Lake Sam Rayburn ranked number 1 reservoir in the nation - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Lake Sam Rayburn ranked number 1 reservoir in the nation

Photo: KTRE Photo: KTRE
Photo: KTRE Photo: KTRE
LAKE SAM RAYBURN, TX (KTRE) -

Most recently, Lake Sam Rayburn has been ranked number 1 lake in the nation.

This ranking, given to the reservoir out of 100 other lakes across the country crowns it as the best bass lake in 2018.

According to Bassmaster Magazine, for the past seven years, Lake Sam Rayburn ranked below 26 and now the hard work to reach number 1 has paid off.

"I've fished Rayburn with my grandmother, actually. Fished Rayburn for many many year, so I've fished my entire life," said Greg Johnson, who is participating in a fishing tournament.

Johnson is taking part in a fishing tournament. It's happening throughout the summer which is hosted by Big Dawg Outfitters and organized by Scott Pierce.

"We're a small tournament that's come together for a group of guys that are not quite to the pro level but are in the amateur state of it," Pierce said. "So they can come out and still compete with some local guys and still have a good time and not have the pressures of the big guys."

Pierce said the reservoir makes its easy to fish from the amount of bass it produces.

Lake manager with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Bart Dearborn explains that Bassmaster considered the weight of the fish during tournaments, statistics tied to the fishery and the size of the fish produced.

"Sam Rayburn was recognized as producing some of the heaviest weigh-in fishing krill's, 5-fish limits in the nation for the past year," Dearborn said.

For the past decade or more, Dearborn said the beauty of Rayburn lies in fighting  the problematic aquatic plant called giant salvinia.

"It definitely affects water quality and will choke out open water areas," Dearborn said.

Dearborn credits help from multiple agencies such as the Texas Parks and Wildlife, Angelina Neches River Authority, Lower River Valley Neches Authority and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to help maintain the clean water.

Lake Sam Rayburn draws in million and half visitors annually.

Big Dawg Outfitters said the ranking will help, economically, the surrounding areas as more people fish on Lake Sam Rayburn.

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