Everything is bigger in Texas, including the best fishing there is. Texas is home to some of the most sought-after bass fisheries across the United States. Many anglers have Texas fisheries on their bucket list of lakes to go to for vacation, to fish a tournament, or just to have fun. Many 10 pound plus largemouth are caught out of the state of Texas every year. It also is a state that produces massive numbers of fish and mega giant largemouth bass year-around. But the fishing is absolutely exceptional in the wintertime. Which is why many tournament divisions and organizations start out their tournaments in the state of Texas. Major League Fishing is no exception every year. The Cowboy Division BFL tournaments are always the first to kick off the first or second weekend of the year on either Toledo Bend or Lake Sam Rayburn. Make sure to read to the end to see How Revital Outdoors Premium CBD Products may help anglers fishing Lake Sam Rayburn.
Lake Sam Rayburn has always ranked in the top-10 of bass fisheries across the United States for the last few decades. The Texas Parks and wildlife services do a phenomenal job at maintaining the lake, the habitat, the vegetation and forage, and of course making sure that has a very healthy population of Largemouth Bass. Well, there’s a lot of pressure on the bass fishing to Lake Sam Rayburn, there’s also an exceptional amount of Crappie fishing that takes place each year on the lake. Overall, it’s just an angler’s paradise.
During the early parts of the year, or in the middle of the winter, fish can be caught in multiple different ways. Some fish will be up shallow after a warming trend, and be relating to grass, and rocky points or walls. The majority of the fish shower ever or caught deep this time of year. Mini anglers will relate to brush piles, or ledges they find on the lake. Lake Sam Rayburn is the notorious for producing 30 pound and even 40 pound bags of fish to win tournaments. In years past anglers who weigh anything less than 20 pounds, often don’t even cash a check.
Selecting The Best Fishing Spots
The first step into fishing Lake Sam Rayburn in the wintertime is to understand what you will be fishing and where. This is where spending a lot of time on the water and breaking down the lake is very critical. To start with, anglers will want to fish shallow in extremities of the lake. Whether they’re going down by the dam, up in the north end above the bridge, or in the northeast portion of the lake, these are all the extremities to Lake Sam Rayburn. This is where a good population of forage or bait fish will be found, these are areas of the lakes it will warm up first throughout the year, and also is home to historic spawning areas of the lake. Once an angler establishes a pretty decent pattern shallow if they can, then it is worth their time and effort to go out in the offshore areas and try to find brush piles or ledges that are holding big-mega schools of fish. Also, on good years Lake Sam Rayburn is full of grass, very healthy Hydrilla which is known for holding big largemouth and lots of bait. This is where a lot of anglers spend their time is breaking down the offshore grass and finding the right patches or right stretches that hold qualities and quantities. This is also why anglers like Dickie Newberry, Darold Gleason, Keith Combs, and Denny Brauer have always had great success fishing tournaments in the state of Texas. They spent numerous hours out on the lake learning the grass, learning the brush piles, learning the right ledges, knowing the weather patterns, and the seasons throughout the year; and then always connecting the dots and putting it together.
Which Bait Should You Choose?
Bait selection is truly up to the angler and what they have confidence in. The lipless crankbait got its start in east Texas. Some of the lipless crankbait companies are known for having patterns just for lake Sam Rayburn and Toledo Bend, but specifically Lake Sam Rayburn. With the amount of bait fish and great populations of forage and lake Sam Rayburn, it is also known for being a predominant crawfish lake as well. Throughout the history of bass fishing, many anglers will agree that a bass will eat a big crawfish over a shad any day. Some crawfish in Texas can get up to 5 to 7 inches long, which is why many companies offer a 1 ounce to 1 1/2 ounce football head jig. This all comes back to “match the hatch”, and with that is also the color patterns. So many angles will throw jigs and lipless crankbaits and a red crawfish pattern to mimic the color of the crawfish in the winter, and what big bass are hungry for this time of year. But don’t shy away from throwing shad pattern baits either. Anglers have had a great deal of success throwing swimbaits, spoons, and big spinner baits on Lake Sam Rayburn. The big one ounce spinnerbaits that was originally designed by the early spinnerbait companies, started by anglers demanding a bigger profile with bigger blades that they could fish in deeper water on Lake Sam Rayburn. Some of the top crankbait companies as well started making crankbaits that were 1 ounce in weight, and 5-7 inches in size to size to dive deeper depths but resemble big baitfish that live in the lake. It’s not uncommon for a big threadfin shad or tilapia in Lake Sam Rayburn to grow to 5 to 8 inches. They have a lot of cover to hide in, a great abundance of plankton and food source that they will feed on; which ultimately is why fish in Lake Sam Rayburn get so big and it is very common to find them in the 8 to 10 pound class. So, anglers are who are wanting to catch a big bass on Lake Sam Rayburn always need to relate to bigger baits, start with a red crawfish pattern lipless crankbait or jig. But don’t stop thinking about throwing big swimbaits and spoons that resemble an easy meal for a big largemouth bass.
Largemouth Bass & The Weather
Also, don’t ever be afraid of the weather. Largemouth bass in Texas are kind of like the deer in Texas also, the nastier the weather the more active they are afraid. Some of the best notable tournament days ever in the state of Texas, specifically on Lake Sam Rayburn, have been when it was snowing or blowing heavy winds and spitting rain. It’s worth an angler‘s time to invest in a great rain suit and warm clothes and get out there this time of year to catch what could be the fish of a lifetime, or the 5 fish that takes the top prize in a BFL cowboy division tournament.
Pro Tip: Wear Your Lifejacket Throughout The Day
One last step to successful tournaments out on Lake Sam Rayburn. With the winter months, and cold weather really hitting their lowest points this time of year, it’s very important to keep safe out of the water. One tip that we can share with you that we’ve learned from other anglers, is that if you do find yourself on Lake Sam Rayburn or any lake in the country during the winter, be sure to wear your lifejacket throughout the full day of fishing. We know that lifejackets are big and bulky and hard to just maneuver around while wearing when you were trying to enjoy your day of fishing, but with the low air temperatures and being out on the water, fiberglass boats tend to become very slippery throughout the day, and the last thing you want to do is slip and fall wearing many layers of winter clothing, and not having a way to protect yourself in the event that an accident may happen. That being stated we wish everyone a very safe times out on the water, we hope that you find this article helpful for if you’re fishing Lake Sam Rayburn in January or an upcoming tournament, and make sure you’re having fun out there!
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