Lakecaster Online

Tournament Pathfinder
by John Presley

Its summer time on Sam Rayburn again but this year the hydrilla is back and the lake is staying really clear. The visibility has been 2 to 3 ft deep most of the summer. The fish are in their summertime pattern biting early and late. They will hit topwaters over the hydrilla and shoreline grass during these times. Sometimes topwater fishing can be a finicky bite so choosing the right bait for the right condition is really important. A chugger or popper is one of the most common topwaters during the summer. You can fish them several different ways using a fast popping retrieve or a slow retrieve. Experiment with the action until you find the retrieve the bass want. On calm clear days I like to use a slow retrieve and on windy days I like a faster noisier retrieve. The Storm Chug Bug, Baby Torpedo, Tiny Torpedo and buzz baits are all good baits that work well in the summer. The best colors are clear, blue chrome belly, black chrome belly, and a baby bass pattern. The other bait that has worked well this summer is the Zoom Trick worm fished wacky style. The best colors to use are plum-apple, watermelon, redbug ,or watermelon red. The wacky worm has also been really consistent worked in 7 to 15 foot of water around isolated grass beds. If you like worm fishing Sam Rayburn has been great this summer for worm fishing. The standard Texas rig has been the best in my opinion. Work it in the 8 to 15 foot grass lines. The best worms have been a 7 inch bandit tail worm made by Ring Rascal, rigged with a 3/16 or ¼ ounce weight on 17 pound Silver Thread line. The most productive colors are plum, plumapple and red bloodline. If you like to catch schooling bass Big Sam has the best and the whole family can enjoy catching them. In the past few weeks we have seen several school fish working the bait fish in the mouth and very back parts of the creeks. A good way to catch these fish is to use a shad colored Zoom Fluke. I like to use a 5/0 Mustad hook with a small split shot weight about 8 inches from the bait. White and pearl have been good colors. The top water baits that are working well on the schooling fish are clear Baby Torpedoes and clear Boy Howdys. When the fish go down throw a ¼ ounce Rattle Traps in chrome blue back and chrome black back into the schooling area to come up with a fish. The schooling activity is just getting heated up so in the next couple of months come and enjoy some great family fun. The flipping bite has been really good and getting better do to the return of the grass . Flipping the grasslines and pockets with a ¾ and 1 oz Oldem Jig and Gene Larew Salt Craw in smoke with green and orange flake, pumpkin green flake and plum will work well. The best color jigs are camouflage and black blue purple. Some of the bigger fish have been right on the bottom of the pockets and grasslines in 12 to 15 ft in the heat of the day. Big Sam has had some great crappie fishing action last month and should get better through the summer into fall. We are catching them over the deep brush in 25 to 35 ft of water on minnows. Be sure to take good care of your fish in these hot summer days . Leave your live wells running and add Catch and Release to them along with plenty of ice onboard for you and your catch. If you can, try to release them has soon has you catch them. Oh yes one more thing it's really hot out there in the mid day so don't forget to bring your hat, sunscreen and your favorite beverage while searching for the big one.

By the way , when I am not fishing tournaments I am a full-time fishing guide on Lake Sam Rayburn. If you would like to book a trip please call me at 409-698-9713 or Ann's Tackle Shop at 409-384-7685. Or e-mail me at JOHNPRESLEY@HOTMAIL.COM

Good Luck and Good Fishing.

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