Bass Fishing Sam Rayburn Reservoir

– Not every day we fish is gonna be picture perfect. We got some pretty
nasty weather right now. But if you prepare for it, you can get out and go fishing and be safe and comfortable. But if you’re unprepared for it, you talk about miserable. Don’t know if we’ll catch
any fish on a day like this, but we are gonna
share some information on how you can gear up to enjoy a day out like this, and maybe not even
know it’s that bad. So stay tuned. We’ll see if we can’t
get out on the water and help you get prepared. – On
today’s episode of the Cabela’s Fisherman Handbook host Wade Middleton
has made his way overinto East Texas, and is
preparing to head out onto Sam Rayburn Reservoir in search of pre-spawn bass. As he pulls up to
the ramp today, Wade’s been greeted with rain, cold winds, and
harsh conditions. This may not look like the best
day to get out on the water, but as the first half of
today’s episode moves along, Wade will show how
being prepared, having the proper equipment, and a little hard work can pay dividends in
these types of conditions. – For me on a recent trip,
pulled up to the boat ramp, and the rain was rolling in. You look on the
radar and it was red. Red usually means heavy rain
and lightning in my book,and there was no need to go running straight
out on the water. But, at the same time,
I knew I was prepared to be able to handle
the conditionsshould I have wanted to. You know, once I deemed it
safe, I could dress up properlyto get out on the water
and be successful. And that’s something a lotta
people have to keep in mind to be comfortable. You know, going out,
obviously, you can go fishing in any old set of
clothes that you want. But will you enjoy it?Will you be comfortable? Probably not. So if you prepare
in the right ways, and layer up in
the right clothing,have the right kind of clothing to be able to handle
the conditions, you can pretty much
get out and fishin any conditions and enjoy it. Since those days, you
catch those giant. When I look at the day right
now that we’re unloading on, we just had a
storm pass through. Low pressure, the
wind’s blowing. It’s been raining. You know, probably gonna
get a little more rain before the day’s over. As we’re heading down the
ramp and starting to fishalong the area, the first thing that’s
popped up in my mind, there’s a lotta grass. And when I can
find a lotta grass, I know I’m gonna be
able to figure outhow to catch some bass. There he is right there. Another little guy. Those little guys’ll warm you up after a cold day. Woo. Aw, man. Throwing you back
in the water, sir. ‘Cause it’s warmer in the water than it is up here. Like we’re ice fishing. Let you go. You know, when you look
at water conditions,temp, water temperature,
the actual conditionsin an area that you’re fishing. Depth and all those. It plays a variable in where
the fish are gonna set up,and it’s amazing
to me sometimes, I can be at the
middle of a cove,and it’ll be, you know,
one set a temperature,and at the mouth or in the back, it could be a totally
different set of conditions once you get back there based
on the water temperature. This scenario right here,
the further back I went, the warmer the water got. And that’s where I
started getting bites. I started to really get
a good reaction bite on the Aruku Shad. I was actually throwing
a smaller version one,and ripping it through
the tops of those grass, and then trying to
let it feather downon the long creek edge, and those fish, because we
had a good low pressure day, they were knocking slacking
that bait every time. We’re just following
that hydrilla edge, andcatching a lotta little
bucks at the back end of this creek. On this small Aruku Shad,and I mean, it is solid
hydrilla through here. We can’t throw a big one, A big bait, through here, ’cause it’s just gonna bury
you up in the grass too fast. So we’re actually
throwing the smaller one. Paying off with
some, a few bites. – Time
now for a break, but when we return, host Wade Middleton continues
breaking down the conditions out on Sam Rayburn, and catching fish on a go-to
lure for this body of water during the spring,
the Aruku Shad. Stay tuned for more
Fisherman’s Handbook. The Fisherman’s Handbook is
brought to you in part byBass Pro Shops, you’re adventure starts here. Garmin. Fight your fish, not
your fish finder. And by Yamaha Marine,reliability starts here. – Look at that. You don’t think he didn’t
eat that Aruku Shad?He choked on it. – Welcome back
to this episode of the Fisherman’s Handbook. As anglers, we all
know we can’t control the conditions we’re faced
with out on the water,but we have to take what’s givenand make the most of it. Today, out on Sam
Rayburn Reservoir, Wade Middleton has the
opportunity to fish inlow pressure conditions,
and he’s capitalizing on this opportunity. – Alright, fish, we’re
gonna let you go back. There’s a huge
difference, in my opinion,in a low pressure day
and a high pressure day when it comes to the weather. You know, those
high pressure days, I talk about it a lot,where you’ve got a bluebird sky. You know, the sun’s real bright, and a lotta times
there’s very little wind. Those tend to be a little
bit tougher fishing days when it comes to just
getting a lotta bitesor getting an aggressive
bite in my opinion. On the flip side of that,
you get a low pressure day,you get a kinda real cloudy day, and it’s kinda rainy and the
wind’s blowing a little bit, and it’s just nasty. It looks like, man, I
just wanna roll over and go back to sleep. That’s sometimes
the best days of all to be able to go fishing, because the fish are gonna
be a little bit more active. They tend to be snapping. They’re gonna bite more
readily in a lotta situations, so, for fishermen,
don’t stay home just because it’s
a bad weather day. A lotta times, if you can
safely get out and go fishing, that’s the time to go. You know, what you can see
looking at the units right there is there’s a lotta
hydrilla down there, and it’s just kinda
all almost all matted. And every now and then,
you’ll see us getting the three and a half
and four foot deep, and you can actually
see that lighter color on the mapping
portion that I’ve got that I’m trying to
kinda keep the boat along the edge of that because that’s the drain. That’s where we
come through here. The Garmin survey’s come
through, and, you know, identified that as
the deeper water andthat’s where the fish should be. That hydrilla is just
almost to the top back here right now, even though
the water’s that cold so. You know, we’re just
looking for the highway,trying to intersect ’em. And they’re probably gonna
be, for the most part,you know, one to
three pound fish that we’re gonna find all
the way back here right now. But after the weather
from earlier in the day, we’ll take those. As you dissect all the pieces
of the puzzle that day, it’s amazing what
little subtleties may trigger you to do
one thing or another. You know, I’d had
a couple bites, and as I was working way
to the back of this pocket,I had just about given
up on going any further. And when I looked down, I
noticed on my water temperature that it was about two
degrees warmer nowthan it was several
hundred yards behind me. That prompted me to go
just a little bit deeper into the cove, and as I went deeper
into the cove,I started really trying
to watch my mapping to find those little edges, a little bit of that drop off. Then moved my pan optics aroundto target some of those clumps, and as I did, I began to get
some awesome reaction bites. Water’s two degrees warmer back here, and they are knocking fire
out of it when they bite. I mean, they are
just nailing it. Boy these fish are healthy. Anybody that’s ever fished
a lipless train bait, and I’m partial to
the Spro Aruku Shad,but anybody that’s ever
fished one of thesewill tell you, when you
get on this kinda bite, and you pause it, and they
hit it like a freight train, and they start
going the other way,will attest that it is
one of the funnest bites that you’ll ever have. Now, you’re gonna get
your feeling’s hurt. You’re gonna lose a couple
because a lotta times they’ll slap out a good hook
on the outside of the mouth and they’ll get away, but when they
bite, it’s a blast. You know, it’s amazing
how close you can be to success and
failure in fishing. It could be, you know,
a little bait change,a little rhythm change, a difference in your cadence, maybe moving 100 yards and
doing something different, and all the sudden you
start catching fish. And so, when it comes down
to dissecting those things, those little bitty nuances, there’s some days that
people just really dial it inand other days they
don’t get it figured out and catch as many,
so, as a fisherman, I guess the moral
to that story is keep a line in the water, and
figure out how to catch ’em. ‘Cause sooner or later,
once you dial ’em in, you can repeat that
time and time again. They’re all clones. Fat as footballs. Mad as can be. I mean, every one
of ’em, just pow. That’ll warm you up fast. – Coming up,
conditions can change from minute to minute, hour
to hour, and even day to day. After the break, Wade returns
out to the same body of water the following day, but this time the
weather pattern has
shifted significantly. Find out if Wade can
manage to figure ’em out. The Fisherman’s Handbook is
brought to you in part by Cabela’s: it’s in your nature. Ranger Boats: still building
legends one at a time. Engel Coolers: a
legend in reliability. And by Bradley Smoker:
food smoking made easy. After a full day of fishing
in adverse conditions consisting of heavy
winds and rain, Wade has decided to return
to Sam Rayburn Reservoir in search of more
hungry pre-spawn bass. And as the sun has
risen on a new day, the conditions have
changed drastically. – We’ve got totally
different fishing conditions. You know, yesterday we
were able to get out for about an hour. I mean, a cold front
was coming through. It was raining, it was low
pressure, and the fish were snapping on the Aruku Shad
in the back little pocket. Now, we’re dealing with
mostly clear bluebird skies. Very, very little wind. So we have to in our
mind as fishermen, think we’ve gotta adjust
and adapt just a little bit. Things are gonna be different
while we’re out on the water, so we need to present
our bait different. First thing that
comes to my mindwhen I start seeing
this type of a conditionwith the high bluebird sky,
water temperatures what they are is a suspending jerkbait. You know, a suspending jerkbait is phenomenal to be
able to throw out, twitch it down, and leave
it in the strike zone. And by leaving it
in the strike zone,it’s a very subtle thing that allows you to be able
to get bites from fish that are otherwise lethargic. Basically, you’re teasing ’em. You’re leaving it
in the strike zone. Little suspending jerk bait. Mean a chunky bass right there. This is perfect conditions for
suspending jerkbait really. Water temperatures
are not quite to 50. He got all the hooks in there. That’s what you like to see. You know, when you’re
fishing this bait, it’s not my preferred style. I’ll be the first to admit. Mike McClellan can sit
there and throw this thing and let it sit, and watch
the paint dry on his house. Whereas I’m more of
a fast fisherman, but when you can catch
fatties like that. Look at the belly on that fish. Makes it fun. Great start. There’s a lotta
things to keep in mind when it comes to
jerkbait fishing. First and foremost,
a good rod selection. You don’t wanna use a rod
that’s gonna be way too heavy and way too stiff
in jerkbait fishing. That weight and that stiffness
is just gonna wear you out. You’re gonna feel it in your
elbows and your forearms. You want something light,you know, designed for
jerkbaits and topwaters. It’ll really allow
you to get good action without exerting too
much energy in it. Secondly, the speed of the reel. I like a slower reel
verses a faster reel. You know, you get into
those eight, seven to one,eight to one type
reels, I mean, basicallyyou’re moving so much
line so fast with those when you’re using a jerkbait. You’re taking it
outta the strike zone. And I wanna, you know,
a six to one type reel to leave it in that strike
zone a little bit longer so I’m not moving
it quite as fast. And finally, most people
will use fluorocarbon line when it comes to jerkbait
fishing and an eight to twelve pound test string. Normally that’s what I do, but
I’ll tell you on this trip, I actually changed
to monofilament. The reason I changed
to monofilament is the grass was so high in
the areas that I was fishing that I didn’t want my bait
to get quite as deep as fluorocarbon would get it. I wanted to basically
give up a foot of depth to be able to get it
a little bit higher so I could stay in that area
of about four feet down, which is what I felt like
was the perfect strike zone for the way I was fishing. Old clown colored mixed spec. – And next on
the Fisherman’s Handbook, Wade continues to get
dialed in on the fish, targeting them with a
suspending jerkbait. Don’t miss some of the best
fishing action of the day. We’ll be right back. The Fisherman’s Handbook is
brought to you in part by Sawyer Products: we
keep you outdoors. Engel Coolers: a
legend in reliability. And by Big Bite Baits:
designed to bring the big bite to your line. – As you look out
across here, I mean, it just looks like a big bay. And it’s, you know, there’s
a bay with several pockets and little channels
through here, but it’s very, it’s full of
hydrilla right now. So trying to find areas
that you can get a bite in basically where the
fish is gonna set up for an ambush point or where they’re basically
just sitting there staging in that grass ’cause it’s
kinda cold this morning, is tough. So what I’m doing is
I’m using electronics. Here’s a great example. You can see the
ditch right there. There’s the top of the
grass, how it drops off right there and
then flattens off. So I’m looking at my
traditional sonar, my mapping, and how my colors are
set up so that I can findthe little deeper drain, the little deeper
stretch to stay in to throw this
jerkbait across it. And then as I get in
there using pan optics to try to identify gaps in
the holes in front of me, out 40, 50, 100 feet so that I can target
those with cast. Go down, twitch,
twitch, and then pausethat jerkbait in there. That’s a biggun. That’s gonna be a
biggun right there. He took line and he took off. There he is. Oh yeah. There’s a good one. And he’s got a
face full of hooks. Come here. Oh yeah. That’s what I’m talking
about right there. That’s what I’m talking about. There’s a fat one. I mean he crushed
the little jerkbait out there right in the
middle of the drain. Need the pliers again. On a straight pause. Poom. I mean it’s warming up. Water temperature’s came
up about a degree now. That may be making a difference on why these fish are
hitting it a little harder this morning. You know, they were barely
just taking every bait we threw. Lot better there. That is as fun as
it gets right there. I mean, that was like hooking
a freight train right there. You know, I’ve had two or
three of ’em now that have just nailed it. You know, we talked
about earlier in the day everything was just there. Now, they’re
actively hitting it. I can feel ’em, they’re
taking it away from me. And as soon as that one,
you know, I posited. Bait’s just sitting
neutral out there. It’s just sitting
there like this. And then all the
sudden, boop, it’s gone. I mean, I knew right
away we had onewith a little bit better
shoulders that time. We’re just fishing down
the middle of the drain. You know, I’m using my map andto basically tell me, you know, here’s where I need to be. Because I haven’t fished
this cove here, you know,since last year we came
over here sight fishing. And, but I’ve got my
map and set up with thereds and the greens
and the yellows so that I can actually say here’s
where the ditches are and the drain should be
to give me a better feel, and then I’ll scan around
with the pan optics, and it just helps you put
your boat in a better spot where you’re not just always
throwing towards the bank. Because right now the bank
is covered in hydrilla. And these fish are
out on the edge of it. I got him that time. Woo-hoo. This is fun. I mean, they’re just slap
banging and nipping at it all along. All I can do is start
laughing at this point here. Just when you get ’em going
and you start catching fish consistently, that
just never gets old. I had two bites on that cast. And I think he both times
just kinda come up and licked the tail of it. And then that second
time he licked it and we got the hook in him. Regardless of how many
we catch or don’t catchthe rest of this day, we
have had a lotta bites. We started off really, you
know, scattered bite here, scattered bite there,
very light bites. Now that we’ve got
into the afternoon, a few scattered clouds,
water temperature’s warmed up about two degrees,they’re really starting to fire, as you would expect, I
mean, you know, we laughedthat we don’t wanna get
out on the water at 8:00 ’cause we wanna fish
til dark a lotta times this time of the
year, but, I mean,that’s just kinda my mentality. I’d rather be out here
when it’s a little warmer, the fish are gonna be
a little more active in the afternoons. Versus the summertime
when, you know, I may wanna be out
here at daybreak. But, you know, today we
went and ate breakfast and fiddled, and got
on the water late, and it’s paying off with a
lotta late afternoon bites. May be another biggun. He’s dogging like a biggun. I don’t know. Maybe he’s hooked on
the side of the mouth. Yeah, he’s hooked on
the side of the mouth. Easy. Easy. That’s one of those
ones that just came up and kinda nipped the tail. Bit it like that. He just kinda nipped at it. All of ’em are good. Go back and grow up, buddy. So many variables going
into this fishing trip herethat made for the
successes and failures. Bait changes, weather changes. Caught fish regardless
of what was going on,but had to adapt a lot. You know, the fish were moving,some of them were set up really
in the deep water haunts, some of them were up shallow,
actively chasing that Aruku Shad. Some of ’em we had to
tease with the jerkbait. It was amazing to see how
the bite evolved, you know, from that crushing reaction
bite the first afternoon to a very light nibble
the next morning, to a better aggressive bite
as that final afternoon we were out there. And the sum of all parts
is a great fishing trip. Sam Rayburn, without a doubt, one of the best bass
fishing lakes in the nation. And there’s a reason why
it’s just a healthy fishery and has been for decades. Hopefully it’ll stay
that way for a long time. And hopefully you enjoyed
some of these tips we shared, some of the insight we showed, and some of the ways we
talked about to catch fish in a wide range of conditions
in less than 24 hours. Giant bass. Hold him way out here. Yeah, those are
still as big as him. Not a lot I can do to make him bigger
than what he is.

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