Lake Sam Rayburn

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Marks Wins Bass Fishing League Tournament on Sam Rayburn


Tom Behrens has over 50 years experience in fishing and hunting across the United States. Much of this time was spent in Oklahoma and Texas where he became very familiar with the outdoor opportunities in these states. You may contact him by email at:

FLW Bass Fishing League reports Phil Marks of Dallas, Texas, caught a five-bass limit weighing 27 pounds, 8 ounces to earn top honors at the FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) tournament on Sam Rayburn Reservoir. For his efforts, Marks pocketed $8,143. Marks said he caught the majority his fish on the main lake, specifically on the tips of ridges with isolated stumps. He said he fished through a dozen areas and was able to put 10 keepers in the boat throughout the day.

“I don’t think the water temperature on Sam Rayburn has been below 55 degrees in a few years, so the fish were really lethargic,” said Marks, an FLW Tour winner who had earned eight prior top-10 finishes on Sam Rayburn in FLW competition. “I caught three or four good ones in the first hour which allowed me to focus on catching the big ones. It was a grind out there, but I knew when I got one it’d be a good one.”

Marks said he used a Powder Blue Back Chartreuse-colored Strike King 8XD crankbait to fish in 16 to 19 feet of water, and switched to a 10XD for deeper casts in the 18- to 24-foot range.

“It’s funny – just about every bite was on the initial descent or when the bait was up under the boat,” said Marks. “I started making shorter casts so I could maximize my time in those strike zones.”

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Phil Marks, Dallas, Texas, five bass, 27-8, $6,143 + $2,000 Ranger Cup Bonus
2nd: Richard Ballard, Sulphur, La., four bass, 19-12, $4,081
3rd: Terry Hawkins, Corsicana, Texas, five bass, 17-2, $2,048
4th: Kevin Lasyone, Dry Prong, La., five bass, 16-8, $1,363
5th: Anthony Jones, Irving, Texas, five bass, 15-13, $1,169
6th: Coy Riggins, Georgetown, Texas, five bass, 15-12, $1,071
7th: Chris Lewis, Longview, Texas, three bass, 15-11, $925
7th: Darold Gleason, Many, La., five bass, 15-11, $925
9th: Todd Castledine, Nacogdoches, Texas, five bass, 15-9, $779
10th: Brandon Thrash, Downsville, La., five bass, 15-8, $682
Ballard caught a bass weighing 8 pounds, 1 ounce – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division – and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $960. Michael Cotter of Arlington, Texas, won the Co-angler Division and $3,006 Saturday after catching a five-bass limit weighing 20 pounds, 10 ounces.

The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: Michael Cotter, Arlington, Texas, five bass, 20-10, $3,006
2nd: Jacob Dupree, Haughton, La., four bass, 18-3, $1,453
3rd: Lindy Hadley, Sam Rayburn, Texas, five bass, 16-10, $971
4th: Richard Hooter, Natchitoches, La., five bass, 14-4, $678
5th: Fred Martin, North Little Rock, Ark., five bass, 13-10, $631
6th: Logan Slaughter, Dallas, Texas, five bass, 13-4, $533
7th: Taylor Hardin, Fort Worth, Texas, five bass, 13-1, $484
8th: Jimmy Brumfield, Madison, Miss., five bass, 12-3, $436
9th: Eric Lacroix, Ball, La., four bass, 11-13, $387
10th: Brian Allen, Katy, Texas, five bass, 11-8, $339
James Spell of Sulphur, Louisiana, caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division – a fish weighing 8 pounds, 2 ounces. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $477


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Lake Sam Rayburn Water Level (last 30 days)

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Lake Sam Rayburn Fishing Report from TPWD (Mar. 14)

Water stained; 72–76 degrees; 1.72’ high. Black bass are fair on chartreuse/black crankbaits and spinnerbaits. White bass are fair on minnows and white spinnerbaits. Crappie are fair on minnows. Bream are fair on worms. Catfish are good on nightcrawlers and liver. Up 3.65

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