Sam Rayburn Day 3 Coverage - Major League Fishing

Sam Rayburn Day 3 Coverage

Bolton is leading the pack
Image for Sam Rayburn Day 3 Coverage
Chris Brasher Photo by Rob Matsuura.
January 12, 2019 • FLW Communications • Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit

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Tournament Details – click here

Sam Rayburn By the Numbers – click here

Water level details – click here

Day 2 leader story – click here

Official day 2 results – click here

Day 3 OTW gallery – click here

Day 3 marshal gallery – click here


2:00 p.m. – That's all

Well folks, along with FLW Live we are going to shut down the blog and leaderboard for the day. There isn’t a lot going on right now but the top 30 pros have another hour to make something big happen. Come back to at 4 p.m. CT to see who is going fishing on championship Sunday at the FLW Tour event on Rayburn presented by Polaris.

Thanks for following along!


1:25 p.m. – Windy

The wind is really starting to pick up on Rayburn. If you’ve checked out FLW Live recently you most likely have seen white caps start to form. It will make a bumpy for the guys who need to run a long way back to weigh-in.

Bolton is back on his juice from yesterday but hasn’t caught any good fish. Bolton said the fish seem to be shut down and the wind is making it difficult for the correct presentation.


1:00 p.m. – Still grinding

To our surprise, nothing too crazy has happened in the last hour. Yesterday we were starting to see the second-big wave of fish catches happening this time of day. We’ve only seen a few small culls by Warren and Brasher. Most Marshals have been reporting that their pros are now looking for the big kickers.


12:25 p.m. – Making the cut

With how things are shaking out, the top 5 on the unofficial leaderboard have good odds at making the cut to fish on Sunday. Right below, spots 5-10 seem completely up in the air. Only a few pounds separate 10th and 20th place on the leaderboard. A kicker would be huge for anyone sitting in the middle of the pack.


12:20 a.m. – Picking up

We haven’t spoken much of leader Terry Bolton in the last few hours but he may start to steal the show like he did yesterday. We just saw him catch a 3 3/4-pounder on FLW Live using a spinnerbait. If his bite is anything like it was yesterday he is about to start crushing the fish.

Elsewhere Miles Burghoff completes his limit of 2-pounders. It doesn’t sound impressive but it’s huge for Miles since he is floating on the bubble of making the top 10.


11:55 a.m. – Grinding

The sun is out and the wind is starting to pick up out on Big Sam. Warren, Thrift, LeBrun and Osborne have all been running around trying different spots since the midday lull kicked in. Warren did happen to make a small cull just a minute ago on a Carolina rig. We should start to see more reports of upgrades coming in soon.


11:30 a.m. – Midday lull

We’re seeing fewer keepers being caught within the last half hour. Just like the last few days the bite may stay this way for another hour or so until the afternoon bite kicks in.

Jim Tutt is back at the ledge he caught ‘em good on yesterday. We saw him repeating a specific cast with a Shad Rap. He caught two good ones right away but then the bite died off.

LeBrun just ditched the spinnerbait and picked up the crankbait. He seems to prefer red and black colored baits today – a common theme this week on Rayburn.


10:50 a.m. – Updates

Nick LeBrun has been working spinnerbaits and Senkos over the top of submerged grass. The biggest fish in Nick’s livewell is almost 6 pounds. It will be interesting to see if he sticks to the pattern he is fishing or if he will change tactics to find a Rayburn beast.

Joseph Webster is still sorting through a pile of fish. He has caught them on literally four different types of baits today. We’ve noticed that a pattern has developed this week where guys catch a ton of small fish then out of nowhere hook into a giant. Don’t be surprised if this pattern holds true for the Alabama pro.

Thrift just made a move up lake to fish a shallow flat with a reaction bait. He landed a small fish on his first cast but hasn’t been able to make any upgrades yet.


10:00 a.m. – 9 pounder

Troy Morrow boated the biggest bass of the day so far. He was throwing a deep-diving crankbait when he hooked into a fish that appears to be at least 9 pounds. His limit is up to around 17 pounds.

With all of the crankbaits flying around at Rayburn someone was bound to get hooked. Andrew Upshaw was taking a 1-pounder off the line when he unfortunately got a hook buried in his hand. Luckily, Scott Martin was there to help get the hook out. You will probably be able to see it all go down on Scott’s YouTube channel in a few days.

We also just got word that Nick LeBrun is now up to 19 pounds. He hasn’t been on FLW Live much so he must be fishing in an area with little cell reception. We will get an update on how he is catching them when he comes back into range.


9:35 a.m. – George with a 7

Sam George seems to be back around the big ones as he just landed a 7-pounder. If this is anything like his first day we can imagine that George will put a few more hogs in the boat.

Thrift hasn’t caught one in about a half hour. The fog is starting to clear in the area he’s fishing. He thinks either loons are chasing off his fish or he may have caught them all.

Charles Sim is up tight doing some flipping. So far he has boated a quad of 2-pounders. He said the last few days all of his fish have come from the exact same place but the rain last night may have spread them out.


9:15 a.m. – Checking in

If you have been watching FLW Live this morning you know that the day three bite has been nuts for most of the top 30. We have seen a lot of numbers as well as a few bigguns. Most recently, David Dudley boxed and 8-pounder and Jim Tutt stuck a 5+ pounder. The leaders Terry Bolton and Bryan Thrift both have their limits and are looking to upgrade. Carolina rigs and crankbaits are putting the most fish in the boat.


8:50 a.m. Webster, Fulps

It looks like Joseph Webster has been smashing fish all morning on a crankbait. He just boated his 25th of the day. The issue is he only has put 14 pounds in the livewell. Still, a solid limit could take the pressure off and help Webster fish loose the rest of the day.

We have confirmed that Derek Fulps’ motor is blown. Luckily for him he made it to a decent spot that he says he can fish all day. He is hoping that fellow angler Kyle Cortiana will help get him in later this afternoon.


8:40 a.m. – Bolton, Thrift, LeBrun

Terry Bolton is literally catching fish every other minute. Rotating through his assortment of crankbaits is keeping his fish active. If he can keep this pace up he is bound to build another giant bag.

Bryan Thrift just completed his limit on a Carolina rig. He has been doing most of his damage on the C-rig this weekend. Unofficially, Thrift is in second place right now behind Bolton.

Nick LeBrun is still looking for his first fish of the day. Yesterday he made up most of his weight in the afternoon hours.


8:15 a.m. – First updates

Terry Bolton is back at it already this morning. He has a small limit and has made a few culls as well. It looks like he is throwing a crankbait around some grass.

Derek Fulps had motor issues while getting to his first spot. Since then he has caught a quick limit for 8 pounds.

Kurt Mitchel, Bryan Schmitt and Jordan Osborne have each bagged a 5 pounder. Mitchel’s fish came on a jig while flipping bushes. This could certainly be a hint that the fish may be moving up shallow.


8 a.m. – Chasing down Bolton

What a day Terry Bolton had at Sam Rayburn yesterday. The Benton, Ky., pro whacked more than 33 pounds on a pair of Rapala crankbaits en route to taking over the lead at the FLW Tour season opener presented by Polaris. Bolton is a journeyman pro on the FLW Tour, and despite a long and successful career, he's never won a Tour event. 

To lock it up this week, he'll mostly likely need to continue stringing together 20-plus-pound bags because some of the top 30 hammers behind him are really strokin' the fish.

Weather conditions are expected to be similar to yesterday, but probably with less sunshine overall and a different wind direction. The bigger factor is that it rained overnight, and already some pros are concerned that the water level has come up again. It's tough to say how much it will matter, as the catching has been good pretty much no matter what the last couple days. Pros are vying for a spot in the first top-10 round of the year. 



Temperature at takeoff: 46 degrees

Forecast high: 60 degrees

Sky: partly sunny

Precipitation: 0 percent chance of rain

Wind: SW at 8 mph, forecast to switch to WNW during the day


Tournament Details

Presented by Polaris

Hosted by Jasper County Development District

Takeoff: 7:15 a.m. CT at Umphrey Family Pavilion, 5438 RR 255, Brookeland, TX

Weigh-in: Days 1 and 2 at 3 p.m. CT; Days 3 and 4 at 4 p.m. CT at Umphrey Family Pavilion

FLW Expo: 2 p.m. CT through the end of weigh-in at Umphrey Family Pavilion

FLW Live: 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. CT