Promise of larger catches on tap for Friday as clouds, waves dampen first day of FLW tour

Randy Blaukat
Randy Blaukat
Andrew Upshaw
Andrew Upshaw

ZAVALLA, TX (KTRE) - Poor weather conditions made for some choppy waves on Lake Sam Rayburn in Zavalla on Thursday. Nearly 200 pro and co-angler's hoped to catch that 14-pounder for the Walmart FLW Tour.

Lufkin native Andrew Upshaw, who now lives in Tulsa, Okla., says the first day of the competition was really not his day.

"[Things have been] terrible. Fishing is kind of rough. My best areas have muddied up," Upshaw said. "Well, right now I've got one and it's not the biggest one I need."

And up the lake, 18-time Bassmaster's Classic Qualifier, Randy Blaukat, wasn't having the best of luck either.

"You know, the fish haven't bit this morning very good, but hopefully around noon when that sun turns up a little bit more they'll start coming along in this deeper water. It's been really tough for us so far," Blaukat said.

Weather was a big factor for these pro-fishermen who say waves and rain can keep the fish away.

"It can affect the fish on how aggressive they are or not. But that's the whole thing about it. You don't really know how the conditions are going to affect the fish until you get out here," Blaukat said.

Checking back in with Upshaw, around lunchtime he had a little bit of luck catching a smaller fish.

"You brought him a little luck. It's a keeper. About 14 or 15 inches," said volunteer Jay Bennett.

And while Upshaw prepped his new catch, Blaukat continued to swim for fish saying these types of competitions are all about timing.

"It's a great lake. It's just being at the right place at the right time. That's the whole key on this catching bass on Lake Sam Rayburn when you're fishing in the grass. It's all about timing," Blaukat said.

Warmer temperatures are on tap for Friday and the pros say they hope the promise of a bigger and better catch will ring true before the end of the weekend.

The competition continues on Friday at 7 a.m. at Cassels-Boykin County Park. Weigh-in will be at 3 p.m. On Saturday and Sunday, the competition will start at 7:30 a.m. with a 4 p.m. weigh-in. Walmart Pro Day will also take place on Saturday from noon to 2 p.m. at the Walmart's in Lufkin, Jasper, Woodville and Nacogdoches.

The FLW Outdoors Expo will happen on Saturday from Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. where the top FLW Tour pros will discuss fishing tips, techniques and tales of the big one that got away. This will take place at the Lufkin Walmart located at 2500 Daniel McCall Drive.

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