Rayburn comes through with big-time numbers of bass

Rayburn comes through with big-time numbers of bass

The first bass tournament of the year was held Jan. 14 at Sam Rayburn by Bass Champs, and out of 397 teams entered, John Iles and Brian Shook won with 30.75 pounds and took home $20,000.

When it was all said and done, 794 anglers caught a total of 646 bass with an average weight of 3.11 pounds. Right at 123 limits were caught, while 266 teams didn’t weigh in a single bass.

“The morning began with temperatures in the upper 60s with fog blanketing the lake, resulting in a slight delay for teams to be released,” says Patty Lenderman with Bass Champs. “Ben Matsubu and Brandon Davidson were the first to bring in a limit over 20 pounds, having five fish weighing 25.57 pounds. Before the weigh-in was finished, 15 more teams would bring in over 20 pounds each, and three kickers over 8 pounds were registered.”

The winning team said they fished secondary points outside the grass line using crankbaits.

Jaret Latta and Brian Lowrance finished in second with 28.31 pounds, plus an 8.20-pound bass. Those bass were caught on Carolina rigs in 10 to 15 feet of water along ledges.

The third place team weighed in 25.57 pounds. They fished grassy areas with big openings outside main lake coves using jigs. “

The big bass of the tourney weighed 8.48 pounds.

Problems catching white bass on Sabine River

The white bass run on the Sabine River up above Toledo Bend has yet to develop. That’s mainly due to a major problem – very little water. Guide Bill Fondren says that as of Jan. 18, the Sabine was so low they couldn’t launch a boat.

“We’re getting some rain right now, so the river might come up,” says Fondren. “If it does, that’ll jumpstart the white bass run. The run on the Angelina River isn’t going yet, but I was there last week, and we caught 68 crappie on jigs with minnows. Most of those fish weighed around 2 pounds.”

That’s about as good as crappie fishing gets anywhere on earth. Fondren says they were fishing along submerged logs and brush.

Don’t drop off untagged deer at the meat processor

A local meat processor shared video evidence with game wardens showing two individuals dropping off a doe at approximately 3:45 a.m. The deer was untagged and appeared to be freshly killed. From the video, the warden was able to get a good description of the vehicle and the subjects. While on patrol a couple of weeks later, the warden spotted the suspect vehicle and followed it to a local gas station. She recognized the driver from the video and made contact. Coincidentally, while she was questioning the subject, another vehicle pulled up and she was able to identify that driver as the second subject from the video. Both were interviewed and admitted shooting the doe off the roadway, sometime after midnight, with a .22 rifle. Additionally, neither subject possessed a valid hunting license.

Back in the spotlight

A game warden responding to a call about someone spotlighting from the roadway arrived on the scene to find a state trooper in contact with a vehicle. The trooper advised that there was a spotlight and two rifles in the pickup. The driver was arrested for DWI and the passenger was released; both denied spotlighting. The next day, the landowner who called in the spotlighting complaint asked wardens if anyone was caught poaching because he heard two shots. Wardens returned to the area to look for evidence of illegal road hunting, located a doe that had been shot and recovered bullet fragments from the deer. The wardens made contact with the driver who had been arrested and he gave consent to search his truck. They found two shell casings in the front driver’s side floorboard. When questioning both the driver and the passenger about the deer, both denied any wrongdoing and advised they would be seeking legal counsel. The wardens seized the rifle believed to have been used to kill the doe and let the two subjects know it would be sent off for testing. The following day, the driver contacted the warden and asked if they could meet up so he could confess about what happened that night. The two admitted to spotlighting and shooting the doe from their truck at night. Charges and civil restitution are pending.

Robert Sloan can be reached by e-mail at sloan288 [at] aol [dot] com.