PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Outdoors

May 4, 2013

Chester Moore column: Rayburn ranks No. 2 on Bassmaster top 100

PORT ARTHUR —   The “100 Best Bass Lakes” put out by Bassmaster was the talk of the bass fishing community last year.

    South Texas’ Lake Falcon was number 1 and Texas had a large number of water bodies represented.

    Local anglers will find this year’s just released list even more interesting than the 2012 overview.

    For starters, Falcon was bumped from number one to seven.

    Drought and fishing pressure have changed the dynamics on that body of water quite. Lake St. Clair in Michigan took first honors due to its incredible smallmouth fishery and vastly overlooked largemouth population.

    Sam Rayburn took second place.

    With the lake filling back up after two years of drought, habitat is in great condition and recent surveys show stunning numbers of keeper bass. In addition, tournament weights this year have been the best in many years. If the lake can stay within a few feet of pool level expect a tremendous few years.

    Toledo Bend slid a few places but remained in the top 10 at 10th place with Bassmaster citing solid tournament limits and a healthy upper end of the fishery.

    Before we go any farther, we should ponder this for a moment.

    When speaking with Bassmaster editor James Hall I learned, they go to great lengths to put together this list.

    “Last year, we developed the list by asking every state’s Department of Natural Resources (sometimes it was the wildlife agency) to give us catch rates, population studies and stocking schedules for all the fisheries they managed,”  

    From there, they sent the list to B.A.S.S. Nation presidents and conservation directors to rank each of these bodies of water based on the tournaments they held. Then a panel of Elite Series pros, outdoor writers and industry professionals finalize the lakes list and rankings. In addition, they sent it to 3,500 .B.A.S.S. members throughout the U.S.

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