Lake Sam Rayburn

Because Life is Better at the Lake

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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:

When fishing for catfish remember: “The worse it smells, the better.” When I lived in Oklahoma City, a friend and I would have it all set up to leave from work on Friday afternoons, heading to Ft Cobb Lake in search of catfish. We didn’t fish the main lake, but up in Ft. Cobb Creek that flowed into the lake.

Before heading down the highway we would pick up a gallon bucket of homemade stink bait from some older Indian lady who lived in Oklahoma City. We never knew what she put in there, but I could smell a liberal doze of oil of anise. It had its own kind of fragrant aroma that the Ft. Cobb catfish loved.

We’d launch our aluminum boat equipped with a 10 hp kicker at a ramp close to the mouth of the creek. About four or five miles up the river we had a camping spot we set up for out trips. After settling in, pitching the tent, and getting everything else ready, it was time to rig up rods with treble sponge hooks that we dipped into the magic elixir. Stir it up first with a paint paddle making sure you got a good gob of bait saturated in and around the sponge. You didn’t want to get the stuff on your hands, clothes or boat. If you did it would be there awhile.

John’s favorite way of initiating anybody he invited along would be to “accidently” brush a fully loaded sponge along the unknowing angler’s head or hat. That was my first introduction to using stink bait.

Stubby Stubblefield is a Texas catfish guide, fishes with stink bait for catfish on Lake Fork. He concocts his own cheese catfish stink bait, made of cheese, maise and a secret powdered scent; it doesn’t leave a lingering fragrance on your hands or boat. There’s no need for a paint paddle stick -- just dig into the tub with your fingers and mold the dough around the hook.
It works well soaked on the bottom or suspended using a cork. It stays on the hook extremely well.

He uses the bait in combination with a number four treble hook, spinning gear, and 30- pound test braided line. The bait is heavy enough it doesn’t need a weight to sink to the bottom.
Stubblefield targets underwater ridges, humps, points and creeks in fairly deep water that he pre-baits with range cubes. On Ft. Cobb we were dropping our baited hooks around brush piles that were numerous along the creek. Our stink baits were like lollipops to the catfish. Usually it didn’t take long and we had a bite. Time to rear back and set the hook like you were trying to drag a Mack truck out of the Creek.

Search for Stubblefield Cheese Stink Bait on the Internet, and you will find plenty of good information where you can purchase some. If you’re headed up to Ft. Cobb I don’t remember where that little old lady lived. She made her bait in the garage in the back yard. You might just want to pick up some of Stubblefield’s bait before you get on the road.


Photo: Stubby Stubblefield

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Lake Sam Rayburn Weather Forecast


Rain Showers

Hi: 50

Wednesday Night

Rain Showers

Lo: 45


Rain Showers

Hi: 48

Thursday Night

Partly Cloudy

Lo: 32


Mostly Sunny

Hi: 52

Friday Night

Mostly Clear

Lo: 34


Mostly Cloudy

Hi: 58

Saturday Night

Mostly Cloudy

Lo: 46

Lake Sam Rayburn Water Level (last 30 days)

Water Level on 2/19: 164.19 (-0.21)

Lake Sam Rayburn Fishing Report from TPWD (Feb. 12)

GOOD. Water stained; 57-61 degrees; 0.69’ low. Largemouth bass are good in shallow water working crankbaits, worms, and spinners. White bass are fair on minnows moving up from deep. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs casting shallow structure. Catfish are good on live and stinkbait.