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I've fished Rayburn maybe a dozen times in my life, so am no guide on this. I do have an idea about it for this month. The pool level ought to be rising due to the rains, so find out where it is before the tournament. If the water gets into the brush they might be gathering there mid day. I wouldn't rule out shallow bass. It depends on where their food goes. If that next front brings more rain the lake might be stained by then.

I'd start with the mouth of longest coves with some deep water in the cove channels where they can escape to if it turns out clear. Ignore coves not near good spawning areas. A protected flat with points on the north side out to be good, even though the spawn is a ways off. Main lake and secondary points within view of the main lake ought to produce using jigs, slow cranks. I'd concentrate on the steeper sides that are close to deep water. Finding some outside weedlines near a sharp drop-off ought to be wise. Check out the inside weedlines too. With water rising those places ought to have plenty of open water down to the latest kill-back line.

Pay close attention to the standing timber areas where bass ought to be ganging up in branches. Keep in mind on that lake high water covers a lot of the snags normally a little above water. It's THE place to ruin a lower unit. The regular boat lanes are probably easy to follow, but there are lots of unmarked lanes that are not fished as heavily, worth scouting out. I wouldn't follow any boater that might not know where the stumps are any better than you.

One more thing. Remember that air temperature affects YOU. Water temp affects bass activity. The lake ought to be in the 50s and I doubt the latest fronts will drop temps below the 50s. If you can find some shallow water at 62 consider pre-spawn techniques you would expect just before regular spawning season. 62 degrees is not out of the question on that lake by the end of January. It normally doesn't have the weather happening in Texas this year. A suspending hard jerkbait should be good if the bass are still lethargic. I doubt the water would warm that much except in really shallow water, north side, in full sun all day, and a dark bottom. If it stays in the mid 50s then a slow crawled jig with craw trailer should be a good pick.

Jim
 

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Sorry to hear that. I saw your post late and figured you might not see it in time.

I've been using X-Raps, Rouges and a Pointer in clowny (firetiger, etc.) colors in lighter stained water and jet black in what's now water looking like week-old tea to Starbucks in a cup. Visibility is about 18-22". Noisy baits haven't produced for some odd reason. When the water first stained up from rain I started off with noisemakers including a slow rolled Chatterbait, but it just didn't work. Maybe the super slow presentations just don't make the rattles sound good. They need some decent wobbling, but then the lure is going too fast. The bass seem awfully aloof now, coming right up to the boat following lures, then staying around the boat barely swimming around in tiny schools of maybe 10, otherwise staying close to most anything in the water like boulders, stumps, brush piles, standing timber, and especially floating trees. We have a mess out there. The good thing is they are in the same spots each day, and out from where they'll probably spawn. What it takes now is saturating an area you know has fish, covering every square foot of it, slowly. I mean pick out a shoreline reference and cast every foot. I jerk it a foot then pause it a few seconds until it comes across a bass. Even walleyes and big crappie are hitting those. When finding them deeper we're using spoons, Gay Blades, and other lead spinners fished straight down to them.

Good luck on the real deal there.

Jim
 
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