Monday, May 27, 2024

Sam Rayburn Still A Hot Spot

ATHENS, Ala. – Wyatt Frankens of Corrigan, TX put together a hefty 5 fish limit this weekend of 28.28 lbs. His largest of the five weighing 8.73 lbs. Sam Rayburn Dam and Reservoir was dedicated on May 8, 1965, and quickly grew to one of the premier destinations in the country for largemouth bass. At conservation (normal) pool elevation (164.4 feet NGVD) the reservoir covers 114,500 acres. The spillway is currently being rebuilt, and the lake level has been lowered to 158 feet. This has left multiple locations of structure high and dry, and learning to locate these fish in these conditions can be a daunting task. Despite the constant pressure this lake receives, it continues to prove why it is one of the top 5 lakes in the country for bass fishing. Frankens figured them out and took home the top prize of $3500.00 for first place, with an additional $450 for big bass honors.

Frakens told us, “I mixed it up quite a bit today. I honestly didn’t have a great start. The lake was a little crowded this morning with a couple of other tournaments going on and the lake is missing a lot of water. Once I finally got settled in it probably wasn’t till 8:00 I finally caught my first one. I caught it throwing a crankbait, then caught my second. The third fish was the big one. She was in 8-9 feet of water and bit a jig. The other two I caught were on some finesse tackle.” The wind was up today so Wyatt was asked if it was difficult to use the finesse baits. “Well, the wind wasn’t bad this morning, but it took me a while because I didn’t catch them all in one spot. I didn’t have a limit till probably noon or 12:30 and that’s when the wind picked up. I didn’t make any culls after that. I tried but I couldn’t stay on my spots. I like to fish offshore this time of the year. I really enjoyed fishing solo today. You get to spend a day to yourself and take a break from all the team events. This is a great format and had a lot of fun.”

In second place, Zack Fogle of Longview, TX, brought in a solid 5 fish limit weighing 22.82 lbs. Not only did he have the weight to place 2nd, but Fogle’s largest fish weighed 6.63lbs. It held the position for big bass for a while. 2nd place was worth $1800.00.

“I caught all my fish on a jerk bait up on the edge of the shallow water pockets not far from here. I didn’t have a chance to practice so I had to go with what I knew. Normally, throwing a jerk bait is a cold weather pattern but I’m still managing to catch them. I rotated between three different locations and caught around 15 keepers, so I was able to cull a few times to get my final weight. I had a slow start to the day also and didn’t get my 5th keeper until 12:00. It was a beautiful morning, but the bite was slow.”

Finishing in 3rd place was Michael Weems of Liberty, TX with a 5 fish limit for 16.36 lbs. Even though he was 6 lbs. back from 2nd place, he held off the rest of the field and took home a check worth $1200.00.

“I found some fish during the practice period, so I went to the best spot I had and the only thing I caught was grennel. That wasn’t going to get it done so I went to a second location and could only catch short fish. At this point I had to drop back and punt, so I just went fishing. I hit some places that had worked for me in the past and it finally started producing. I was throwing a Whale 6-inch swim bait. It produces well for me, so I stuck with it. I caught 14 keepers and was able to cull a couple times, but on this lake sometimes 16 lbs. won’t get you anything. Today turned out to be different. The bite was off a little, but I already can’t wait to get back at it next week with you guys on Toledo Bend.”

Finishing in 4th place was Bert Faulk of Port Naches, TX, with a 5 fish limit of 14.63 lbs. His efforts earned him a check for $1000.00. Finishing in 5th place is Zane Parker of Kingwood, TX with five fish for 14.62 lbs. earning him $900.00.

This tournament was stop number two of the 2024 season, and the third event will be on Lake Palestine on May 18th out of the Villages Marina. At the end of the season, we will crown the Angler of the Year in this division, and the top 200 anglers by points will receive an invitation to fish the 2024 Ray Scott Championship

Top 25

For more information on upcoming tournaments, call Chris Wayand, tournament manager, at 256-230-5627 or ABA at 256-232-0406. Online, see

About American Bass Anglers

American Bass Anglers, committed to providing low-cost, close-to-home tournaments, offers an exciting platform for individual angler progression. With the support of industry-leading companies, ABA continues to advance the sport of bass fishing.

For more information about the ABA Professional League and other series, visit or call (256) 232-0406.

American Bass Anglers is proud to be sponsored by Caymas Boats, Mercury Marine, T-H Marine, Power Pole, RT Outdoors, Optima Batteries, Hotel, and

About American Bass Anglers: American Bass Anglers is dedicated to organizing affordable, local tournaments for weekend anglers while offering opportunities for individual angler advancement. To learn more about American Bass Anglers, including the Team Series, American Fishing Tour, American Couples Series, annual Military Team Bass Tournament, ABA Team Series, Top 150 Solo Tour, and Pro League, all presented by Caymas Boats, please visit or call (256) 232-0406.

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