Keith Combs Sam Rayburn Slam Continues to work with C.A.S.T. for Kids

Veteran Texas pro Keith Combs continues to give back to the community via his seventh annual Keith Combs Sam Rayburn Slam Open Bass Tournament, which for the second consecutive year will be paired with a simultaneous C.A.S.T. for Kids event on Saturday, September 16th at Umphrey Pavillion. It will be preceded the night before by a banquet and live auction at the Pitser Garrison Convention Center in Lufkin, Texas, benefitting C.A.S.T. for Kids.

“Last year we raised over $106,000,” Combs said. “The generosity of the fishing and outdoors community was incredible. We have a silent auction, a live auction, raffles and card games. There were trips to El Salto and Grosse Savanne, and I donated one on Rayburn, along with African safaris and whitetail hunts. We had one item that started off as just a cooler, but then we started throwing in items from Shimano and Strike King and Seaguar and there was just more and more. Who knows the value? Someone walked away with a ton of stuff.”

He’d organized and operated the tournament for five years, donating to a variety of worthy charities and causes, before bringing in C.A.S.T. for Kids last year.

“My wife Jennifer and I attended a C.A.S.T. event several years ago, and after seeing what they do, we knew we wanted to be a part of it,” Combs said. “I already knew Jim Behnken, and Jay Yelas later became the Executive Director, and I was amazed at how much they do with very little financial support. They make it possible for kids and families who don’t get to do what we take for granted enjoy a day on the water. They supply everything they need and then volunteers come and help.”

Yelas, who retired from professional angling to take over the organization, now lives in Oregon, but he previously lived in Texas, and knows what the state means to his organization.

“Texas is by far our biggest market,” he said. “This year, we’re going to have 98 events, the most we’ve ever had coast to coast, and 37 of them will be in Texas. There are several factors in play, and there are good people all over the country, but Texans just have huge hearts. Fishing is a part of the culture and the people there just love to give back – and Keith and Jennifer Combs are at the top of the list in terms of doing so much for the less fortunate in their community.”

The weekend will open with Friday night’s banquet. Last year veteran pro Clay Dyer was the evening’s speaker, and this year the dinner will feature a motivational talk from Arkansas pro Hunter Baughman. Tables are still available and donations are welcomed. Even if you can’t be in East Texas that weekend, it’s still possible to donate or to participate in the silent auction via the internet.

The next day will commence with the tournament, which provides 100% payout based on a $200 entry fee and 125 teams. Anglers will be able to register in person at Tackle Addict near the dam, or online at the C.A.S.T. for Kids website. Because the stage will be there for the later weigh-in, kids participating in the even with get what Combs termed a “special treat.”

“They can bring their fish up to the stage and put them on the scale,” he said. While it’ll be a thrill for them, Combs himself has been humbled and gratified that his friends, neighbors and business partners have come out to help him with this mission,

“It’s a true team effort,” he said. “It’s a busy time of year for a lot of people, which makes it easy to forget what interested you in fishing in the first place. We get to offer that to kids who’d otherwise never get it. Nobody questions that this is a great cause. We were in awe of what the event produced last year, and we always want to make it bigger.”

Event Sponsors include: Shimano, Strike King, Seaguar, Texas Farm Bureau Insurance, Tackle Addict, KV Power, Rayburn Resort and Marina, Southside Bank, West Fraser Angelina Lumber, Flambeau, Monster Spirit

For More Information About the Keith Combs Sam Rayburn Slam Presented by Texas Farm Bureau Insurance, or to register a child, sign up to volunteer or donate to the event, go to

More information about the tournament can be found on a dedicated Facebook Page: To learn more about C.A.S.T. for Kids or to find an event close to your home, go to