Lake Sam Rayburn

Because Life is Better at the Lake

John Cox Grabs Early Lead


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:

Berkley pro John Cox of DeBary, Florida, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 21 pounds, 7 ounces, Thursday to grab the early lead after Day One of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at Sam Rayburn Reservoir. Veteran FLW pro Greg Bohannan of Bentonville, Arkansas, is in second place, just 3 ounces behind Cox after bringing a 21-4 limit to the scale. The season-opening Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event features a field of 154 bass-fishing professionals from around the world casting for a top award of up to $135,000.

“My morning was pretty slow, but it turned out to be a really awesome day,” said Cox, who has more than $1.3 million in career earnings with FLW. “I didn’t have anything special – only 10 or 11 pounds – until almost noon. I was getting a little down, so I just started whipping my crankbait out into open water. I caught one off of a bush, and that’s what slowed me down. Then I found a little area that had them.”

Cox said he culled out his entire limit and weighed in five keepers all from that one area. He said that his key bait was a Berkley Frittside 5 crankbait.

“They weren’t crazy-stacked up, but they all came on the same kind of throw,” Cox said. “You knew when you were around them because you could feel the bait coming over the fish – it felt like reeling over logs. Then all of a sudden one would eat it.

“What’s crazy is that I caught them flipping there in 2010,” Cox continued. “It was a fall tournament. I had nothing, then went up there and found some hydrilla mats and ended up flipping like 18 pounds. Now I’m just throwing the crankbait in the same spot.”

Cox believed that the fish he caught today were not resident fish.

“I’m pretty sure it was a transition area – they were either coming or going, but they were just passing through there for some reason,” Cox went on to say. “They might not be there tomorrow, but I hope that I can still find them. I’m just going to try to milk it for all its worth.”

The top 10 pros after day one on Sam Rayburn Reservoir are:

1st: John Cox, DeBary, Fla., five bass, 21-7

2nd: Greg Bohannan, Bentonville, Ark., five bass, 21-4

3rd: Darold Gleason, Many, La., five bass, 21-3

4th: Corey Neece, Bristol, Tenn., five bass, 20-14

5th: Grae Buck, Harleysville, Pa., five bass, 20-9

6th: Mitch Crane, Columbus, Miss., five bass, 20-3

7th: Jon Canada, Helena, Ala., five bass, 19-10

8th: Hunter Freeman, Monroe, La., five bass, 18-2

9th: Lane Olson, Tigard, Ore., five bass, 18-0

10th: Mark Fisher, Wauconda, Ill., five bass, 17-15

For a full list of results visit

Buck won the day's $500 Berkley Big Bass award in the pro division after bringing a largemouth weighing 9 pounds, 8 ounces to the scale.

Overall there were 619 bass weighing 1,520 pounds, 14 ounces caught by 151 pros Thursday. The catch included 88 five-bass limits.

Photo courtesy FLW

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Lake Sam Rayburn Water Level (last 30 days)

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Lake Sam Rayburn Fishing Report from TPWD (Mar. 25)

FAIR. Water stained; 65-66 degrees; 0.84’ high. Largemouth bass are good within flooded timber and any vegetation with worms, crankbait, and spinners. White bass are fair fishing minnows in creeks and creek points. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs. Catfish are good on live and stinkbait.