Lakecaster Online

Tournament Pathfinder
by John Presley

On February 3 the Texas Tournament Trail held their first tournament of the year on Sam Rayburn. The tournament was a pro- am format that paid out a pro purse up to$65,000 for first place and $34,000 for first place on the amateur side. Carl Svebek of Sam Rayburn won the pro side with 5 bass that weighed 25 lbs. 7 oz. The first place amateur was Darrel Smith with 5 bass that weighed 22 lbs. 3oz. Carl caught most of his fish on ½ red Rat-L -Traps in Veach Basin fishing the edge of drains that had grass in them. The fish on Rayburn will be in the pre -spawn and spawn during the month of March. The water temperature is very important this time of year. When the water starts warming up and the length of sunlight gets longer the fish will begin to move from deepwater to shallower water. The coves on the Northwestern side warm up first. The north and northwestern coves have shielded north winds, so they don't chill as fast when a cold front blows in. Some good areas to fish are Indian, Harvey, Veach and Five Fingers. When the water is 50 to 57 degrees its pre-spawn time for bass .The fish will begin moving to points and secondary points to intermediate depths and sometimes even into the shallows when the temperature is consistent. When the water temperature gets in the 60's the bass will move close to their spawning areas. Sometimes bass get close to that area then a big cold front comes in and changes the water temperature a few degrees which move the fish off the bank but sometimes it will push the fish into the thicker cover closest to the spawning area. When the fish is locked on the nest and the eggs are laid the fish are committed and a cold front will not make them move. They are usually their the next day protecting that area but a lot harder to catch because they are a little more skittish it seems. The fish that will move back deeper are the ones that haven't spawned and are just moving in and hadn't started sweeping their nest. The fish will be spawning on Sam Rayburn the next few months . Try to practice catch and release this time of the year especially, so you can catch that big one again next year and also future fisherman and woman can enjoy the thrill of bass fishing as I have. There will be a lot of tournaments on the lake in the coming months so if someone beats you to your favorite spot it doesn't matter if he is in a tournament or not, by all means don't crowd him and force him off that spot or turn circles around his boat .The next time it might be you on that spot first in a tournament or just out fishing and you would not want that done to you. So when your out on the water just show some respect and it will come back to you and by all means be careful and courteous and enjoy some great fishing on Big Sam.

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 JOHN@SAMRAYBURNFISHING.COM. of check out my website at SAMRAYBURNFISHING.COM.

Good Luck and Good Fishing.

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