Let me just start by saying that I am writing this report with a tad bit of trepidation because nobody wants to share their honey holes with other anglers, but SAM RAYBURN HAS BEEN ON FIRE! Over the past month it has been as good as I have ever seen it for this time of year with tons of big fish being caught lake wide. A quick rundown of tournament results over the past couple weekends is a pretty good indicator with quite a few double digit fish being weighed in as well. I know of 4 bass over 10lbs caught last week alone to include an 11.10 at the 19th annual Rayburn Oilmen’s Classic this past weekend. At that same event, it took almost 29lbs for two days to get a Top 30 check out of 168 teams. There were also more limits weighed in last weekend at that event than they ever had in annual event.
Due to the high water this spring and summer, almost all of the hydrilla is gone from the lake. There are very tiny clumps in a few random places, but it isn’t worth the effort trying to find these boat size patches. For the time being, the lack of submergent vegetation is a good thing because it has made locating quality shallow fish relatively easy due to the lack of cover. All of the shallow bass are in the only cover available, hay grass and shallow wood. Keep it simple! If you see a piece of cover, throw to it! There is a bit of coontail grass in some shallow locations, but I am not a big fan of coontail grass on Rayburn. It looks good, but the bass don’t seem to like it all that much. There are still a few shallow bushes in the water and the cypress trees are holding a few fish as well. I would not pass up any pieces of wood in 5’ or less.
Some patterns that seem to be the most productive are working frogs and swim jigs in the hay grass as well as topwaters like buzzbaits and yellow magics just on the outside edge of the hay. This bite is going on all day. The trick is to just keep covering water. Typically, the fish are sitting on the little hay grass points which makes then fairly easy to pattern. Another way we have been catching some decent fish is to cast Texas Rigged worms and Senkos to the outside edge of the hay and working it out a few feet and then cranking it back quickly to repeat.
The lack of hydrilla has also made the offshore bite extremely good since there isn’t much cover in that midrange zone. All of the fish seem to be deep or shallow unless there is some sort of hard cover to hold those fish in the 6-14’ zone. If you are lucky then you can stumble on fish schooling in this depth range. I have found that the schooling fish breaking the surface are a whole lot easier to catch if I find them over water that is 15’ or less especially when they are on top of a main lake flat. The schooling fish out from the break lines over deeper water are much more difficult to chase because they can get out of the strike zone a whole lot faster. Casting to those fish is like a needle in a haystack. They can be anywhere just after they surface. Any schooling activity that happens in the proximity of your boat is simply a bonus, therefore I will have a spoon tied on just in case.
The deep bite has been extremely good as well. Texas Rigging big worms in Brushpiles has been fairly consistent. Look for the piles that have crappie around them and there is usually a big bass lurking as well. Although brush is a great place to target fish right now, I prefer to target offshore break lines and drops. Fish are stacking up when you find them and we are catching 100+ fish a day on Carolina Rigs, deep diving crankbaits, football head jigs and spoons. There aren’t any magic baits or colors. It’s all about finding them and once you do it is game on! Times like these are great for learning about electronics and gaining confidence in baits or techniques because you will get a lot of action.
This Saturday there is a FREE tournament sponsored by Santone Lures. If I were competing in the this event, the biggest dilemma I would have would be whether or not to fish deep with an M Series Football Head Jig or to go shallow with their Rayburn Swim Jig and Buzz bait. I would probably commit to one or the other and run with it all day. You will honestly have a shot at winning with either pattern. The way the lake is fishing, I would be willing to guess that it will take a mid to high 20lb sack to win. For more information on this FREE Tournament, check out……..http://www.santonelures.com/index.cfm
I currently have a couple of days at the end of the month open and quite a few days in November and December still available if you are interested in getting in on this action. Now is the time for an awesome “catching trip” and it is always a good time to learn at an Elite Angler Academy class. I can tailor a trip to meet whatever needs you might have. Let my 8 years of fishing on the Elites and the FLW Tour make you a better angler!
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