Texas Team Trail presented by Bass Pro Shops & Cabela’s (TXTT) events, May 7 on Lake Sam Rayburn. The anglers won a fully rigged Ranger Z518 with a 150-horsepower Mercury Pro XS outboard valued at $33,595.ommy Hill and Bubba Frazier weighed 22.91 pounds to win the first of back-to-back
Fishing the mid-lake region, the anglers from Tyler, Texas, started their day targeting a creek drop in about 5 feet of water. Slinging a Carolina rig with a Zoom Super Fluke in the California 420 color, Frazier tempted his team’s biggest fish — a 7.48 — on their first cast. About 5 hours later, lightning struck twice and Frazier added a 6-pounder on the same spot.
Frazier said recent rains have raised Rayburn’s water level about two feet in the past week and a half. This, he said, has created tough conditions and displaced fish.
“We’re on the water a lot and we had these areas that we knew were good, but then it got muddy and shut them down,” Frazier said. “It cleared up and the right fish were there.”
Hill said he believes the rising water has also made it difficult to stay on top of the spawning cycle. “I think there are probably still a few on beds but I think it’s mostly postspawn. I bed fish a lot, but you can’t hardly stay with them with the lake coming up like it is.”
After their morning bite faded, the winners transitioned to a more active strategy of targeting main lake hay grass with 7/16-ounce Santone swim jigs. Using Reaction Innovations Skinny Dippers in the white trash color, their mid-morning plan was one of mobility.
“We put the trolling motor on 50 percent and covered a lot of water,” Frazier said. “We did better with the swim jigs when the wind was blowing.”
Around 12:30, Hill and Frazier decided to revisit their starting spot. The plan was to show up, eat a quick lunch and then focus on fishing. Frazier said a sudden interruption was most welcome.
“We were going to eat deer sausage wrap-ups, but I took one bite of my sandwich, I got a bite on my Carolina rig, set the hook and it was that second big fish,” Frazier said. “It was about the same cast that I made for the first fish.
“We’re old guys; we’re not going to go hungry on the water. We’re going to eat and Carolina rig and hope one bites while we’re eating.”
Noting that he and Frazier caught 15-20 keepers, Hill said they added their last limit fish — a 3 1/2-pounder — at 12:30. After that, they leisurely made their way back toward the weigh in site and allowed themselves a comfortable travel window.
“We quit an hour and 15 minutes (early) and then we just finished up around the ramp,” Hill said. “We knew that over 22 1/2 pounds would get a good check. We didn’t think it would win but we didn’t want to be way up the lake and not be able to get back because of motor trouble or whatever.”
For their efforts Hill and Frazier earned a Nitro Z18 with a 150 Mercury ProXS. In addition, they claimed $2,445 of Anglers Advantage cash. Their total payday was $36,040.
The remaining Top 10 are Moorhead/ Moorhead (second); Little/Shelman (third) Wilson/Flowers (fourth); Waguspack/Lloyd (fifth); Robelia/Pratka (sixth); Shook/Iles (seventh); Rogers/Klobas (eighth); Powell/Powell (ninth); and Prine/Scalise (tenth).
The next stop for the TXTT is the championship event set for June 5-6 at Lake Whitney. The Texas Team Trail presented by Bass Pro Shops & Cabela’s consists of three regular-season events and a year-end championship. The championship is a two-day tournament open to teams who have fished all three regular-season events.
2021 TXTT scheduled events:
June 5-6 – Lake Whitney