INSIDER REPORT: Lake Record Largemouth has Anglers Eagerly Anticipating Ray Roberts

INSIDER REPORT: Lake Record Largemouth has Anglers Eagerly Anticipating Ray Roberts

Mar 16

SANGER, Texas. --
The Cabela's Texas Team Trail ventures north to Lake Ray Roberts for stop No. 3 of the 2015 season. Expectations are high as the 30,000-acre impoundment of the Trinity River recently produced a 15.18-pound ShareLunker, the biggest bass recorded in Texas thus far this year and the unofficial lake record. In addition to huge largemouths, the tournament offers the biggest team payouts in the state.
"This is one where you will see multiple fish over 10 pounds weighed," said Cabela's pro Jeff Reynolds, who lives on the Texas-Oklahoma border in Calera, Okla. "The lake is full of big bass; there's no doubt about it."

The one issue with Ray Roberts is that it tends to fish small. But the unseasonably cool weather will help spread the field out as offshore structure is still in play.

"There's a big difference between north Texas and south Texas," Reynolds explained. "Up here in north Texas, it's been pretty cold; the water temperatures are only in the 40s. Normally it's getting to be about that time, but I would guess they will still be in prespawn mode."

Reynolds said the primary cover in the lake is standing timber and there's no shortage of it. Grass is also present, but Reynolds doesn't think it will be plentiful enough to be a factor. In terms of
offshore structure, brush piles over points and in creek channels could be productive.

"There will be a lot of fish caught in less than 5 feet of water. If we get a big warming trend, you could see some fish get on the bank and start spawning. But there will also be fish caught i
n 10 to 20 feet of water. Personally, I'd rather have it warm up so I can fish shallow."

Reynolds said squarebill crankbaits and spinnerbaits will get plenty of use in the skinny water. In addition, teams will have success flipping timber with jigs and Texas-rigged soft plastics. Out deep, umbrella rigs, Carolina rigs and deepwater cranking will prove popular.

"This is really going to be a tournament where a guy can do pretty much whatever he wants to catch fish."

To be in contention to win and take home the
boat-motor package, Reynolds thinks teams will need over 30 pounds.

"I think 30 to 35 pounds will take it and 14 or 15 pounds should be enough to get a check. I think the weights will be better than Rayburn and it might be better than Toledo Bend."

Brothers Clint and Clay West lead the race for Lucas Oil Team of the Year with 540 points.  Two more regular season events remain.
At the halfway point in the season, brothers Clint and Clay West lead the Lucas Oil Team of the Year race with 540 points.

"We've only fished Ray Roberts one time, so we're going up to put in some extra practice," said Clay, the younger of the two brothers. "What I do remember is that there is a tree every 6 feet and the majority of the teams flip those trees. It's going to be different for us. We're not sight-fishermen, so we're hoping it stays cooler and they hold back from spawning."

After two successful tournaments near home, the West brothers are thinking big.

"Winning Team of the Year is now our goal," added Clay. "This circuit has the best fishermen in the area. Even the Elites wouldn't want to come here and fish against these guys on their home waters. So to be in this position is a big deal to us. If you can beat this crowd out for the whole year, you've done something. We're shooting for a top-20 finish."

Teams will take off at safe light from Ray Roberts Marina, located at 1399 Marina Circle in Sanger, Texas. The weigh-in will also take place at the marina, beginning at 3 p.m.