BIG PAYDAY ON RAYBURN
Last updated 4/30/2019 at Noon
Bass fishermen covered up every square inch of concrete large enough to
park a boat trailer as a massive crowd invaded Jasper and the
surrounding area for the annual Big Bass Splash last weekend.The
logistics for choosing any prime spot on Rayburn and not having to share
it with a dozen other boats required more planning and luck than choice
When all was said and done, Mike Fesco proved that he not only could
catch big trout, but big bass as well. The Sour Lake angler is
invariably in the winner circle when fishing area saltwater events, but
not many of them pay $300,000 in cash and prizes for first place.
It wasn’t like he just went out and blew the field away as his 10.04
pound winning bass nudged out second place finisher, Jim Penney by two
hundredths of an ounce.Penny had to settle for a $100,000 payday while
Orangefield grad now living in Conroe, Cody Williams, earned $75,000 for
Fesco and Penny established the weight to chase the first morning of the
three day event and no other angler in the massive field was able to run
either of them down.Williams brought his 9.53 pound bass to the scales
the same afternoon and his big fish obviously held up as well.
Aside from the massive field, I was most surprised by the number of bass
brought to the scales each day.You would think with that many anglers
either running or fishing over every inch of the lake that the catching
would only grow tougher.That, however, was not the case.
Opening day the field weighed in 329 bass, 295 bass on Saturday and 317
bass on Sunday.There was only 30 pounds difference in the total weights
over the three day period!
Bubba Sparrow reported that much closer to home, the teams fishing the
initial Salt Series Team event found the catching to be very
tough.Winning stringers include both redfish and trout, but with the
exception of a solid pair of trout Mike Fesco caught on Big Lake, the
trout were a “no show” for the other teams.
Even the redfish were not into participating like they have lately, but
the size was definitely there.The winners two redfish weighed just over
18 pounds and it took 16 pounds plus to capture second place.The next
event is scheduled for Mother’s Day weekend which could limit the size
of the field, but it is a series that will continue to grow as it pays
well when you catch the right fish!
For more information you can call Sparrow at (409)719-2418 or drop by
Outcast Tackle and Arms in Groves.Steve Simmons will go over the finer
points and sign you up as well should you choose to fish the next
The S.A.L.T. Club fished their monthly event last week and flounder were
the targeted fish.It only took a flatfish slightly over two pounds to
win the money, but Simmons was encouraged by the number of small
“We just caught a pile of undersized fish and I easily limited before
the day was over,” said Simmons.“The water was still a little
off-colored but I found my fish hugging the shoreline.Steve will do
whatever it takes to fool a flounder, but for this event he relied on a
Gulp tail.He is now predicting very good year for the flounder addicts!
He also said that a number of his customers said that they were once
again catching trout up to 24 inches on a hit and miss basis on the
north end of the lake.A crankbait was working the best, probably a
Swimming Image or Mirrodine XL, and a good tide during the morning hours
was the most productive.
Lannie Clarke sent me a most encouraging e-mail that included a picture
of a 7.4 pound trout that he caught and released in the Sidney Island
area early Sunday morning.Surprisingly enough, he caught it on the
Intracoastal side of the island fishing a chicken on a chain Diedapper
under a cork.
Clarke added that they caught and released several more small trout and
managed to box five slot reds as well.He reported that several of their
reds hit a bone colored Rat-L-Trap and that they were only fishing that
side of the island due to the wind.