The Hobie Bass Open Series next stops finds its way out to East Texas on legendary Sam Rayburn. The Hobie series has not yet visited this amazing reservoir and to welcome its anglers for the first time the lake is throwing a major curveball. We have seen some challenging circumstances on the trail this year, but this will likely take the crown with the lake level rising to 9 ft. over full pool in the recent weeks. Sam Rayburn was built as a flood control reservoir, but I would say it’s having a hard time doing its job this year. The surrounding areas have seen a steady influx of rain over the recent weeks which has most of the surrounding lake area flooded shutting down campgrounds and access ramps.
Just one week before this event was set to take place Hobie BOS tournament director AJ McWhorter held a live broadcast on the Facebook page discussing the possibility of postponing this event till conditions return to normal, however through much deliberation and discussion with local lake manager and Army Corps of Engineers the decision was made to proceed with the event. One point that was made that has a lot of anglers fired up was that all other bass boat tournaments have been cancelled and these conditions will set up for the ultimate kayak bass fishing tournament.
With the lake levels up so high there will be new grounds, new structure, and new cover that have never been accessible before. This will sure to be interesting. The picnic table bite may be on fire lol. The Lines in crew (Justin and David) will be making their truck down to Texas Wednesday morning to throw their name in the hat on this one-of-a-kind opportunity. Will we see bass caught off swing sets or will the fish stay put and just come up in the water column with the new water over their heads. You’ll want to keep an eye on the Tourney X leaderboard June 5th and 6th as these anglers put the pieces together.
Top 3 Results:
What an incredible event that took place at the Hobie BOS tournament on Sam Rayburn. Conditions were very unique with water levels reaching an all time record of 11 feet over full pool. Anglers traveled from all over the country to this bucket list fishery for a total of 114 competitors. With the water levels so high it made for some very interesting fishing in areas that are typically dry land. Not only did the water levels generate exciting fishing but very creative launching conditions. The ACOE had most of the public ramps closed down due to the flooding so anglers were forced to find alternative means of launching their kayaks.
Bryan Scarberry hoisted the coveted 1st place title with a total of 183.25 inches for 2 days.
Jim Ware (the river goat) put up 177.50 to take 2nd.
Caleb Helbig rang in the top 3 with 176.25 inches of Rayburn bass.
Set to take place on Pickwick lake the West TN Bass Yakkers approaches it’s stop #5 for the season. Pickwick lake has a reputation that spans worldwide. Most widely known for its phenomenal smallmouth, the lake boasts some giant largemouth as well. Pickwick lake sits second to last on the Tennessee River chain of lakes and really has a lot to offer. Grass, bluffs, offshore structure, shallow brush, the list goes on. An angler can truly fish his/ her strengths and do well here.
The tournament will be taking place during a very opportunistic time of the year. In mid-May you see fish doing several things. Some will still be up shallow either guarding fry or still on beds while others will have already started their transition out to the main river ledges. A shad spawn is something to look for as well in the early morning hours. Current is a major dictating factor on any of the TN river lakes, but as we transition into post spawn the current will play a major role in targeting fish out offshore and could play big here this weekend.
This will be an interesting event. The weather this week is setting up to be a very enjoyable day of fishing, but as we know bright clear days can often usher in some challenging fishing conditions.
The WTBY anglers set out at 5:30 Saturday morning and were welcomed with amazingly thick fog and snappy 47 degree temperatures. None the less, the weather warmed quickly and the fish were biting.
1st Place went to Ron Butler with 54.5 inches:
All of my fish came on a green pumpkin Yum Dinger. I targeted steeper bluff walls by sitting out in 20 ft. of water and making casts real tight next to the bank.
2nd Place and Big Bass went to Justin Patrick with 54 inches:
Mid May on the TN river, my mind is really starting to think offshore. I spent a lot of time starring at my Garmin electronics in practice but I just couldn't find enough out there to get me excited. I did however find that a lot of fish were still hanging out up shallow so that was my game plan going into tournament day. Saturday morning I started out in the back of a major flat and wasted no time putting a limit in the boat with a MegaBass Pop Max. No bigs, but a early limit is always nice. The fish were hanging out in grass in 2-3 feet of water and all it took was one or two twitches of the rod and they were there.
Around 9:30 I loaded up and went to my second spot in the back of a major creek arm. I had never fished this section of the creek, so when I unloaded the Hobie I was pleased to see it was loaded with shoreline grass growing out into 3-4 feet of water. The rest of the day I caught over 15 fish throwing a Black Bass Tackle swim jig with a Strike King rage menace trailer around the outside edges of the grass. I culled out two of my smallest fish with one measuring 20 inches. Big shout out to my sponsors Hobie Fishing, SY WIlson and Company, Black Bass Tackle, Primary Tackle, Small Town Bassin, Little Miami Outfitters, and Kitana Hooks.
3rd Place went to Brandon Davis with 52.25 inches:
I fished the upper end of the river near Florence to get away from some of the pleasure boat traffic typically seen on the lower end around Yellow Creek.
My morning started off really well putting a small limit on the board within 30min all on a buzzbait. That always helped to calm the nerves and slow me down which I definitely need from time to time. The fish seemed to be cooperating pretty well because any that missed the buzzbait would wait around for the wacky worm follow up. Once the sun came out and burned the fog off I made my way into some backwater areas where I found a strip of reeds that were holding a bunch of 16-17" bass tucked up in the edges. They wanted to be in the reeds that had debris blown up against them - if the reeds were bare out front there weren't fish in there. I culled 2 of my 3 fish pitching a small jig around for a couple hours. Around noon I had over 50" already and decided to lock the buzzbait back in my hand looking for a bigger bite and that's when I ran into my best fish of the day at 18". I caught some more keepers but nothing that would cull the rest of the day. It was a great day catching fish exactly how I like to catch them!