Lakecaster Online

Deep diving cranks take Rayburn opener
By Ed Snyder

Ed Snyder

"Everyone was fishing too shallow," informed the anglers who had just won a $4,000 payday. "We stayed to the outside edges of 8'-12' mid-lake grass and found that our bass preferred the crank, jerk, and stop method, with most of our bass hitting on the stop when the bait just kinda' floated or suspended."

Pre-front conditions maintained a solid grip on Lake Sam Rayburn's bass fishery as 300 anglers teamed up to compete in the season opener of the 1999 Bass 'n Bucks tournament trail being held out of Twin Dikes Marina, located on the southern shores of Lake Sam Rayburn. As an edging cold front began to "ruffin" up the lake a bit, most anglers were to find "tuff bassin'," with some locating plenty of bass, but with no size or bulk to stress the weigh-in scale with. And as the final weigh-in bag was tallied, it became sadly obvious that Lake Sam Rayburn was still slumping under the stress of its long hot Summer.

"Gold Husky Jerks and shad patterned Rapala Wristo Raps," announced Mike Michalec, as he explained the winning pattern for his, and team partner, Harold Stalcup's win over the 150 teams which had just finished weighing in.

"We probably caught 15 bass," informed Harold as he told of running their Skeeter/Yamaha bass rig across mid-lake outside grass edges.

"I used Shimano rods & reels spooled with 14# Triple Fish mono."

Mike stated that he preferred Falcon rods and Shimano reels spooled with 15# Ande.

"We found that by working our crankbaits "very slow", and stopping them after each jerk, that the bass would hit the baits as they "sorta" hovered."

Both anglers were to find a good day of bassing as they managed to cull a 5 bass/15.68 lb weight from an 8 AM until "noon-thirty" bite for the first place check of $4,000, as well as a 2nd place big bass check of $876 for their 4.84 lb catch.

"Stratos/Evinrude bass boat," stated Pete Ellis as he explained how he and team partner, Kenneth Conkle had worked shad patterned Rapala Wristo Raps along 6'-8' southlake ditch-grass. "We probably caught 35 to 40 keepers," announced Conkle, as he told of using Castaway rods and Shimano reels spooled with 50# Spider Wire and 15# Trilene mono.

"Our best bite occurred between 7 AM to 12:30," stated Ellis.

"But the big bite hit at 10 AM," Pete continued to inform as he told of catching a 5.37 lb bass that would capture the overall check for $1,460 which would be added to their 2nd place 5 bass/14.80 lb. check of $2,350 for their cranking efforts.

The team anglers managed to put 505 bass on the scale weighing 1,013 lbs. which were live released by the Bass 'n Bucks fish recovery crew.

Next tournament is scheduled for Lake Sam Rayburn on February 14, 1999. For more information on the Bass 'n Bucks circuit contact Dave Concienne at (409)-727-8941.


1.Mike Michalec / Harold Stalcup..5 bass / 15.68 lbs.
2.Kenneth Conkle / Pete Ellis.........5 bass / 14.80 lbs.
3.John Hatton / Gary Boudoin........5 bass / 14.64 lbs
4.Ricky Potts / Terry Burghart.......5 bass / 14.53 lbs.
5.Dean Wood / Ramon Raines.........5 bass / 14.03 lbs.

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