Checking in from Sam Rayburn

They say everything is bigger in Texas and when it comes to bass, they’re right!
I’m on my fourth week away from home this week, but the good news is I get to come home in a few days.
I’m fishing in the final FLW Tour Open of the year this weekend at the Sam Rayburn Reservoir in Texas and have been pre-fishing here the past few days getting ready for the tournament.
My friend, Jamie Bruce from Kenora, is down with me and is fishing the tournament as a co-angler. We’ve had a great time so far on Rayburn and the fishing has actually been pretty good.
It’s been great to have an extra stick in boat during the pre-fish because we can try different lures to learn as much as we can in a few days about what the fish want. We’ve found some good numbers of fish and have been catching a few big ones.
The challenge during the tournament is going to be getting a couple of those bigger four- or five-pound fish to bite. It’s a lot similar to Lake Okeechobee in Florida in that regard.
There are a lot of two-pounders, but we’re finding it tough to just get a limit of nice fish.
I had a great time last week at famous Lake Fork. My fiancée, August, and I spent a week there and had some good fishing. Overall it was tough, but we did manage to catch some big bass up to eight pounds.
We have awesome fishing up in Canada, but we don’t get to catch eight-pounders so that was cool.
It was quite the experience driving around on Fork, though. It’s a man-made lake that was created during the 1970s to be used as a water supply for the city of Dallas. Basically they dam up a river and make a huge lake, which is pretty cool.
So on the lake, there are old roads, bridges, fence rows, all kinds of things. Using the side-imaging function on my Humminbird sonar unit, I actually can see all this stuff. And the cool part is most of it will attract bass.
There also are thousands of standing trees in the water, which makes navigation hazardous. I guess the water preserves the trees because they are all solid—even after being submerged for nearly 40 years.
There are boat lanes cut that are safe to travel on. But once you get off those lanes, you have to go slow or you will hit stumps. A fellow at one of the bait shops told me that a lot of the guides there can’t even get boat insurance because they’ve had so many claims from years of running around and hitting stumps on this lake.
We took our time and didn’t have any problems.
Back at home, there have been a few tournaments take place while I’ve been gone. It’s tough for me to miss them because fall offers some of the best bass fishing of the year in Sunset Country, but I’m getting a great opportunity to fish in these big events in the U.S.
Congratulations to Scott Cook and Pat James, who won the Shoal Lake Last Chance tournament a few weeks ago.
Big Joe Pritchett and Shaun Puddester took first place at the Whitefish Bay Fall Classic in Sioux Narrows two weeks ago. And this past weekend, Mark Libitka and Bart Stebnitsky won the Figure 8 Baits Bronzeback Classic on Lake of the Woods.
I’ve been enjoying my time on the road but I’m really looking forward to getting home and relaxing. My own bed and some home cooking will be nice.
I’m also looking forward to getting some hunting in and enjoying the fall. Hopefully all the snow melts before I get back!
Follow the FLW tournament, which starts tomorrow (Oct. 11), online this weekend at FLWoutdoors.com

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