JASPER, Texas (Jan. 15, 2014) – The Rayovac Series is headed to Sam Rayburn Reservoir Jan. 23-25 for a tournament presented by Mercury when as many as 300 pros and co-anglers take to the water for the first of three stops in the Texas Division.
     “Rayburn is fishing extremely tough right now,” said FLW Tour pro Andrew Upshaw, who has four top-10 finishes on Sam Rayburn in FLW competition. “We’ve had a lot of weather fluctuation lately and the fish really can’t figure out what they want to do right now. But with stable weather being forecast it should make the bite a lot better than it has been.”
     Upshaw predicted that tournament anglers would be spread out much more than usual because of an abundance of grass.
     “I was out there the first week in December and there was grass where there hasn’t been in years,” Upshaw said. “There is a ton of grass right now, and it’s really deep. It’ll make a huge difference in helping spread guys out.
     “I think that Carolina Rigs and Rat-L-Traps are going to be the most popular baits thrown. Most anglers Carolina-rigging will be throwing lizard or creature baits. I’d recommend a Gene Larew Biffle-O Lizard or Hoo-Daddy Jr. If the fishing stays really tough, I think you’re going to see some anglers choosing to drop-shot. You wouldn’t think that would be real popular here, but when the fishing is really tough it will produce. My go-to drop-shot bait is a Gene Larew Tattle Tail Worm. They have a few colors that are made specifically for Sam Rayburn and Toledo Bend – June Bug Lite and Light Brown/Magenta.
     “If the conditions stay the same as they are right now, I think it would take 52 to 56 pounds to win,” Upshaw went on to say. “However, the fish aren’t facing a whole lot of fishing pressure right now. If those fish happen to pull up and the conditions get right it wouldn’t surprise me at all to see the winner finish with 68 to 70 pounds.”
     Anglers will take off from the Umphrey Family Pavilion located at 5438 RR 255 W. in Brookeland, Texas, at 7:30 a.m. each day. Weigh-in will be held at the takeoff location on Thursday and Friday beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday’s final weigh-in will be held at Walmart located at 800 W. Gibson St. in Jasper, Texas, beginning at 4 p.m. Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.
     Pros will fish for a top award of $40,000 plus a Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard if Ranger Cup guidelines are met. Co-anglers will cast for a top award consisting of a Ranger Z117 with 90-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard and $5,000 if Ranger Cup guidelines are met.
     The Rayovac FLW Series consists of five divisions – Central, Northern, Southeast, Texas and Western. Each division consists of three tournaments and competitors will be vying for valuable points in each division that could earn them the opportunity to fish in the Rayovac FLW Series Championship. The 2014 Rayovac FLW Series Championship is being held Oct. 30-Nov. 1 on Wheeler Lake in Rogersville, Ala.
     The Rayovac FLW Series tournament on Sam Rayburn Reservoir is being hosted by the Jasper-Lake Sam Rayburn Chamber of Commerce.
     For complete details and updated information visit FLWOutdoors.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the Rayovac Series on Facebook at Facebook.com/FLWFishing and on Twitter at Twitter.com/FLWFishing.