Texans Take On Big Sam

The South East Texas Division 10 of the Toyota Bassmaster Weekend Series, operated by American Bass Anglers, will hold its third tournament of the season May 11, 2013, on Lake Sam Rayburn.The competitors will launch at Umphrey Pavilion, located off County Road 255 near Jasper, Texas. Anglers may begin fishing at safe light. Registration begins at 4 p.m. May 10. Anglers fishing the Boater Division may weigh in up to five bass. Co-anglers may weigh in up to three bass.According to the 2013 Bassmaster magazine list of the top 100 bass waters in the United States, only Lake St. Clair in Michigan ranks higher than Lake Sam Rayburn for its outstanding bass fishing. It rose from 19th place on the 2012 list to second.Sam Rayburn harbors abundant giant bass and produces many double-digit largemouth each year. In May 1997, Tommy Shelton set the lake record with a 16.80-pound largemouth bass. The lake produces many largemouth bass in the 4- to 8-pound range with some in the 10- to 12-pound range.The largest reservoir entirely within the state of Texas, “Big Sam” covers 114,500 acres on the Angelina River. Impounded in 1965, it offers anglers more than 750 miles of shoreline. The water depth drops to more than 80 feet deep in places.With the water about two feet below normal pool stage and temperatures in the upper 60s, many bass remain in the shallows. Tempt them with wacky worms, spinnerbaits, jigs and soft plastics. Also look for bass in 12 to 20 feet of water around creek channels and main lake points. Work over these areas with deep-diving crankbaits in shad colors or lipless crankbaits in red. Anglers may even find some topwater action on walking baits or chuggers. Run frogs through weedy areas.During the March 9, 2013, BWS tournament on Lake Sam Rayburn, Todd Castledine of Nacogdoches, Texas, won the Boater Division with a five-bass tournament limit weighing 23.22 pounds for a 4.64-pound average. He capped his catch with an 8.57-pound kicker that took the tournament big bass title.In the Co-Angler Division during that tournament, Daniel L. Pierce of LaPorte, Texas, landed a three-fish division daily limit going 11.98 pounds for a 3.99-pound average. He anchored his bag with a 5.75-pound kicker. Charles Shofner Jr. of Jasper, Texas, landed the division big bass, a 6.11-pounder.For Texas fishing license information, see www.tpwd.state.tx.us/business/licenses/index.phtml or call 800-792-1112.At the end of the season, one BWS angler will win the opportunity to compete in the 2014 Bassmaster Classic. For more information on this tournament, call Porter Trimble, tournament manager, at 318-201-3474 or ABA at 256-232-0406. On line, see www.americanbassanglers.com.
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