Miller stays consistent and stays in the lead on Big Sam   - Major League Fishing

Miller stays consistent and stays in the lead on Big Sam  

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Colby Miller crossed the 50-pound mark on Day 2. Photo by Rob Matsuura. Angler: Colby Miller.
February 22, 2024 • Jody White • Toyota Series

BROOKELAND, Texas – Day 2 of the Toyota Series Presented by Phoenix Boats Southwestern Division event on Sam Rayburn saw nine pros cross the stage with 23 pounds or better, but a lot of them didn’t do all that well on Day 1. That made for some churn on the leaderboard — and it let Colby Miller pull ahead in a big way.

Sacking 24 pounds, 15 ounces to back up his 27 pounds from Day 1, Miller totaled up 52-3 and expanded his lead. In second, more than 6 pounds back, Spike Stoker bagged 24-7 to get to a 45-8 total. Behind Stoker, Toyota Series Championship winner Chad Mrazek also busted 24 and is narrowly ahead of several other pros in the low 40s and high 30s.

This event is presented by FX Custom Rods and hosted by the Jasper-Lake Sam Rayburn Area Chamber of Commerce.

Running a varied game plan has been key for Colby Miller thus far. Photo by Rob Matsuura.

Grass and ‘Scope get it done for Miller

On a hot streak this year, it took a while for Miller to get things rolling this morning.

“It started slow; I caught four for like 10 and lost a big one off my starting spot,” he said. “Then, I ran around, finally caught a limit, and everywhere I went I caught little ones.”

Fishing a pretty specific grass spot to start, Miller went back to it late in the morning to see if it would pay out again. It did, to the tune of a 6-pounder, giving him about 19 pounds of grass bass.

“I started running around, trying to figure out how to catch another giant,” Miller added. “I pulled into an area that I didn’t fish yesterday. I fished it in practice and it was nothing but bucks. I pulled in there late today, and there were a couple giants swimming around – I got one to bite and it was a 7 ½.”

Mixing shallow grass and deeper LiveScoping for his big ones, Miller is putting together a masterful tournament.

“I don’t know what tomorrow brings,” he said. “I think there’s big ones coming to me day by day. It’s just, I’ve got to make them bite and put them in the boat. Yesterday, I got three big bites and landed all three. Today, I got three big bites and only landed two of them. Hopefully tomorrow I get three and put all three in the livewell and make a show.”

With a win under his belt in 2022 at the St. Lawrence, Spike Stoker is now looking for one closer to home. Photo by Rob Matsuura.

Stoker flip flops for success

On Day 1, Stoker busted 21 pounds offshore on a deep crankbait. That was not the case today.

“Where I caught the 21 yesterday, I never got a bite today,” he said. “So, I moved to my second spot, which I never did go to yesterday, because I didn’t know there was that size fish there, and I didn’t want to burn a bunch of 3-pounders. So, I went there second, and I caught a 7 on a Frittside and then two 7-pounders on a wacky rig”

Stoker’s secondary deal sounds pretty cool. It’s taking advantage of higher water and bass that want to head shallow for springtime festivities.

“I’m fishing the inside edge of the grass — the old shoreline is basically what it is,” he explained. “It’s the same place I fished in the Invitational that was all 2-pounders; the big ones have finally came. It’s an hour between bites, but they’re good ones when I get a bite.

“I’m probably fishing a 200-yard stretch,” he detailed. “I’m easing along until I see them moving along the top of that grass. Then, I’ll Spot-Lock it and fish the area until I catch one. Then, ease down the grass until I see the next fish. I think one of the 7-pounders, I saw it and threw to it and she swam right down and ate it. The rest of them, I get to where I can see them on the edge of the LiveScope, and then just fan cast. They’re up there roaming, and it’s so dang windy I can’t look at ‘em.”

Though Stoker and the rest have a steep hill to climb to catch Miller, they’re not out of it yet. Alec Morrison caught a 9-9 today and Dakota Ebare caught a 10-12, so the fish needed to shake up the top of the standings are out there. Plus, about half the Top 10 have caught a 30-pound bag or better on Big Sam in the past. Tomorrow should be a fun day of fishing.

Top 10 pros

1. Colby Miller – 52 – 03 (10) 

2. Spike Stoker – 45 – 08 (10) 

3. Chad Mrazek – 43 – 12 (10)

4. Brett Clark – 43 – 11 (10)    

5. Blake Schroeder – 43 – 01 (10)       

6. Jason Bonds – 42 – 02 (10)  

7. Dakota Ebare – 39 – 11 (10)

8. Alec Morrison – 39 – 00 (10)          

9. Derek Mundy – 38 – 08 (10)           

10. Wesley Baxley – 38 – 07 (10)

Complete results

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