Sam Rayburn is absolutely brimming with bass, as evidenced by the droves of 2- to 3-pounders caught by the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division field during last week’s Sam Rayburn event, which was presented by Mercury.
Pros caught fish everywhere from in the middle of flooded jungles of brush to deep main-lake drops. The top finishers pretty much all power fished with soft plastics, crankbaits and frogs.
As you might have guessed, it was a good time for everyone.
Here’s what they used, and what you should have the next time you fish in Texas in early summer.
1. Tournament winner Kris Wilson caught most of his fish on two soft plastics poured by his tournament partner, Harold Moore. Wilson Carolina-rigged a red bug creature bait that looks similar to a Zoom Brush Hog and Texas-rigged a red bug ribbontail worm.
2. Josh Bensema fished offshore with a 5/8-ounce 6th Sense Divine Shakey Head with an 8-inch Big Bite Baits Finesse Worm in a new color that’s a mix of junebug and watermelon with green flake. He also used a 6th Sense Cloud 9 C20 crankbait in platinum citrus and a 5-inch Big Bite Baits Trick Stick in watermelon red. For fishing hydrilla on creek channels, he used a 6th Sense Cloud 9 C6 and a Big Bite Baits 8-inch B2 Worm on a Texas rig.
4. Cole Moore caught his fish by flipping bushes with a V&M J-Bug in the moneymaker color with a 3/4-ounce weight to get it down deep quickly. In the morning, he threw a SPRO Bronzeye Popping Frog to try to get a big bite.
5. Offshore, Albert Collins Carolina-rigged a Mister Twister Buzz Bug in green pumpkin candy red and backed it up with a 6th Sense Cloud 9 C6 crankbait. He flipped bushes with the bulkier Mister Twister Hawg Raiser in green pumpkin candy.
6. Cory Rambo caught most of his fish by targeting shady areas on a grass flat filled with hay grass, pepper grass and flooded bushes using a prototype 6th Sense popping frog, but he also flipped a Big Bite Baits Fighting Frog in tilapia magic.
7. Dicky Newberry flipped cypress trees and buck brush with a Mister Twister Buzz Bug in Fork special (watermelon with red flake) or watermelon candy and a 3/4-ounce weight.
8. Though these weren’t his primary patterns, Matt Pangrac caught a few worm fish on the final day and weighed in four keepers from some hay grass using a Reaction Innovations Skinny Dipper in the sungill color with a 6/0 weighted Gamakatsu swimbait hook and 60-pound-test Sunline FX2 Frogging & Flipping braided line. His main tactic was to flip a variety of cover types using a Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver with the tips dyed chartreuse and a chartreuse green pumpkin punch skirt and a Strike King Rage Craw in watermelon meat color with the claws dyed orange and an orange punch skirt. He flipped with 25-pound-test Sunline Shooter fluorocarbon, a 3/4-ounce tungsten weight and a Duckett White Ice 2 Kelly Jordan extra-heavy rod.