE »

Abram’s Dream Comes True

Abram’s Dream Comes True

All week on Lake Martin for the third stop of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit the weights have been close, so it was only fitting that the final weigh-in followed suit. READ MORE »

Lake Martin Day 4 Coverage

Lake Martin Day 4 Coverage

Complete coverage of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit's third stop at Lake Martin in Alexander, Ala. READ MORE »

Abram One Day Away

Abram One Day Away

Day three of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event on Lake Martin was a bit tougher for the 30 pros on the water, and while quality has been tough to come by all week, that was especially the case today READ MORE »

Lake Martin Day 3 Coverage

Lake Martin Day 3 Coverage

Complete coverage of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit's third stop at Lake Martin in Alexander, Ala. READ MORE »

Abram Out Front on Martin

Abram Out Front on Martin

Same story, different day on Lake Martin for the third stop of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit. When it comes to catching fish, Martin is on fire at the moment. However, just like on day one, big bites are tough to come by on the Alabama fishery. READ MORE »

Lake Martin Day 2 Coverage

Lake Martin Day 2 Coverage

Complete coverage of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit's third stop at Lake Martin in Alexander, Ala. READ MORE »

Adams Leads at Martin

Adams Leads at Martin

Catching fish wasn’t going to be the issue for the third stop of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event on Lake Martin and after day one that certainly was the case. With the entire field catching a limit, the weights are stacked with a little over 4 pounds separating 100th and 10th. Finding a Lake Martin kicker was Barron Adams, who sacked 17 pounds, 2 ounces to take the lead – thanks in large part to his 8-13 Berkley Big Bass. Just 15 ounces back is Derrick Snavely and the weights tighten up a lot from there. READ MORE »

Lake Martin Day 1 Coverage

Lake Martin Day 1 Coverage

Complete coverage of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit's third stop at Lake Martin kicks off a day early from Alexander, Ala. READ MORE »

FLW Live Leaderboard - Lake Martin

FLW Live Leaderboard - Lake Martin

FLW media staff provide unofficial weight estimates for the third stop of the 2020 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at Lake Martin. READ MORE »

FLW Shifts Start Date at Lake Martin

FLW Shifts Start Date at Lake Martin

FLW announced today that this week’s Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event at Lake Martin, originally scheduled to start Thursday, has been shifted and will now begin competition Wednesday. Hosted by the Alexander City Chamber, the tournament will remain a four-day event and will now run through Saturday. This decision is based on a desire to allow pros, who began practicing for the tournament March 15, to safely complete the event and return home as quickly as possible amid evolving COVID-19 guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits and Patterns from Havasu

Top 10 Baits and Patterns from Havasu

Results from the Toyota Series Western Division event at Lake Havasu probably didn’t surprise any Western anglers who are familiar with the fishery. For folks in other parts of the country that might only have followed FLW’s early February events on the Colorado River reservoir, the tournament results might have opened some eyes to just how good the fishing can be on Havasu. Particularly on day one, the lake delivered, kicking out 12 limits of more than 20 pounds, including Tai Au’s limit of 26 pounds, 1 ounce. The success on day one resulted from a perfect storm of conditions for catching spawning bass on beds.  READ MORE »

Dice Gets it Done on Smith Mountain

Dice Gets it Done on Smith Mountain

Jack Dice of Lynchburg, Virginia, brought a five-bass limit to the scale weighing 22 pounds even to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event at Smith Mountain Lake in Huddleston, Virginia. For his victory, Dice earned a total of $5,246. READ MORE »

Steckler Claims Ozark Title

Steckler Claims Ozark Title

Cory Steckler of Rocky Mount, Missouri, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 18 pounds, 7 ounces to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event at Lake of the Ozarks in Osage Beach, Missouri. For his victory, Steckler earned a total of $13,457, including the lucrative $7,000 FLW PHOENIX Bonus contingency award. The victory was the second win of Steckler’s FLW career. READ MORE »

Graham Wins on Dale Hollow

Graham Wins on Dale Hollow

Brett Graham of Cold Spring, Kentucky, brought a five-bass limit to the scale weighing 18 pounds, 11 ounces to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Mountain division opener at Dale Hollow Reservoir in Byrdstown, Tennessee. For his victory, Graham earned a total of $6,000. READ MORE »

Co-angler Farage Gets Win No. 5

Co-angler Farage Gets Win No. 5

If you weren’t already aware, you need to be paying attention to the name Jack Farage. This week, the Discovery Bay, Calif., co-angler won his fifth Toyota Series Western Division tournament since 2013 by catching 43 pounds, 3 ounces at Lake Havasu. For his latest win, Farage earned a Phoenix 518 Pro with a 115-hp Suzuki outboard. READ MORE »

Au Finishes Strong at Lake Havasu

Au Finishes Strong at Lake Havasu

Tai Au of Glendale, Ariz., weighed in a five-bass limit worth 16 pounds, 15 ounces today to finish off a wire-to-wire win at the Toyota Series Western Division season opener on Lake Havasu. Au’s three-day total was 61-3.  READ MORE »

Medlock Brings it Home on Big O

Medlock Brings it Home on Big O

Weighing the biggest limit of the final day worth 19 pounds, 4 ounces, Brandon Medlock locked up his third Toyota Series title in the Southern Division event on Lake Okeechobee. With 54-4 overall, Medlock won comfortably and was essentially the only pro to put together two very good days of fishing, with a 13-9 catch on day one as his worst day. READ MORE »