LUFKIN, Texas — Bass will be in a transition from the postspawn to summer stage when the B.A.S.S. Nation Central Divisional challengers compete on Sam Rayburn Reservoir, June 5-7.
“That is when the first wave of fish will start moving offshore and you can catch them on the contour lines out next to the sharp breaks around brushpiles and stumps with a Carolina rig [plastic lizard, soft stick bait or finesse worm], a big crankbait or a [3/4- to 1-ounce] football jig,” said Bassmaster Elite Series pro Todd Faircloth.
Spawning bream will keep some bass in the shallow hydrilla and peppergrass. “That time of year, there should be a really good topwater bite in or around the grass,” said Faircloth. “I would focus on 3 to 6 feet of water.” The Texas pro suggests trying topwater poppers and walking-style topwaters for the shallow fish.
Working a heavy football jig along the outside edge of the grass line at depths of 8 to 15 feet is a June pattern that occasionally produces big fish for Faircloth on his home lake. “If the lake offers that type of deal, you can catch some big sacks that way,” he said. “You can catch 25 pounds in 30 minutes if you find the right little stretch.”
Faircloth said he believes Sam Rayburn will shine for the Nation anglers despite the constant fishing pressure it absorbs. “It receives probably one of the toughest tournament schedules of any lake in the country,” he said. “It is amazing to me as much pressure as it does receive yet it still produces big fish.”
Forage base — threadfin shad, bream and crawfish
Surface acreage — 114,500 acres
Average depth — 20 feet
Shoreline mileage — 750 miles
Expected water clarity — visibility of 2 to 3 feet
Dominant structure/cover — hydrilla, shoreline grass, willows, buckbrush, ridges and humps
Predicted winning weight: 65 pounds