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Enter a Report

Subject: Sam Rayburn, Texas

Submitted by Greg (ip

Date Fished: 3/23/2006
Water Clarity: 0

Has anyone read the article about what happened to Jeff Kriet at Rayburn? What an embarassment for a great lake and a great state. I am not from Texas, however other than my native home in Tennessee, there is no other place I would rather live than in Texas. That's why I was crushed to read the article and see how those jerks treated Mr. Kriet. They should have some one come in and mess with their job and cost them a weeks pay. Maybe some of you down there can find out who it was a give them a Texas sized fist right in the mouth. But, I'm still coming to Texas this fall or winter. I know those guys were a minority and maybe even yankees. Yeehaw

I agree and disagree. From: Chad Heitman (, Texas
As a tournament angler I'd hate to have a spot I found get crowded like that. But it's spring time and some people go on vaction during Spring break to catch fish. The Deer Stand is a very popular area up north on Rayburn. It gets heavy pressure during the spring. That is why i try to look for smaller lesser know creeks. Other fishermen shouldn't have crowded anyone but it does happen. I can't stand it either, but if you fish community holes it will happen. I can't blame people who work all week and want to have fun fishing on their days off from a REAL JOB. Most people show common courtsy and some don't.
tournament/courtesy From: gf (, Texas
I fish the deer stand area all the time. It is heavily pressured by locals and weekend fisherman that have every right to be there if not more then some "pro" fisherman in a "wrapped" boat. I don't move for them coming through either, if they cut me off- i start up get 100 yds in front of them and start fishing again- I DON'T CARE IF THEY ARE IN A TOURNAMENT!!!! --BUT, to hole jump and crowd a person as mentioned in the bassfan article is absurd. That is really bad manners and poor sportsmanship and reflects badly on the regular crowd. Rayburn has become as bad as any other lake. The tournaments are killing the peace and quiet that used to make it a great lake to fish. It is about time to go back fishing Lake Conroe again, the Scarabs only wake you, they don't crowd you while you are fishing.
Kliet's Plight From: Rayburn Res (, Texas
ESPN quoted Mr. Kliet prior to the tournament start as stating that, “it was disheartening to go into an area and shake off 10-15 fish to have a local come in and whackem”. Everyone, fishermen and non-fishermen alike, who has been asked to interpret this quote interprets it as indicating that some tournament fishermen believe that the fishery was created for the sole purpose of supporting tournament catches and locals should abstain from fishing while the pros do their thing. Assuming Mr. Kliet’s report of his problems is an accurate account it might be possible to conclude that folks were reacting to his pre-tournament statement, and considerer it rather arrogant and driven by an inflated opinion of self-importance. In short, maybe some chickens came home to roost – so to speak.

This is excerpted from a account of Hackney’s Rayburn Elite tournament win. "Hackney had only a day and a half of practice on the heels of his 4th-place finish at Amistad the previous week. He cruised spawning coves for most of that time in a search for concentrations of quality fish. He found plenty, but spooked most of them due to his close proximity" Note the key words - cruised - spooked - proximity. Multiply Hackney’s tactic (cruising / searching) by one-hundred or so other “cruisers” for the week preceding the elite tournament and an undetermined number the prior week and you have every regular Rayburn angler that is trying to actually fish P----D OFF. After exposure to all the day-after-day succession of cruising by the tournament masses, that for the most part show no regard whatsoever for people actually fishing, it is difficult to have any empathy for Mr. Kliet’s plight.

Having said that, the behavior as described by Mr. Kliet is indisputably abominable. Incidents of this nature have increased exponentially in the last year or so. Recognize that money tournament fishing is the only professional sport that is conducted without referees, umpires or commissioners and it is conducted on public waters. Even though well written rules are in place tournament promoters / directors make no real effort to enforce them and penalize those who are have no regard for other anglers. It’s a tit-for tat situation that will destroy the sport unless some positive action is taken.

Mr. Kliet’s loss of $10,000 because of his inability to produce a 10lb bag on the final day of the tournament may indicate he has chosen the wrong profession. Any pro that can’t produce a 10lb bag on Rayburn during a peak in the spawning season is in trouble if he is dependent upon his fishing ability to produce a living wage.

Disheartening? From: Deerslayer (, Texas
Yea it¡¦s disheartening when I finally get an evening off and head to the ramp (public) on 255 and find 300 pro¡¦s and semi pro¡¦s at 3:45 on a WEDNESDAY at the ramp. I asked a guy if they were practicing, he said no we just had a weigh in! I think he said Stren! I asked are yall fishing tomorrow too? He said yes. I was dumbfounded. So I hauled ass to Sandy creek. I mean come on, isn¡¦t it bad enough we LOCALS cant find a spot on the weekend let alone a damn Wednesday evening! I¡¦m ready to start a petition to offer the corps to try and limit the tournaments on Rayburn. Hell the fish are so hair lipped in most areas it¡¦s a wonder the guys at deerstand got bit. I¡¦m all for tournaments but come on man give us a break!! My brother comes in once a year from St. Louis to get some fishing in and I¡¦m afraid we will have to launch at 4 A.M. just to get parking spot. And as far as the guys being pricks to the pro, Grow up man I¡¦m sure the guys saw him the day before and were giving him a hard time. What if another pro had been there? Would he have gone on or asked Ricky Clunn to move on?? I understand Toledo bend is low but Low water has never stopped the Pressure on Rayburn has it? Ok I¡¦m done ranting for the moment. But I wonder who might sign my petition? And I did have a nice limit and a kicker Wednesday ƒº¡K Good luck
Federal or public property From: duks4u (, Arkansas
I do not think my federal tax dollars should be used to subsidize any corporation operating for profit on any public ground. That is what these tournaments and "anglers" are doing. Should not be allowed.
Hmmmp.....that's interesting. From: M.Teal, Texas
I'm not sure when this particular "event" happened, but I didn't experience anything like that, .....and I was there. I don't know who Kiert is or which boat was his, but I was in Deerstand on Thursday, and while I'll agree it was crowded, it wasn't what he described. I go to Sam Rayburn with my Dad every year during Spring Break, and we had this trip scheduled before we knew about the tourny. We were there to FISH, not star watch. We pulled into Deerstand mid morning Thursday passed by a wrapped boat blowing out of there. Saw Mark Tyler idling on the first point in, and we idled on around the point. There were two wrapped boats in the back of this cove (300 yards away or better). For those that don't know Deerstand, there are a number of little coves and islands in the area. We stopped and started down the bank. During the next hour an number of boats, both wrapped and unwrapped, blew in and out of the main cove (not the one we're in.) By this time one of the boats from the back of the cove was about even with us on the other side, still 100 yards away. The Academy boat (Chad Brauer I think) came idling out when the other pro said "You'd think these locals would give us a break!" He had to say it twice 'cause Brauer couldn't hear him. Brauer just kinda laughed and kept going. I looked around this approximately 30 acre cove and the only three boats in it were mine and the two pro's talking. And this was as close as I'd been! Opposite side of the cove, working a different direction.

Now I don't think he had a problem with me, per se, but I definately got the feeling he felt like we shouldn't be there. The rest of Deerstand had boats in and out pretty regularly, but half of those were wrapped boats. I just didn't see any 'space invaders' the couple of hours we were in there.

It was kinda cool seeing all the wrapped boats, and really didn't have a problem with anyone other than that one comment. Everyone was banging the banks, and there's just so much to go around. I hope that was just an isolated incident.

My thoughts, for whatever it's worth.


I'll sign your petition Deerslayer! From: RayBob (, Texas
I made the comment on another forum concerning how Rayburn is getting beat up by too many tourneys. I live 30 min. from the lake and springtime is disheartening to go to the lake. And I feel the lake is suffering (the fish) from the T pressure. Here are the comments I made as well as the link so you can read the others' points/thoughts.



My post:

I guess I'm in the monority here.......I think the number ot tourneys and the number of boats can and are hurting this lake. I also think the loss of the great hydrilla beds of the past and the LMB virus also impacted bass populations.

I still catch fish on Big Sam and plenty of 'em ..... but it ain't like it was in the early and mid 90's. During that time period every BASS weigh-in would feature several 10+ fish daily. Weigh-ins were like what you saw last week on Amistad. The old gal has definitely declined in the last 7-8 years. You could blame the LMBV but other lakes afflicted with this have not seen the same severe decline in numbers and QUALITY.

I personaly think, with the grass making somewhat of a comeback, that TPWD should reinfuse the Fla and F1 strains of bass with a restocking effort. Rayburn is the crown jewel along with Fork in TPWD lakes. Also......look at the population of fisherman hammering the lake......2 hrs from Houston, 3-3.5 from Dallas, 1.5 from Beaumont area, plus a healthy East Tx population. I think the lake needs help.



I also posted that with the lower water and basically poor cover that recruitment of this year's spawning class will suffer......and bed fishing makes it worse. Other states regulate the # of T's on their lakes and have "FISHING SEASON" and catch and release ONLY season. That would definitely help our lake. Many things could help....a slot limit would cut out the tournaments (don't see the "pros" going to Fork do you?). Outlawing bed fishing (though hard to enforce) would also help.

I'll be first in line to sign the petition to restrict the "T's" though.


Deerstand From: C (, Texas
I agree with Deerslayer. Limit the tournaments. I fished a bank around Monterey by myself for three hours during the tournament. The "Bassmasters" saw me catching fish and before I knew it, I had three tournament boats around me. I watched one idiot in the Green Mercurcy boat leave an area filled with stumps at full throttle (Mercury 250HP). I thought to myself what an idiot, he's sure not a local. Then the so called "Pro" turned sharply and drove at full throttle, within 20 yards of me and then stopped. He created such a wave he pushed all the bait fish off of the bank. Everything he did was at 100 mph. Why can't they respect another fisherman?
Oh cmon From: Bassfisher2 (, Texas
Why dont you all stop crying about "pros" and other tournaments ruining "your" lake.The last time I checked the lake was still there for anyone with a valid fishing licnese not just "locals". Speaking of locals. If all of the tournaments quit coming to lake Sam Rayburn, think of what it would do to the economy. The locals dont mind cashing in at the motels,tackle shops, food stores, and gas stations, and restraunts. Why dont we all just show some "Common Sense" courtesy and try to get along on the water insted of being rude or an a-s because you live closeby. I live near Dallas and I fish Rayburn a lot. I have met a "LOT" of people at Rayburn that will go out and catch 25+ bass and go home and eat them. I doubt the Tournaments are doing more damage than that......

Just my opinion

I could care less about the local economy..... From: RayBob (, Texas
......might be a different story from the Jasper Area C of C. I'd much rather have a better lake to fish. I agree there are quite a few meat fisherman in East Tx and I'm sure that affects Rayburn.....can't do anything about that unless Tx P&W would make Rayburn a slot lake. (25+ fish is above the bag and possession limit though.....quite illegal......unless you're talking about 3 or more folks). And I'll never stop bitchin' about it .... plain and simple the lake is over fished. I watched her bloom and become awesome in the 80's and 90's and she becoming more like she was in the late 70's. I've probably been on the lake a bit more than you.......made my first trip there in 19666......wasn't quite filled then. So I'll continue to bitch about my "local" situation and the multiple big "T's" and those that support them can all KMA!

BTW......I have been "guilty" of fishing a few of those big "T's" in the past......the key word is the past......I'm older and wiser than I was!


eating bass From: gf (, Texas
I fish Rayburn approx. 30-40 times a year I have never seen anyone catch and keep 25 bass to eat- maybe if theyt are from up north(TX). But before anyone was to do that, they should read the fish warning for bass on Rayburn. They contain harmful levels of mercury!!!!!!!!!!!!
RE: Petition From: Deerslayer (, Texas
Everyone has valid points. I guided years ago with Joe Knight and others. Early 90's we could put 100 fish a day in the boat. And i agree you can still catch fish. And some Quality fish. But I know that all this pressure even on this big lake is gonna put a hurt on the fish. And maybe it will be more of a challenge. But when i hear things like (YOU THINK THE LOCALS WOULD GIVE US A BREAK). Then I'm like screw you PAL> It's guys like me and all us LOCALS who buy the crap that sponsors your ass I see a product on a boat and the pro makes a comment like that. I'll put a Bill Orielly Boycott on his ass LOL. Its 9am Saturday morning. LMAO I'm watching the Elite Tourny on ESPN. anyhoo I doubt anyone that owns a business around here would sign a petition to limit the Tournaments. So I spose we will go on fighting the crowd and manuevering for a place to cast. Your right crying won't solve the problem. Great discussion tho.
Rayburn Tournament From: Jj (, Texas
My humble opinion:

1. When money gets involved in any sport, it ruins it. 2. I wish they would outlaw all fishing tournaments. I have had them crowd me as soon as they knew I wasn't fishing in their tournament. Rules protect participants and they will crowd or abuse anybody else. 3. The fish in Rayburn can be eaten but the warning says don't eat it too many times per week/month/year. 4. You caught it. You can release it or eat it or mount it if within the limits established by law. 5. Tournaments probably kill more fish than the locals eat. Days after tournaments dead fish are found near the weigh in location. How good is it to pull fish off their home location where they are ready to spawn, drive them 30 miles down the lake in bouncing bass boat, and let all these fish go in another area of the lake with hundreds more relocated fish. 6. Percentage wise, there are probably more tournament fishermen that are rude than regular fishermen because of their greed and determination to win. 7. The locals don't need to yield to tournament participants just because they make their living this way. Do you pull over on the shoulder to let a taxi cab pass? 8. For what it is worth: My son was fishing a cove/creek at Rayburn that week (no where near the Deer Stand). He did say that Kelly Jordon was a perfect gentleman when he entered the area. There are good and bad on both sides. 9. I would sign the petition. 10. Fishing is in a decline right now just like the late 70's. If the hydrilla comes back, maybe the fish will too.

Bass fishing on the decline From: Texas Rig (, Texas
Great discussion.

As someone who loves fishing and fishes all over East Texas, I agree that bass fishing is on the decline in this state. Rayburn, Fork, Cooper, Martin Creek, Nacogdoches, Houston County,'s nowhere near what it was 10-15 years ago.

Bass fishing has become more and more popular as the industry has grown. The number of tournament circuits in Texas is ridiculous. No matter which lake you are fishing, it is likely there will be 2-5 tournaments being held on the lake on any given weekend. Heck, there are weeknight tournaments, too.

The fact that the grass has been killed off...or isn't nearly as prominent as a lot of our lakes is huge, IMO.

Besides bass boats, look at how many more watercraft are on the lakes now compared to years ago. Jet skis, seems everyone has to have some sort of watercraft these days. And, these "pleasure craft" operators hate do so many of the homeowners in the residential areas popping up around our lakes.

Sad as it is to say, I think the "good old days" of bass fishing are gone forever. The days of going out to the lake, having to squint to see the nearest boat, having an entire bank or entire cove to yourself, and catching a ton of unpressured fish are pretty much over...and if they aren't over, they are few and far between.

Maybe at some point the pressure and lack of "catching" will cause some of the less diehard fishermen to quit going to the lake so much. Maybe they will take up golf.

Oh, wait. I play golf, too. Golf courses have become five times as crowded as they used to be, too. So maybe that won't work, either.


Gold petition From: Deerslayer (, Texas
Maybe we should start a petion to limit Golf Tournaments? Damn we are some whiners lol. Sorry Couldnt resist. (see petition God) new thread lol. I dunno man. Maybe we should get off the bank, I love beating the bank as Im sure most of us do. I do fish deep but when its 20 mph wind its kinda tough. I still think the tournaments should be limited. But I just dont see it happening, there is to much money involved to the local business.And I also agree the Hydrilla is way off. Lets find some and throw it in our favorite holes. Or maybe we as locals should get together and make some reefs at night that only we know the location. I was gonna build a tire reef, Hell ya cant take em to the dump anyway. get as many as we can cable them together and make some bad ass bass holes. Or drag some of the big trees downed by Rita and weigh em down. Im open to working for our pleasure. And I live on the golf course. But dont play. Wonder if I can take my polaris 4 wheeler on the course? Gotta go good luck.
fishingpressure From: adapt/overcome (, Texas
First of all everyone should use common courtesy regardless of who you are. I fish alot of tournaments big, small, and everything inbetween. I have seen every kind of angler there is, good and bad. I think no matter what you do, that is the case. I mainly fish a lake that is 5000 acres and extremely popular for tournaments and everything else. The pressure is overwhelming but this has made me a much better angler. As far as the Jeff Kriet episode that is what happens when you fish a community hole and you put all your marbles in one area. My experiences with community holes is always have plan B. This is why pros stress pattern fish. This is a condition to fishing adapt (114,000acres plan b c d e f....)petitoning tournaments, waste of time this industry is booming
KVD disqualified From: duks4u (, Arkansas
Kevin VanDam disqualified from Santee Cooper for what..... having his no boater drive the boat around the banks while he looked for bedding fish. Well, There you go!

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