Lake Sam Rayburn

Because Life is Better at the Lake

High Water Levels and Wintertime Temperatures to Keep Pros Guessing at Tournament


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:

Fishing League Worldwide (FLW), the world’s largest tournament fishing organization, is set to launch the 2019 FLW Tour season – the 24th season of the competitive Tour – Jan. 10-13, with the FLW Tour at Sam Rayburn Reservoir presented by Polaris. Hosted by the Jasper County Development District, the tournament will feature 170 of the world’s best bass-fishing professionals competing for a top award of up to $125,000 and valuable points in hopes of qualifying for the 2019 FLW Cup – the world championship of bass fishing.

“It’s always exciting to start another FLW Tour season, but it’s really exciting this year to be kicking off the season in Texas,” said local FLW Tour pro Jason Reyes of Huffman, Texas, a three-time FLW Cup qualifier who has three top-10 finishes on Sam Rayburn in FLW competition. “Sam Rayburn can be a bit intimidating if you haven’t fished it before – 100,000 acres of lake that is full of grass and hydrilla and everything looks good. But, it is a lake of opportunity and the potential is there for 10+ pound bass and 30+ pound limits. You can really separate yourself if you can catch a bag like that.”

Due to the influx of rain lately, the water levels are higher than normal for this time of year. The water temperature is currently steady between 53 to 55 degrees and with the fish still in their wintertime mode.

“The lake is fishing fairly well,” Reyes said. “Depending on the weather, this tournament will be all about what happens the week before the tournament. We might see everyone out fishing in cold weather gear or we might see everyone in shorts and sweatshirts. The big question will be if the fish move up shallow.

“I don’t think a guy will be able to win it from one spot – they’re going to have to have multiple areas,” Reyes continued. “Lipless crankbaits are always a big player on Rayburn this time of year. Carolina rigs, spinnerbaits, crankbaits and flipping a jig or soft-plastics will all produce as well. Both ends of the lake will be in play, and we’ll be able to catch them fishing whatever our strengths are.”

Reyes estimated that it would take a two-day total of 30 to 31 pounds for an angler to make the top 30 cut and fish the weekend. He predicted the winner would have a four-day total right around 72 pounds.

”This time of year, we can expect to see quite a few changes over the four-day tournament,” Reyes went on to say. “We may see a guy show out with a huge limit on Day One or Two and then struggle to catch half of that the next day. It’s going to be a fun tournament and a great fishery to kick off the 2019 FLW Tour season.”

Anglers will take off at 7 a.m. CST each day from the Umphrey Family Pavilion, located at 5438 Sam Rayburn Parkway, in Brookeland. Thursday and Friday’s weigh-ins, Jan. 10-11, will be held at the pavilion beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday’s weigh-ins, Jan. 12-13, will also be held at the pavilion, but will begin at 4 p.m.

For complete details and updated information visit

Photo courtesy FLW


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Lake Sam Rayburn Water Level (last 30 days)

Water Level on 6/18: 167.76 (+3.36)

Lake Sam Rayburn Fishing Report from TPWD (Jun. 13)

Water stained; 81–85 degrees; 4.79’ high. Black bass are slow. White bass are slow. Crappie are slow. Bream are good on worms. Catfish are slow.