Ray Hanselman of Del Rio, Texas, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 16 pounds, 10 ounces Saturday to win the Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division event on Sam Rayburn Reservoir presented by Mercury with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 60 pounds, 8 ounces. For his win Hanselman earned $35,815, pushing his season winnings to more than $69,000 from just two tournaments.
“I’m honestly shocked. That’s about the only way to describe how I feel right now,” said Hanselman, who won the Texas Division opener on Lake Amistad in February. “You always want to win but to take two in the same season is just incredible.”
In order to secure his victory, Hanselman targeted small drains that led to spawning flats in the mid-lake area.
“In practice I found that the majority of the fish were along the sides of the points. Not at the tip, not in the back, but right along those longer sides,” Hanselman said. “I narrowed the pattern down to three spots across the lake and decided to pursue them further in the tournament.
“I was looking for fish that had already spawned,” Hanselman continued. “I specifically focused on those drains, or pinch points, where they’re forced to go in and out of the beds.”
Hanselman said that he managed to catch around 15 fish on day one using an Okeechobee Craw–colored Strike King Slither Rig – the same bait he used the entire tournament
“It really did what the name suggests. When I was flipping it slid right into that thick cover where I needed it,” Hanselman said.
On days two and three, Hanselman returned to those same areas and found a similar bite.
“I caught almost 25 fish on day two and was able to bring in around 15 on day three,” Hanselman said. “It was pretty exciting.”
Hanselman went on to say that the unusually high water level on Sam Rayburn didn’t affect his strategy as much as other anglers.
“I wanted to keep it simple. I didn’t want to get lost way back in the pine trees. I was looking for fish that had already spawned at those drains and it worked.”
The top 10 pros on Sam Rayburn Reservoir were:
- Ray Hanselman, Del Rio, Texas, 15 bass, 60-8, $35,815
- Kris Wilson, Montgomery, Texas, 15 bass, 53-6, $13,878
- Jim Tutt, Longview, Texas, 15 bass, 52-10, $10,745
- James Stricklin Jr., Hot Springs, Ark., 15 bass, 50-15, $8,954 + $252 Big Bass award
- Denny Brauer, Del Rio, Texas, 15 bass, 50-3, $8,058
- Joe Don Setina, Pittsburg, Texas, 14 bass, 49-11, $7,163
- T.J. Goodwyn, Center, Texas, 15 bass, 47-10, $6,268
- Ricky Guy, Humble, Texas, 13 bass, 44-5, $5,372
- Randy Sitz, Prosper, Texas, 14 bass, 41-5, $4,477
- Tommy Dickerson, Orange, Texas, 12 bass, 34-3, $3,582
Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Dan Wilson of Pilot Point, Texas, won the co-angler division and a Ranger Z117C with a 90-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard motor with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 39 pounds, 4 ounces.
The top 10 co-anglers on Sam Rayburn Reservoir were:
- Dan Wilson, Pilot Point, Texas, 15 bass, 39-4, Ranger Z117C with a 90-horsepower outboard + $5,000 Ranger Cup
- Bryan New, Belmont, N.C., 15 bass, 35-8, $4,500
- Clint Lipham, Conroe, Texas, 12 bass, 32-8, $3,600
- Collin Cooper, Smithville, Texas, 11 bass, 31-3, $3,150
- Tim Montz, Wichita Falls, Texas, 12 bass, 29-11, $2,700
- Rick Parker, Kaufman, Texas, 13 bass, 28-6, $2,250
- Bubba Finstad, Ranger, Texas, 10 bass, 26-3, $1,800
- Mark Mowery, Longview, Texas, 11 bass, 22-14, $1,575
- Denny Swartz, Broussard, La., eight bass, 21-6, $1,350
- Michael Stilley, Nacogdoches, Texas, 11 bass, 21-5, $1,125