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#12263655 - 05/26/17 02:38 AM Rayburn Elite Write Up
LunkerXpress Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 02/04/10
Posts: 539
A few days late with this, but I wanted to write a review of my 3 days judging the Elite event on Rayburn. Thanks to Tim Cook, I believe this was my 6th time going back to the first TTBC on Conroe.

On day one I drew Luke Clausen. Luke is an outstanding dude and I had a great time judging for him. He didn't really catch the size he was looking for but he did catch numbers and cover a ton of water. He started the morning out flipping very close to launch and caught three fish under two pounds within the first five minutes and then left, deciding the big fish weren't there. For the rest of the day he alternated between the new jackhammer chatterbait in green pumpkin and a jerk bait. He did have a minor run in with another pro who seemed to cut him off coming to a point, but they handled it like gentlemen and moved on. He explained that this happens pretty regularly and is almost always a non issue. Unless of course BASS gets their hands on it and televises it for some cheap ratings. All in all, it was a fun day with a good dude.

Day two I drew Cliff Pirch. We made a very long run, from Cassell Boykin to the dam, in some pretty gnarly waves. Thankfully his Phoenix ran it well and we at least took our beating dry. Upon arrival at the dam, we found boats sitting on the two spots he had fished the day before. Exactly on his waypoints. He handled it better than I probably would have and just went fishing and did well with an early limit. I kept a watch on the two boats fishing his waypoints and didn't see either one catch a fish. Both were throwing something with a skirt, but I couldn't tell what. When they left, Cliff worked back and forth between them and hammered them between a football jig, a deep crankbait and a drop shot. That is the difference in a weekend warrior and the pros. Same water, very different results. I have never seen anyone that was better with a drop shot (he has won 3 US Opens on it) and I was amazed at his efficiency. If the big motor wasn't running, he was fishing. When he stopped to retie a bait, he flipped the drop shot over and occasionally gave it a shake while retying. And dang if he didn't catch a 3 pounder doing it. If a fish missed his jig or crankbait, he reeled it in and fired back with the drop shot and almost always caught a fish. He was pretty worried going in that he would just barely miss the cut. As it worked out, he slid into the last spot by an ounce over KVD and made day three. Excellent guy and I learned a lot with him.

Day three I got to roll with Alton Jones Jr. That kid is so impressive. He caught the heaviest bag of the tournament on day 2 with 26 pounds and some change, which held up through days 3 and 4. On day 3, he started out doing exactly the same thing, throwing a big line through swimbait around grass, and he could have easily had the same weight if not more. He had a limit for about 14 pounds within the first hour, which he eventually culled up to 17 and a few ounces. What hurt him and really cost him the chance to win was big fish lost. I saw three fish over 7 pounds come unbuttoned, and one was significantly bigger than the other two. Any of the three would have been a big cull over the 2 pound fish he weighed. The biggest of the three that got off was within sight of the ramp in the last ten minutes, and it was water that had been beat to death the last two days by anglers about to check in. I have seen in the past guys on forums saying he was only good because he has his daddys way points. If that was you, go wash your mouth out and then look where his dad finished last week while Jr. was fishing Sunday. Alton Jr. is on the elites because he can fish with anyone in the world, and he is going to be there for a long time coming I think. More impressive than his fishing prowess though, he is just a really good dude. I can't even imagine the frustration of losing those three fish, knowing boating them gives him a chance to fish for the win on Sunday. He never yelled, cussed, whined, complained or any of the other reactions we see from a lot of the pros. He just smiled, shook his head and went back to casting. I hope one day to be that mature when things go bad during a tournament. I can't say enough good things about the kid.

If you ever get a chance to judge or marshal an event, take it. Out of the 15-20 pros I have got to judge over the years, every one of them has been a class act, and all have something they can teach you.


Edited by LunkerXpress (05/26/17 02:39 AM)
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#12263659 - 05/26/17 04:05 AM Re: Rayburn Elite Write Up [Re: LunkerXpress]
dmr183 Online   content
Pro Angler

Registered: 09/13/11
Posts: 816
Loc: San Antonio
Great write up, thumb

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#12263712 - 05/26/17 06:47 AM Re: Rayburn Elite Write Up [Re: LunkerXpress]
leethefishking Online   content
Extreme Angler

Registered: 05/24/02
Posts: 1005
Loc: San Marcos, TX
Well done, thanks for taking time to write this.

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#12263743 - 05/26/17 07:16 AM Re: Rayburn Elite Write Up [Re: LunkerXpress]
Brent S Online   content
Extreme Angler

Registered: 07/04/13
Posts: 2906
Loc: Eagle Mountain Lake
That's awesome. What setup did Pirch use on his dropshot? Curious since the potential to catch a big one is higher than most at Rayburn.
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Brent Shimanek

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#12263814 - 05/26/17 07:59 AM Re: Rayburn Elite Write Up [Re: LunkerXpress]
Kisndismis Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 01/14/09
Posts: 588
Loc: Kingwood, TX
I love the part about him slinging the drop shot over the side when he was retying. Reminded me of a vid I saw where the guys were fishing grass shoulder to shoulder on the front of the boat, and when they hooked one ( looked deep) the second it flipped over the side, they would punch another jug thru, and I mean quickly.


Edited by Kisndismis (05/26/17 07:59 AM)
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#12263845 - 05/26/17 08:18 AM Re: Rayburn Elite Write Up [Re: LunkerXpress]
BassAssassin8522 Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 11/25/15
Posts: 18
Great write up. Always enjoy reading these

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#12263922 - 05/26/17 08:51 AM Re: Rayburn Elite Write Up [Re: LunkerXpress]
GeoFisher Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 06/26/13
Posts: 687
Thanks for sharing. Good stuff
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#12263985 - 05/26/17 09:19 AM Re: Rayburn Elite Write Up [Re: LunkerXpress]
H2O Seeker Offline
Angler

Registered: 06/26/11
Posts: 421
Loc: Denison, Texas/Texoma
Thank you for taking time to write this up and share here. I have thought about doing the Marshal gig but time has not permitted it yet. One day...
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#12264153 - 05/26/17 10:42 AM Re: Rayburn Elite Write Up [Re: Brent S]
LunkerXpress Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 02/04/10
Posts: 539
He was throwing it on 8 pound flouro, straight with no braid.
1/0 roboworm rebarb hook
_________________________
BASS Central Opens Co Angler trying to live the dream

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www.911customlures.myshopify.com
www.catchmoretackle.com

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#12264154 - 05/26/17 10:42 AM Re: Rayburn Elite Write Up [Re: LunkerXpress]
Ian Fellenbaum Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 11/05/15
Posts: 231
Loc: Mesquite, Tx
Good stuff

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#12264172 - 05/26/17 10:50 AM Re: Rayburn Elite Write Up [Re: LunkerXpress]
txsuperman Offline
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 03/22/04
Posts: 3785
Loc: little elm, tx
Thanks for sharing. Good info
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#12264188 - 05/26/17 11:01 AM Re: Rayburn Elite Write Up [Re: LunkerXpress]
Brent S Online   content
Extreme Angler

Registered: 07/04/13
Posts: 2906
Loc: Eagle Mountain Lake
Originally Posted By: LunkerXpress
He was throwing it on 8 pound flouro, straight with no braid.
1/0 roboworm rebarb hook


Geeze, 8 lb. 6" worm?
_________________________
Brent Shimanek

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#12264191 - 05/26/17 11:02 AM Re: Rayburn Elite Write Up [Re: LunkerXpress]
Insurance man Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 03/12/14
Posts: 724
Loc: Texas
Good Job!

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#12264840 - 05/26/17 05:31 PM Re: Rayburn Elite Write Up [Re: Kisndismis]
dmr183 Online   content
Pro Angler

Registered: 09/13/11
Posts: 816
Loc: San Antonio
Originally Posted By: Kisndismis
I love the part about him slinging the drop shot over the side when he was retying. Reminded me of a vid I saw where the guys were fishing grass shoulder to shoulder on the front of the boat, and when they hooked one ( looked deep) the second it flipped over the side, they would punch another jug thru, and I mean quickly.


I think they call that a scrape, but maybe someone can chime in that knows for sure. Heard Hanselman used to do that with a spook on Amistad. Seen Reneau and Marks on a tv show doing it punching deep hydrilla on TB I believe..

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#12264875 - 05/26/17 05:56 PM Re: Rayburn Elite Write Up [Re: LunkerXpress]
NITRO Z8 Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 07/06/07
Posts: 570
Loc: fortworth tx, tarrant co.
A fantastic write up and well written and thank you. Glad you had a good time Sir.

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