Sam Rayburn Continues to Deliver Big Bass
ATHENS, Ala. - Marshall Hughes of Hemphill emerged as the victor in the ABA Open Series held on Sam Rayburn Lake. Hughes showcased his angling prowess by catching five bass weighing an impressive 20.34 pounds. One of his catches, a single bass weighing 10.40 pounds, earned him the big bass honors for the boater division. Sam Rayburn Lake, known as one of the premier bass fishing lakes in Texas, experienced heavy pressure from anglers during the event. Despite the challenging conditions and the recreational boating activity due to warm temperatures reaching the upper 90s, Hughes managed to secure a well-deserved victory and a check for $2200.00.
"I only had 10 pounds at 11 o'clock. I pulled up to a brush pile in 22 feet, and the first fish I pulled out was the 10-pounder. The main bait I used was a speed worm, which turned out to be the big producer. Although I only caught 8 keepers, I ran to around 30 spots, burning a lot of gas," shared Hughes.
Phil Addison of Baytown, TX, secured the second position among the boaters with a five-bass limit weighing 16.64 pounds. While Addison didn't have a heavy kicker fish in his bag, he managed to land five solid catches.
"I caught my limit early in about 30 minutes on a topwater lure and left around 8:30. After trying other spots without much luck, I returned to my starting spot and caught a few more fish, but it didn't significantly improve my weight. In one additional location I had fished in the past, I managed a couple of culls with a crankbait," explained Addison.
Derek Mundy of Broaddus, TX, secured the third position with a weight of 15.20 pounds. Mundy utilized a swim jig and a crankbait to catch his fish. He targeted shallow areas in the morning with the swim jig and transitioned to deeper areas as the day progressed. Mundy had his limit around 9 AM and stayed busy culling throughout the day.
In the Co-Angler Division, Brandon Begnaud achieved a solid performance by securing a three-fish limit weighing 7.27 pounds on a challenging day. Begnaud's catch didn't include a kicker fish but consisted of three solid keepers.
"I caught all my fish on a jerkbait, followed by a Carolina rig and a dropshot. I managed to cull three times during the day. We found lots of fish at the first location and only moved to two additional spots throughout the day. We had a great start, with me reaching my limit within the first 30 minutes. In between, we explored various areas," shared Begnaud.
Dwayne Dennis of Colmesneil, TX, closely followed Begnaud in the Co-Angler Division, securing an even 7.00 pounds. Dennis caught all his fish using a Texas rig with a 12-inch Devastation worm. Although he had his limit by 10:30, he caught nine keepers, allowing him to cull a couple of times. Dennis fished six spots but found fish in only two of them, narrowly missing the top spot.
Ladarius Carpenter was recognized for the largest fish in the Co-Angler Division, with a weight of 5.17 pounds. William Easley finished third, relying on a combination of baits throughout the day, including a frog, senko, and squarebill. Easley experienced a slow day but managed to secure his limit by 11:30.
The remaining positions in the Co-Angler Division were taken by Charles Watts of Zavalla, TX, with a weight of 6.63 pounds in fourth place, and Rondell Joseph of Mandel, TX, with 6.47 pounds in fifth place. Although the weights for the co-anglers may not have been as strong in this event, they all earned valuable points as they head into the upcoming 2-day championship.
This event marked the conclusion of the season for the South Texas division anglers. The next challenge awaiting them is the 2-day championship, scheduled for September 30th and October 1st. Once again, the competition will take place on Sam Rayburn Lake, departing from Cassels Boykin. However, this time the anglers will be competing solely against each other. In previous years, the 2-day event combined the anglers from the East Texas division to create an Area Championship. At the end of the season, the Angler of the Year will be crowned, and the top 10 boaters and co-anglers based on points will receive an invitation to participate in the 2024 Ray Scott Championship, set to be held at Lake Chickamauga next spring.
American Bass Anglers is sponsored by Caymas Boats, Mercury Marine, MotorGuide, T-H Marine, Power Pole, RT Outdoors, Optima Batteries, Hotel Planner.com and LurePartsOnline.com.
About American Bass Anglers: American Bass Anglers is committed to providing low-cost, close-to-home tournaments for the weekend angler and, at the same time, offering each competitor an upward path for individual angler progression.
For more information about American Bass Anglers, the Open Series, the American Fishing Tour, the American Couples Series, the annual Military Team Bass Tournament, and the Top 150 Solo Tour, all presented by Caymas Boats, visit www.americanbassanglers.com or call (256) 232-0406.
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