"Put your cast right over there, instructed my fishing guide, as he directed me to cast my topwater bait towards a snaggle of buck-brush near the bank. "Plop, "chup, "flup, "sploosh" resulted in a somersaulting catch of a "chunky" keeper bass of about 15 inches. After a quick release and another cast, "plop, "flup, "chup' "plup, "KA-FLUUSH", "Ayieee, now that's more like it, yelped my guide as a "healthy" bass of about five pounds, "flushed" my topwater as well as my heart as it "sling-shot" my topwater bait back at me. After safely dodging the flying "grabber-snatcher" treble-hooks, I quickly re-tossed my topwater back into the ripples of the swirl, hoping against hope that I would be given another chance, but "allas", the bass spooked to the safety of deeper waters. Before we began to stroll off down the bank as we looked for fresh casting opportunities, my Guide informed me that we were fishing the very spot where he managed to catch the leading bass for winning the '98 Wal*Mart/EverStart Central Division Tournament on Lake Sam Rayburn. As my guide began provide a very interesting fishing trip for me "and you", Carl "Munchkin" Svebek, EverStart Champion and FLW Bass/Pro, started filling my notes with some professional advice for hopeful tournament anglers, as well as "pinpointing" some of his favorite bassin' holes & fishin' techniques on Lake Sam Rayburn, TX.
"Up on the North end of the lake, Carl begins, "during the early Springtime, the lake level will typically be from 6' to 9' higher than normal pool, which is caused from the runoff's of our Wintering rains. "But, fishing the north end at this time will have great results, Carl advises, "because, due to the heavy brush and timber which is ideal for early Spring, the bass will start moving up to shallower structure from their deeper wintering holes. "I concentrate my early Spring fishing efforts in the Canyon's area at this time, which is just north of the 147 bridge, Carl informs, "as in this area you'll find everything which is ideal for holding early spring fish, such as several roadbeds, and old railtrams, and several intersecting creek channels. "But what I feel that really holds these quality fish, Carl points out, "is the abundance of brush, small willows, and the grass-beds which were there before the winter rains flooded the shallows, "its just a ideal area for fishing early spring bass, Carl advises, as he recommends fishing the shallower brush structure with spinner baits, jigs, and TX, or Fla., rigged 6 inch "Chompers" lizards, as he'll usually concentrate his efforts around the visable brush and the larger willow trees.
"Concentrate on the mid-lake areas of the lake, Carl advises, "such as the Black Forest as it is probably one of the most productive areas of the lake during that time. "The Black Forest, he explains, "probably has some of the best underwater structure on the lake as it has a lot of humps, grass, timber, and just a little bit of everything which holds a lot of bass which are beginning to move out of shallow water to the mainlake points or humps. "The Forest" area has a 5 mile swath of structure to fish over, Carl stated, further explaining that if you run it with your depth recorder you'll see fluctuating depths of 6' one minute then 30' the next, which is prime structure for those fish who are coming up to feed. "My prime techniques for fishing this structure at this time of year, Carl informs, "which can be several different ways, but I much prefer to work the mainlake points, such as visable points which run out into the lake, with a Carolina rigged "Chompers" type fry rigged with a 3/4 to 1 oz. weight as I fish the bald spots that are inside the grass which will usually be holding the quality bass at that time of year. "However, Carl extends, "when the water temperature begins to rise with the Summer heat, I'll usually start putting on the big jigs, or the big worms, rigging with TX, or Fla., rigs for vertical fishing, as I start to concentrate on the deepest grass-breaks of the humps or creek-channels as these areas become the settling spots for those "hot" summertime bass.
"After we've had the first couple of cool fronts pass through in September/October, Carl notes, "I'll usually start concentrating my efforts around the southlake structure, such as the Farmer's Flats area. "This is one of my favorite times of year to fish Rayburn, Carl informs, as he explains that with most everyone getting "buck fever" the lake will open up to some really "fun-tastic" fishing with wide open opportunities as most anglers have traded in their fishin' sticks for bang sticks. "At this time, Carl advises, "the bass will usually get on a feeding frenzy as after the hot summer months they'll start ambushing schools of shad which are beginning to "ball-up" into tight schools. "Farmers Flats is another area which has a lot of different terrain, Carl points out, "as it offers shallow humps and larger grass-beds which is ideal structure for holding some quality bass, "and plenty of them". "At this time of year I'll usually fishing this structure in several different ways, informs Carl, "as he advises to start throwing crankbaits as they'll cover a lot of water and catch a lot of bass, and some really good ones too. "However, Carl adds, "there are numerous ways to catch good bass at this time as you can also fish Wacky worms, such as my favorite, a "Chompers" needle worm, as I begin to work the visable surface structure such as the outside grass or weed edges, logs, or stumps which are above the water-line. "Spinner baits, Roques, or any type of shallow running baits fished above the grass-tops, will also produce at this time of year, Carl points out, "as Rayburn's lake level will usually be from 3' to 6' below normal pool. "Its just a great time of year to fish Rayburn, Carl invited, "as its much cooler and the bigger fish are much more active.
"But then again, Carl re-caps, "anytime of the year is "great" for fishing Lake Sam Rayburn.
"One of the best ways to get started in fishing tournaments, Carl advises, "would be to begin at the club level first, then when you've built your confidence step up to the next level such as fishing local or regional team tournaments, until you've "once again" developed your confidence level up until you're ready to try the National circuits, such as Redman or EverStart as you will be given the opportunity to learn a lot from these people who have the same dreams and drives that you have. "And from that point on, Carl explains, "you'll start getting into a more National type of competitive atmosphere where your past experiences from your club, local, or regional tournament experiences will start to come into play as you've developed confidence levels from those past experiences. "The most important advice I can give to any angler who wishes to become a Professional bass tournament competitor, informs Carl , "would be to have "patience" as that would become a key factor in your rise to that goal. "Don't expect to become a Professional overnight, Carl pointed out, as you need to gradually prepare yourself for that important step in your life. "Another important factor for becoming a successful Professional Bass angler would be the support of sponsors, Carl informs," and the best way to attract the interests of that support would be to prove to the sponsors that you are of value to them as those sponsors can't justify your tournament expenses unless you are fully prepared to represent their products. "The wearing of the sponsor patches, Carl explains, "puts a great responsibility on the angler as the sponsor's business logo's are put on display for everyone to see. "So, Carl emphasizes, "you have to take great care when wearing their patches and flying their colors as the credibility of their company's reputation rides with your every tournament. "Approaching the sponsors is mostly like selling yourself to them, Carl advised, "as you must let them know what your values, dreams and desires are, and where you expect to go with your career, such as on the National or local/regional levels, as you "must" prove to them that you can be a capable, and credible, representative of their products.
"The last question for my note-book becomes the obvious as I ask, "Where, and How in the heck did you ever get the nickname, "Munchkin"-? "Well, the Woden High/SFA Grad, Husband of one and Father of two began, it's kinda' like this......................
(To obtain that "little bit" of pertinent info; you'll have to contact, Carl "Munchkin" Svebek at Needmore Tackle's guide service (409)-698-9430.)
Carl's Sponsor's; Ranger Boats- Evinrude Outboards- SpiderWire- Mitchell Rods & Reels- Chompers Baits-