ANGELINA COUNTY, Texas (KTRE) - New rankings have been released and Lake Sam Rayburn is no longer holding onto its coveted number one spot.
Bassmaster Magazine ranked the East Texas lake below two others in New York and Michigan out of 100 other lakes. The rankings are based on the amount of fish and their weight.
Professional Angler Keith Combs said the recent high lake levels have caused the bass to move into the new areas with more food options. As a result this makes it hard for anglers to fish.
“When Rayburn comes up, when it comes up above full pool, like it has spent the entire spring and earlier part of the summer, as high as 9 feet high, what happens is that water moves into thick stands of timber, grass, the bank line,” Combs said.
In fact, in the last 8 years, the Lone Star State bass fishery has never ranked below 26 and that ranking jumped to number one last year.
“The lake has been very high flooded into the trees actually all the way up into the pine trees which make the fish very hard to access,” Combs said.
The lake levels currently are at 165 feet. But last winter and the recent spring saw higher levels than in the past.
“They’re still there, they’re growing bigger and bigger and the population is getting better but with the high lake level like that, it just makes it a little bit more difficult to fish,” Combs said.
Despite the dip in the rankings, a couple of fishermen caught three fish weighing at 15 pounds which they plan to put back in the lake.
“Anybody and every bassmaster, everybody that plays the game can tell you this is a quality lake in the south,” said Eddie Martin, an angler.
The Lone Star State had one other lake make it into Bassmaster’s top 10 list.
Lake Fork, near Mineola, was ranked number 5 in the nation.