Lakecaster Online

Tournament Pathfinder
by John Presley

During the past two months fishing on Sam Rayburn has been really hot. The rainy weather that we have received in June and July has kept the water cool and the fish very active. The lake also has held up close to normal pool most of this time. Its been a long time since you could fish bushes in the summertime on Big Sam. The bass seem to be holding in or around several different kinds of structure. You can catch them on the shoreline grass early and late on top water baits such as a buzz bait ,Yellow Magic's, and baby and tiny torpedoes. Some of the best colors I have been using on the topwaters are clear, chrome blue back, chrome black back and baby bass colors. The other bait that has worked well this summer around the bushes and grass is the Gambler Swacky worms rigged on a 1/32 oz K-Wacky worm hook by Falcon Lures. The best colors to use are plum-apple, watermelon, redbug ,or watermelon red. The Swacky 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 around the 5 to 10 foot shore grass and the 8 to 15 foot grass lines. My guide parties have caught some great fish up to 8 pounds using the Texas rig worm this summer. The best worms have been a 7 inch bandit tail worm made by Ring Rascal, rigged with a 3/16 or ¼ ounce Gambler Florida weight on 17 pound Silver Thread line. The most productive colors are plum, plumapple and red bloodline. This month you can also catch fish on deep diving crankbait if you like to fish them over the grass. Some of the bigger fish are caught this way using Norman DD22 and DD14 in shad and chartreuse color patterns. 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. If you haven't been to Big Sam lately your missing out on some of the best fishing in what we call gods country for bass fisherman.

This year there will be another tournament trail coming to East Texas. The name of the trail is Bass Champs. They have been around for over six years but mainly in north central and south Texas. This year they are adding East Texas to their schedule. They will be fishing Sam Rayburn and Toledo Bend. A membership fee of $25 per person is required. The entry fee will be $250 per team. All tournaments are held on Saturday's with a five day off limit period. The tournaments are open to all brands of boats. They will pay 25 places regardless of number of entries with first place being a Skeeter SX 200 with a Yamaha 200 at every tournament. Skeeter owners will also be eligible for extra bonus money which will be giving away at each event. All tournaments will be nationally televised on the Outdoor Channel. Bass Champs tournament schedule is: February 14- Sam Rayburn, March 13- Toledo Bend, April 10- Sam Rayburn, May 8- Toledo Bend, and June 12- Sam Rayburn. You can pick up entry forms at Dawson Marine and Ann's Tackle Shop in Jasper. This should be a new and exciting trail which puts on a great weigh-in. For additional information call Bass Champs at 817-439-3274 or go to www.basschamps.com .
Also with the Labor Day holiday approoaching, please remember to keep the island beach areas and shorelines clean. Remember "PACK IT IN…PACK IT OUT". The corp of engineers do not keep these areas clean WE do.

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. or check out my website at SAMRAYBURNFISHING.COM.

Good Luck and Good Fishing.

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